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Returning to in-person events

*This blog was originally posted on Doing Good Leeds in November 2021

It’s an interesting time as we return to face-to-face meetings and events after existing in a virtual world for so long. There are definitely benefits to virtual events, such as attending from the comfort of home, lower costs, and often drawing a wider audience. However, there’s nothing quite like meeting in person and engaging in real-life conversations.

To support the sector in hosting high-quality events, it’s important to acknowledge the time, effort and expense that goes into putting on an event. Behind any successful event, a team will have been beavering away booking venues and refreshments, coordinating speakers, doing marketing and communications and covering all the details to ensure the event runs smoothly on the day.

At the moment, everyone’s having to readjust to being back ‘in person’ – if you’re anything like us, you can find that you’re meant to be at a meeting and haven’t left enough travel time. So we understand that these are uncertain times and that people’s circumstances do change, sometimes at the last minute. However, if you have registered for an event, please prioritise that commitment. And, if for whatever reason you are unable to attend, send apologies as early as possible. The team can then make any adjustments and someone else may be able to attend.

When an event is expected to be well attended and then people don’t arrive, we all need to be aware that it has an impact. The speakers may feel their time is not valued, intended activities may not run as planned, and there will be a financial and climate impact for any wasted refreshments.

To ensure there are plenty of high-quality events happening across the sector, it’s important to value all that goes into them and commit to attending when registering. And if you can’t, simply let the organisers know ahead of time.

For Attendees:

  • Check the date, time and location of the event at the time of booking and update your calendar

  • Prioritise your commitment to attend

  • If you’re unable to attend for any reason, send your apologies as early as possible

For Organisers:

  • Ensure the date, time and location of the event are clear in all communication

  • Include a contact email and/or phone number

  • Request attendees send apologies as early as possible if they are unable to attend

  • Send a reminder 2 days prior to the event, allowing time to invite people from the waiting list and update any refreshment numbers.

  • Carry out a Covid safety risk assessment and ensure attendees are clear on what precautions you are taking at the venue. Are masks required? Do you have hand sanitiser available?

Blended Meetings

Blended meetings can also offer a way to ensure attendees who cannot attend in person can get involved and join the meeting 'virtually'.

Here at Stringer House, we have recently installed new audio visual technology in our meeting rooms, including large flat screen tv's and an integrated soundbar with a built in camera and microphone, allowing meetings to easily take place both online and face-to face, with some people able to participate in the same room and others joining via Zoom.

This new approach to meetings provides an accessible, Covid-secure solution to those thinking about hosting meetings in the future.

Get in touch on 0113 2977920 to discuss in more detail or to try out the equipment for yourself.

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