As we start to emerge on the other side of the pandemic, all things virtual are beginning to transition into the IRL experiences we all knew and loved pre-COVID. Over the course of the last year and a half, many of us have forgotten what it’s like to attend an event or gathering in person as opposed to through a screen -- let alone organize one. If you’re anything like me, it can feel pretty overwhelming to think about returning to IRL events. The crowds of people, the fear of COVID, the social interaction, all the other moving pieces… it’s a lot. How do you make guests feel comfortable enough to attend in-person events when there is still so much anxiety surrounding them? While it will take some time to really feel comfortable and confident putting together in-person events, there are definitely some things we can all do to make the transition as easy as possible. Keep reading to ease your mind regarding the URL to IRL switch and gather some tips on how to put together an in-person event in a post pandemic world.
This one is pretty obvious, but extremely effective. Making guests feel comfortable enough to come out to an in-person gathering will be key in returning to IRL events. To help people feel comfy, setting a guest limit and making it clear to attendees will not only make people feel safe at your event, but will also prevent you from getting too overwhelmed. We’re all getting back into the swing of things, and starting small is a great way to get used to IRL gatherings. Setting guest caps will help all parties involved in feeling safe and at ease.
Mask mandates easing up and vaccine numbers getting higher everyday doesn’t necessarily mean that we should ditch public health precautions altogether. While everyone has the right to decide what type of safety measures they want to put in place at their own IRL events, at least offering items such as masks and hand sanitizers to attendees upon arrival will go a long way. It will show attendees that you are mindful of the different feelings surrounding returning to IRL events and that thought was put into the planning. Again, your goal is to make everyone feel safe enough to attend, and this will definitely help in that.
Offering a hybrid event is a great way to get as many people as possible involved in your events post pandemic. There are some people out there who may feel ready and excited about IRL events returning, while others are anxious and hesitant. Offering a live stream, Zoom link, or virtual version of your IRL event when possible is something all people throwing events should consider. Returning to IRL events is a process for some people, so offering hybrid situations could make all the difference and expand your reach.
If possible, setting up an indoor-outdoor floor plan for your IRL event will give attendees more space to move around and socially distance if they feel like it. A lot of people feel way more comfortable in groups in outdoor settings given the nature of COVID, so this could increase attendance to in person events significantly.
There are plenty of services out there that offer rapid testing at the door for large gatherings and events. While there are a ton of people getting vaccinated, not everyone has, and that may give people pause when thinking about attending an IRL event. Services such as Link offer rapid testing at the door to IRL events along with many others. Looking into services like this could be a great way to encourage IRL event attendance.
IRL events are slowly but surely coming back. These pointers may seem trivial, but ensuring that people feel safe to come to your event is ultimately the key to a successful transition from URL to IRL.
We can now assist you with all your IRL event needs alongside the online ones you love from us with our custom reminder orchestration process. When creating your event, select IRL, pop the address of the event in there and then customise your registration and notifications. We have added in a handy CONTENT_LOCATION variable to make it super easy to reference the event address in your SMS and email reminders and campaigns. You can use that variable alongside others such as an attendees name and their unique referral URL in reminder notifications that you create and send for your IRL event via our Campaigns tool. We even have a handy explainer on how to use variables and trust us they make your workflow so much easier! Best practice is to send a reminder the day with all the details of your event and send a message thanking your attendees after and perhaps highlighting another event or some follow up content. You can read up on our event and campaigns tools here in our knowledge base to find out more about how Norby can make your transition back to IRL as smooth as possible.