It’s back to business for corporates, and rural venues are top of the list for rebooting team culture.
Prior to the pandemic, events had finally come of age earning a line in the marketing budget as they enabled customers, suppliers and prospects to get together face-to-face, to engage and to nurture relationships. In our new post-Covid world, encouraging face-to-face events for busines is highly problematic:
• there’s duty of care to consider
• there’s reticence to step outside tried and tested boundaries
• technology has revolutionised how we learn, network and work.
But are events really off limits or will they return as buoyant as before as businesses continue to build their brands and company culture? There are demonstrable green shoots from the business events market as companies seek to reward, recognise and restart. And with autumn marking a new beginning for businesses, and 1 October hopefully signifying a leniency for larger group sizes, we are heading into a new chapter for corporate events.
The last six months has seen trenchant change for the events sector and for the foreseeable future it will be governed by a new set of criteria:
• can this be achieved online?
• can we be seen to be spending money after making huge redundancies?
• can we reasonably ask our people to travel offsite?
• are we ‘Covid confident’ in the venue and supply chain?
Where the signs of recovery are coming from is the need to bring corporate teams back together again. After months apart, and for many a new way of life that’s no longer governed by showing face in the office, there’s a need for a reboot of company culture. After all, we’ve all got very used to the two way personality split with a shirt up top and shorts below – and while it seems productivity hasn’t been affected, it’s now time to regroup, reassess and reboot the company values.
Looking at the market in its entirety, it’s the countryside venues that are reaping the benefits as delegates can drive to them and aren’t reliant on public transport, plus there’s a nationwide appreciation for the great outdoors rubber stamped by the fact that there will be far less footfall than a city centre.
For venues with outdoor space, it’s time to show off those acres of grounds by working with your local team build partners to create a joint marketing strategy that focuses in on your local businesses and encourages them to rebuild the interpersonal trust that six months online eroded. Humans are instinctively social and while the benefits of working from home are proven, given the chance we all want to get together at some point.
We can wish ourselves back six months and dwell in what was or, as cogs in the wheels of the events industry, we can look forward and take the lead by encouraging business events back on the premise that successful companies rely on great teams. Great teams need developing and there’s never been a better time to reward, recognise and restart for the next chapter.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew White is MD of Triggerfish Communications, a specialist in helping heritage venues and leisure attractions build awareness and market share in the business of events. www.triggerfish.co.uk