Running online events can be fun and engaging. You can always try new digital experience strategies and deliver high value to your attendees without having them in a physical space. However, online events are sometimes accompanied by fatigue, a decreased attention span, and boredom.
Imagine having to sit through all-day online event. Let’s be honest: Who’s going to want to stay online for so long, regardless of the value your event is providing? And if that wasn’t enough to worry about, we’ve started to encounter a new phenomenon known as “Zoom fatigue.” This TED article describes it perfectly: “People feel like they have to make more emotional effort to appear interested, and in the absence of many non-verbal cues, the intense focus on words and sustained eye contact is exhausting.”
In-person interactions, on the other hand, are crucial to building and maintaining a rapport, through the communication of attitudes and feelings. So moving your event online should be an emergency strategy and not a long-term approach. That’s why you’ll want to spend some time thinking about how you’ll hit the floor running once the events industry recovers from the pandemic. Apart from coming up with social distancing and biosafety strategies, you’ll want to work with the best event suppliers that will be well-adjusted to the “new normal.” These are the people and agencies that will help you regain people’s trust and ensure a high level of safety at your events. Having this in mind, let’s see the main steps to take when choosing suppliers for your next physical event:
Step 1. List the suppliers you need and the qualities you’re searching for in those suppliers
Before looking for suppliers, you need to know what you’re searching for. Will you need an event agency to help you design engaging experiences for your attendees? Do you need help with catering? Do you need someone to assist you with decorating the venue and coming up with a social distancing strategy for the furniture layout?
To find the best event suppliers to collaborate with, you’ll want to first create an event timeline and planning logistics draft. It’ll help you figure out what exactly needs to be covered and what tasks suppliers can help you with. Also, think beyond just listing the main providers you need—think about the qualities you’re searching for in a supplier. For example, you may want to find event suppliers in a very specific area, or maybe providers who already have biosafety training. Sort these things out before moving to the next step.
Step 2. Leverage your network for supplier recommendation
If you’re in the events industry, chances are you’re surrounded by like-minded professionals who are experiencing the same challenges you are. So look through your contact list or LinkedIn contacts to find people who are running similar events and ask them if they can recommend any vendors. Since they’ve been working with different event suppliers, they may have a better idea of which providers can help you deliver quality.
Step 3. Check out the suppliers we have listed on eventplanner.net
Would you rent an Airbnb place without checking the reviews first? Would you trust a new software platform without reading the comments people leave on TrustPilot or Capterra? Chances are you’ll want first to see what your options are and what other people are saying about their experiences with a specific brand or person before you use it. Well, the same is true for event suppliers. At the end of the day, your events will depend on these people, so you’ll want to choose the best options out there.
That’s why we at eventplanner.net have worked relentlessly to build a space where you can find different event suppliers, check their ratings, and read customer reviews. Our catalog lists over 10,000 event suppliers and 1,000 event venues and is growing every day. Simply enter what you’re searching for into our search field—such as event catering, tent rentals, event agencies, etc.—and you’ll get a list of potential companies you can work with to plan your next event.
Step 4. Evaluate how autonomous the event suppliers can be
One important thing that sets great event providers apart from other event providers is their ability to come up with solutions by themselves without waiting for your directions. Great event providers are creative and resourceful, meaning you don’t have to be the one telling them what to do. So that’s an aspect you’ll want to evaluate when searching for suppliers.
The best way to do that is present them with a planning challenge you’re having and ask them how they would solve it. For example, considering the new normal we’re all living in, you may want to ask their opinion about the furniture layout in a specific venue and how they would help the attendees maintain social distancing. Or you can ask them their approach regarding unexpected tech issues during a keynote speech. Their responses will give you a better understanding of the company’s work approach and their ability to be independent while coming up with actionable solutions to your planning problems.
Choosing the best event suppliers in the COVID-19 era doesn’t have to be time-consuming or stressful. You just need to be aware of the requirements you have and the event logistics you want to cover. Use your professional network to find supplier recommendations, and check out each supplier’s reviews and ratings, or check out our directory of event suppliers and read their descriptions, reviews, and ratings. Finally, when interacting with potential event providers, prepare a list of questions or potential challenges. When you meet with these suppliers, ask them these questions and evaluate how innovative, autonomous, or resourceful they can be. Subsequently, evaluate the information you’ve collected and work with the event providers that best suit your needs.