According to most event industry reports, there will be a significant increase in the number of in-person events hosted in 2021. Even our own data here at Backstage supports this consensus. In a January article on our blog, The Green Room, we mentioned that around 1200 onsite events have already been scheduled on Backstage for this year. The number has been steadily increasing since then.
Of course, the chief focus of all in-person events, at least for the foreseeable future, will be safety and hygiene. Here are some ways Zoho Backstage can benefit you in your goal of providing a safer, socially-distanced onsite event experience for attendees.
Ensure contact-free event ticketing
Sell your event tickets in advance on Backstage’s commission-free event ticketing platform. This not only reduces queuing at the registration counter onsite, but also gives you an estimation of the number of attendees to expect so you can prepare accordingly. Another thing you can do to monitor and keep your event’s capacity in check is to limit the number of tickets available in each ticket class.
Collect attendee information
COVID-19 transmission will be a significant risk factor at in-person events for a few more months at the very least. You can use your custom registration form to ask attendees questions (if they’re showing any symptoms, if they’ve been in contact with a COVID-19-infected person, etc.); get their contact details; accept accommodation requests, if any; and more. The information you collect here can be synced to your Zoho CRM organization and help with contact-tracing later on.
Keep your attendees updated
An important part of making the return to in-person gatherings is alleviating attendee concerns about hygiene and safety. The more information you give them on what you’re doing to ensure their safety at the venue, the easier it’ll be for them to overcome their apprehensions.
You can create a custom page on the event website to explain all the safety procedures you’ve got in place for your event. The chat widget that’s included in our integration with Zoho SalesIQ can be used to answer attendee questions in real time.
Finally, during the event, you can make periodic announcements to remind attendees to wash their hands, wear face coverings, and follow other safety procedures. If you’re giving away complimentary items like hand sanitizers, masks, or gloves, you can mention them in your announcement so attendees are aware.
Reduce contact during event check-in and badging
The check-in counters at venues are one of those areas that can get crowded very easily. However, Backstage’s digital check-in features (along with crowd management tactics like staggered queues and physical-distancing markers) can help you avoid crowding at the event venue. You can use the Zoho Backstage for Organizers mobile app to check in attendees by scanning the QR codes printed on their event tickets. Also, during check-in, you can print the badges one at a time for each attendee, which they can then collect individually from a separate place.
Endorse socially-distanced interaction and networking
Attendees can participate in sessions right from within their smartphones using the Zoho Backstage for Attendees event app. They can ask (and upvote) questions, respond to polls, participate in discussions, and more. One benefit here is that no mic-runners and extra mics will be required during sessions. This is pretty important when it comes to reducing touchpoints at the session hall.
With regard to event networking, attendees can participate in discussion channels that can be accessed from the event website and the event app. You can even keep the channel live for a few days before and after the event to encourage attendees to take part in the discussions.
Follow up with attendees post-event
Staying in touch with attendees after the event is especially important, and it’s not just for the usual reasons like lead conversions. You have to contact attendees afterwards to check up on them and see if they’re well.
For this, you can use Backstage’s scheduled emails feature to get in touch with attendees once things are finished. Add a link to your post-event survey form in the follow-up email to get responses from them and find out if they’re showing any coronavirus-related symptoms. If anyone does, you can use the attendee details collected during event registration to start the contact-tracing process and inform other attendees to take precautions.
Apart from these, you can make use of our Zoho Flow and Zapier integrations to connect Zoho Backstage with your other event tools and increase efficiency. We wish you luck with your event!
If you’re looking for information on hosting safe onsite experiences in general, here’s an ebook from The Green Room that’ll answer many of your questions. We’ve also created and curated a set of resources to help event organizers prepare for beyond COVID-19.
Finally, if there’s something more you need from us or have questions, leave a comment below or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re happy to help!