Is This The Future Of In-Person Event Design?

During the Covid-19 pandemic the industry has taken a massive hit, and although virtual life has become a normality for many of us, it still does not match the connection we crave in the real world. 

Research is constantly proving the immense importance of social connection on our health and well-being, and whilst we are on the verge of a loneliness epidemic, events and community are now more important than ever. 

With social contact laws possibly being relaxed on June 21st, the question is, how do we now design large events to instil confidence back into our consumers?

In The Mind Of The Consumer

How do consumers really feel about returning to in-person events?

Source: Adam Parry

82% of festival-goers feel comfortable returning to an event within one to six months of lockdown being lifted, despite not being vaccinated.


Due to the virus severity and potential long term effects, hosting large events is a major risk considering the vaccine rollout will not be complete. However, the vaccine could build confidence for consumers and increase the likelihood to return. 

Although, many fans appear to be staying loyal by holding onto tickets ready for re-scheduling. 


Event organisers are urging the Government to announce mandatory vaccinations before attending large events. Confidence in having the vaccination is rising as survey results show a shift from 55% to 77% from November to February (Justine Alford, Institute of Global Health Innovation).

Although, it has been suggested to be discriminatory as it would be granting privileges to vaccinated people, which could create conflict.

Hybrid events: 

A study by Julius Solaris (EventMB) suggests that 70.5% of event managers will have a digital strategy in place after the pandemic. However, 80% of virtual event attendees are keen to attend in-person events within the next 12 months (Shea Bennett, The Drum).

For others who do not feel safe attending in-person events, hybrid gives the opportunity to reach consumers from home. So, what can event managers do to increase consumer confidence at in-person events?

How Has Consumer Confidence Already Been Created?

Events and hospitality industries around the world during the pandemic were able to find creative solutions to safely continue their operations.

Some examples include:

A German café provided customers with ‘pool noodle’ hats to ensure social distancing.

Paris created a cinema on the water where attendees could watch a film from the comfort of socially distanced electric boats.

The Flaming Lips rock concert had the audience watching from inside “space bubbles”.

A bar in Maryland has used giant inflatable ‘bumper tables’ to allow people to grab a drink with their friends.

Using creativity to design safer spaces for attendees is the way forward, giving consumers the confidence to return to events as well as keeping them fresh and fun.

Creating Consumer Confidence At In-Person Events

There are numerous ways you can design your events to increase consumer confidence, here are some innovative ideas you could implement:

Source: Georgia Spackman
(Created using Canva)
  • Covid Passports:
    • People will feel safer at events if everyone there has a covid passport to prove they have had the vaccine
  • Testing:
    • The possible implementation of a negative result to gain entry, as 40% of people do not show any symptoms (Elisabeth Mahase at BMJ)
  • Marshalls:
    • Covid Marshalls help ensure everyone is sticking to regulations as consumers can momentarily forget about the measures
  • Accreditations:
    • People will feel safer returning to events if they are accredited as Covid safe by VisitBritain – ‘We’re Good To Go
  • Technology: 
    • Perhaps technology is the future of event safety, with new devices constantly being developed
  • Apps:
    • No physical ticket
    • Time to enter feature (reduce queuing, arrival time and entry location)
    • Virtual waitlist 
    • Track and trace 
  • UV Lighting: 
    • UV robots- Moving from room to room using UV light to kill bacteria without supervision
    • Lighting systems disinfect entire rooms with ultraviolet light
  • Artificial Intelligence 
    • Automated check-in terminals using facial recognition to streamline key touch-points
    • Digital assistants and chatbots to provide information
  • Wearable Technology
    • Smart wristbands- vibrate when you get too close to one another
    • Controls access, monitors behavior and traces contact
    • Colour coding to indicate comfort levels in regards to socialising and social distancing

Source: Cotton Bro (

Tell Us Your Thoughts!

How do you feel about the return of events without the entirety of the UK being vaccinated? 

Do you think the increase of hybrid will decrease footfall at events?

What methods do you think will make consumers more confident to attend events again?

(Thanks to Aleksandra Kingo for permission to use header image)


Tracey Spackman says:

I think most people are looking forward to attending live events, but I think it will be after all people have received the vaccination, unless there is some sort of covid free guarantee. Obvious signs of crowd control, cleaning etc would need to be in place.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Tracey,

Thank you for your comment and your opinion on the subject, it is interesting to hear different peoples views on attending large events without the entire UK being vaccinated.

Jayne smith says:

Very well written I enjoyed reading all the different ideas and found them quite thought provoking!

Blog Authors says:

Hi Jayne,

Thank you for your comment, we are glad that it made you think about different perspectives around Covid-19 and how the events industry will come back.

Amanda Jane Wilson,
I feel that the footfall will be affected, across the population, for quite a few years to come.
Depending upon different countries, covid statistics, and Government guideline policies.
The vaccine roll out, will hopefully boost consumer confidence , combined with Companies adhering to consumer safety regulations.
Social media, plays a large, role in marketing, supporting, investing in and promoting the hospitality industry.
These information blogs help , to encourage, and promote, ideas, to help companies, support their clients.
Thank you for the information
Keep up the good work
I look forward to Reading, your future information blogs.
Kind regards
Amanda Jane
@Angels MBS Events.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Amanda,

Thank you for your comment, it is amazing to hear your opinion on the subject as you are an event professional yourself. We agree that there is not just one solution but rather a continual mix of different factors that will boost consumer confidence and they have to be executed very precisely. I like your point on Social Media, it is a very effective tool to communicate to the consumers.

Grace Caira says:

I would like to start returning to social events but worry about other attendees may not following social distancing guidelines and wear appropriate PPE.

If events can provide more assurance to ensure that other attendees will adhere to the above I would feel more confident attending.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Grace,
Thank you for your thoughts on the subject, we agree and this is why we believe Covid Marshalls are essential at events to enforce the restrictions.

Natalie says:

Great blog, really enjoyed reading your findings and was unaware that other countries had already implemented some quirky regulations such as pool noodle hats and watching concerts from a bubble! Very innovative! Within my like if work we offer training and events and the lack of human interaction has been difficult for many, especially if it is an emotive topic which may require human interaction. It’s very difficult to see people becoming upset or emotional whilst on a screen and not being able to offer a tissue or a hug… financially it helps cut the cost of hiring a venue and refreshments but again this is something that will domino effect in harming the economy…

I do also worry that mental health is at an all time low and this may also effect attendance when places do start opening up as individuals may have increased anxiety about integrating or being in large crowds….

One things for sure, a lot of attitudes and peoples way of doing things will very much be altered post covid! Fingers crossed we get up and running soon!

Blog Authors says:

Hi Natalie,

Thank you for your comment, the lack of human contact has affected many peoples mental health and this is why we believe in-person events are essential. We agree that there will be a transition period where footfall to events will be low however it is now up to the events companies to boost the confidence of consumers by creating Covid safe events.

Adrian Spackman says:

I would attend an event now if allowed. Especially if it’s outdoors. I don’t think any special precautions will make much different to my attendance.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Adrian,

Thank you for your opinions, outdoor events may become a popular option for event planners as consumers like yourself would feel more confident to attend compared to an enclosed room.

Julie Rutter says:

Great ideas & info
I would most certainly attend an event. To me i would need some kind of re-assurance that everyone there is on the same page & adhering to rules whatever it takes i am on board with any means


Blog Authors says:

Hi Julie, thank you for your response!

It is good to see that people are becoming more confident as time goes on and more accepting of the types of procedures, that have been presented within the blog.

Would you be happy if this to continue in the future and do you feel these actions will be here to stay long-term?

With the hopes of many events going ahead at this current point for the 21st of June, these procedures being implemented will hopefully increase confidence and safety for those who are still uneasy with the process of the new-norms. However, with the use of technological advancements such as UV robots decreasing the rate of infection by over 50% – do you feel these will be effective and make further impact within the events industry?

Gemma says:

Very enjoyable blog to read and it does leave some room for thought.
I think it’s safe to say that everyone has been missing events lately and will be welcomed back by the majority.
I personally think if events can do their best to ensure everyone’s safety then slowly but surely people will begin to feel normal and relaxed regarding their safety.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Gemma,

Thank you for your engagement and positive feedback. I’m glad we are not the only ones missing events! Do you think covid safety measures are here to stay?

Jonathan Mack says:

Very well written article. I personally believe demand for events will return immediately. There is a huge amount of pent out demand out there for events and sociallising which has been banned for a year now on and off. This will be exaggerated further by younger people where statistics prove are largely unaffected by the virus in any case. Added to this, for those who haven’t lost jobs, full time or part time, they’ll likely have some savings behind them whereby they haven’t been able to do much over the past year allowing them to increase discretionary spending. Just look at the statistics behind overseas holiday as soon as the lockdown roadmap was unveiled. Travel firms have seen a booking surge- easyJet has already noted a 630% demand for holidays. Events will be the same – just look at ticket sales for Leeds and Reading festival which immediately sold out.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Jonathan,

Thank you for your contribution and your interesting thoughts on this topic. We agree that there will be a demand for events as lots of people have been missing them throughout the pandemic. However, many people may still be wary attending events especially as a lot of younger people may not be vaccinated by the anticipated return date for larger events. Therefore, it may be useful to use safety measures to increase consumer confidence across all age groups. How would you feel attending a large event with not all of the audience being vaccinated?

Jade Wyatt says:

Brilliant read. I believe that this could be an opportunity for event planners to utilise when opening up the market whilst making events different, fun and creative for attendees. Also, demonstrating new and improved ways to go to events will catch people’s eyes for being creative and fun aswell as safe. For example, the cafe in Germany where you have to wear them hats. This gives attending events and going out to eat a fun aspect and unique spin. Especially after the year we’ve had, I think it gives people the chance to feel free again and gives them a chance to get excited about something to look forward too.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Jade, thank you very much for your comment!

Really glad you enjoyed reading our blog and viewing the creative examples we included. Definitely, there are many creative, fun and new ways to be able to socialise and feel safe at the same time when returning to events! Glad to see you think these ideas could be implemented by event planners, as the beginning could be the most important step to build confidence in the attendees who are still unsure about their safety. How do you feel about returning to large scale events this summer, would you feel safer knowing there are many safety precautions in place even after social contact laws have been lifted as planned?

Really interesting blog. Was fascinated by the ‘innovative’ methods that some companies are trying to assist with social distancing. Unfortunately I think a lot of them are unpractical and most people would not want to have to wear something to aid social distancing. I believe that most people are ready and looking forward to attending events again but most likely once the majority of the UK are vaccinated. I doubt a vaccine passport will be needed for most events but I expect that restrictions on the numbers attending events will be in place for some time. I feel that as long as an event is seen to be doing as much as it can then this will be enough for the vast majority of the general public. The thing that would make me feel a the most unsafe is too many people at a venue even if there had been testing etc, I think subconsciously the need to distance is now somewhat ingrained and would cause anxiety if there are too many people.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Natalie, Thanks so much for your response to our blog!

Absolutely agree, as events are such a big part of peoples lives, and demand will likely be high for returning as suggested through some summer festivals selling out recently. The innovative examples show the creative ideas managers have been able to introduce to run events during these difficult times, we thought these were really great ways to continue events during the pandemic, but perhaps when rules are lifted these events wouldn’t be so popular anymore. Do you think social distancing is here to stay for more long-term as consumers now feel differently to being in crowded areas or just for short-term until we re-adapt?

Adam Bolas says:

This is a fascinating & in-depth discussion about the events industry and how the sector will change after the pandemic is over!

I really enjoyed understanding the psychology behind the data you’ve presented.

In answer to “How do you feel about the return of events without the entirety of the UK being vaccinated? ”

I feel relatively at ease, as long as I’m vaccinated and the majority of the population is vaccinated too. Without nation-wide immunity, I’ll be staying cosy at home.

Blog Authors says:

Hello Adam, thank you very much for your comment!

We are really glad you enjoyed reading our blog, and it is great to hear your opinion on the vaccine. For those people who do not yet feel safe enough or may not be vaccinated when events return, they may be hoping for other measures to keep them safe at events as we all re-adapt to normal life.

Maria says:

Great blog, crucial for understanding emerging insights. Very interesting to read about the consumer responses to industry implementing quick changes! I think it is always important to promote responsible behavior among event attendees especially after many events have now set new rules and regulations around public safety. Events attendees would feel safer if all the regulations would be followed by not only staff but all the event visitors.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Maria, it’s great to here your thoughts! Thank you for commenting.

We agree, as many people may feel happy to return without rules in place, there are many who will not yet feel comfortable being back in crowded event spaces. It may now be important for event managers to implement these safety precautions to make everyone feel safer even if the social contact laws are lifted, as it may take a lot of re-adjusting to normal life and feeling comfortable attending large scale events again. What precautions would make you feel safe to attend events again?

Grace says:

As a professional in the theatre and events industry, Covid has not only effected my career and working life, but like many others my life has been stripped of the things I enjoy the most, such as attending festivals and other events. Currently, I feel that a lot of people are counting on the vaccine to provide a return to ‘normal life’. Personally, I don’t think we can fully rely on this option so it is refreshing to read some of the creative and reliable solutions that you have stated above, such as the Covid Marshals. I do not agree with the idea of making vaccines mandatory in order to attend events as I feel this goes against peoples’ human rights. Due to being young and healthy, I am personally only considering getting the vaccine in fear that I will not be able to attend large scale events/travel abroad. I feel like it is not necessary for everyone to be vaccinated if there are other safety precautions in place such as negative test results. Health and Safety is at the forefront of the theatre industry, with in depth risk assessments and safety measures used throughout I have no doubt that shows will be able to put on safely. I feel if events/festivals/productions are organised and managed in the correct way then they will pose the same amount of threat of going to your local supermarket so bring back ‘normal life’ I say, vaccine or no vaccine.

Blog Authors says:

Hello Grace,

It is great to hear from you as a professional in the events industry! Thank you so much for leaving your thoughts on our blog.
Covid really has turned the events industry upside down, but it is a very hopeful time as we know many people are really looking forward to returning to events.
It is great to hear your opinion on the vaccine, we also agree a lot appears to be riding on the vaccination being able to bring back normality. However, having some of these other solutions in place could definitely create even more confidence in returning to events and for people to be and feel safer.
What precautions would make you feel safer to attend an event again?
And what types of safety precautions will be implemented at the theatre when shows can return?

Sarah Ingram says:

Cannot wait to get back to live events/sports – this last 12 months has been soooo long – cant come soon enough as long as its all safe to do so.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Sarah, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!

Definitely agree, events are such an important part of many of our lives and enable us to create such amazing memories. Would you be happy to return to an in-person event without having the vaccination? Or what safety measures would help you feel confident to attend?

Emma Allen says:

Definitely some really interesting ideas which I think may encourage more participation, especially from younger people. I think it will take a few years for people to feel fully confident to attend full scale events. I think these adaptions or smaller events will be around for some time, as we’re all desperate to do something.

Blog Authors says:

Hello Emma, Thank you for your comment!

We agree, as many peoples mind sets may have changed due to the pandemic, it may take some time to become confident in a crowded space again. Really good point on the smaller scale events, as these can be easier to maintain safety measures and help people feel safer, whilst enabling people to enjoy the event atmosphere again. What precautions would help you feel safer to attend events again?

Mark Ware says:

As a director of a company who regularly exhibits at many shows a year this gives some valuable insights into the the road ahead. An excellent piece in my opinion that i will be using at my next management meeting to discuss our potential attendance at exhibitions for the rest of the year. After all for companies like mine it could be a 50k gamble. Well done, great food for thought. Maybe the event organisers should should read this before proposing any shows this year, after all you clearly are the expert in the room.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Mark, thank you for your comment!

We are glad that you liked our blog and that you are using it in your meeting! Events can be expensive and it is important to create measures to ensure that attendees feel safe and comfortable returning to events again, so that money hasn’t been wasted. Event organisers need to create consumer confidence in events otherwise there will be limited attendance at in-person events. For a while, it may be better to run smaller, socially distanced events, to help encourage consumers to return, without throwing them in at the deep end with returning immediately to events as they were.

Ade Grattan-Keenan says:

Like most people, part of my working and social life revolves around public events and gigs at Arenas and I can’t wait till they are reopened unheeded by government guidelines around social distancing and capacity. Unfortunately there still needs to be guidelines as to how they are reopened as some potential customers/staff who have been vaccinated and may have vulnerable family members and may be hesitant in attending if there is no restrictions to those who refuse to be vaccinated. However if you create a two-tier society as to those who have been vaccinated and those who have not which prevents some members attending due to their personal beliefs then this may be seen as some form of discrimination.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Ade, thank you for your comment!

We agree that if you start separating society by those who have been vaccinated and those who have not then it will create some tension and could be classed as a form of discrimination, however, it would not be safe to run events and have people there who have not been vaccinated as it will just increase the infection rates again, and could lead to another lockdown, which would not be good! Do you think it would be better to run events, and then not allow attendees in unless they can prove a negative test result? Or do you think this could still create discrimination, if so what would you suggest doing? Would it be better to just not run events at all until everyone (that can) has been vaccinated?

Ade Grattan-Keenan says:

Hi Annie, i don’t think we should wait to reintroduce public events for the livelihood of those who work in that environment. I think that as a start any events should be only attended by those who have received the vaccination so that it can be seen if there is any spread as no vaccine is 100%. Also this may be a form of reassurance to those who attend of the safety measures being implemented.

As time progresses and the R rate is within acceptable levels then further test gigs could be introduced to see if there is impact.

I do think that it may be a necessity to promote Track and Trace in case of another outbreak. Especially if not everyone has the vaccination. This may prevent any discrimination.

Laura says:

Very interesting read with lots of valued information! As someone who works within the hospitality industry I would definitely love to see events going ahead again this summer as the past year has been very difficult and constantly changing. The health and safety of all is the first priority for the hospitality industry and by ensuring everyone attending any large scale event has a negative COVID-19 test, wearing face masks and effective social distancing I feel would allow attendees and employees to feel more comfortable and confident. Overall I do feel it is very important ensure everyone’s safety and health however to allow the event and hospitality industry to bounce back from the past year is needed not just for the economy but for people’s livelihoods. By allowing events such as weddings to go ahead in a safe way will allow this to happen.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Laura, thank you for your comment!

We are glad that you found our blog interesting to read! We agree that it would be great to see events returning this summer, but safety does need to be the first priority. Do you think that asking everyone to prove a negative test result could create tension?

It is important to make sure that all measures that are in place, eg. mask-wearing, are followed to help keep staff and attendees safe. Do you agree that having Covid Marshalls in place would help make sure everyone is following the rules?

We agree that the return of events is extremely important for the economy, peoples livelihoods, and also mental health, and we look forward to the return of events!

Jayne Osbourn says:

Live music is life! I like many different genres but especially love rock and dance music which are always busy sweaty events. I always choose standing because I can’t keep still and I love the atmosphere of everyone jumping around together. While I’m desperate to get back to gigs I’m also quite nervous at the thought of dozens of unvaccinated people all around me, singing loudly and firing bits of saliva on and around me! The viral load a person gets can affect how ill they get so imagine being in a room of over a thousand people!
I fully support a vaccination passport (with some kind of provision made for people who genuinely can’t have it) as I would feel safer knowing that the chances of anyone there having the virus would be minimal. I think social distancing at a gig would spoil the event and be very difficult to police.
I have tickets for about 6 different gigs this year, indoor and outdoor, so I’m praying that a solution can be found and I can fully enjoy these events.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Jayne, thank you for your comment!

We understand that you are nervous, and we think that many people are feeling the same way as you, but we hope that by the time that concerts return there will be measures in place to help keep everyone safe, whether this is a vaccination passport, or proving a negative test result before being allowed into the venue.

We agree that social distancing does somewhat change the atmosphere of an event, especially concerts, but it is an important measure in stopping the spread of Covid. What other measures would suggest having at events, if social distancing was not in place?

We hope that the current climate improves and you are able to attend the events you have planned for this year!

Some nice insight.
One of the things a lot of venues are failing to do is install appropriate ventilation and air conditioning. Partly because it’s expensive, especially with noise issues, partly because the UK has never embraced it. Other countries are, as usual, streets ahead.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Paul, thank you for your comment!

Proper ventilation at venues is extremely important, but one of the features of the UV robot means that if a venue doesn’t have proper ventilation it can disinfect the room in a matter of minutes, however, it would be best to have the UV robot in place as well as the correct ventilation methods. Do you have any other methods that you would recommend for venues to have in place? We would love to hear any new and innovative ideas that you may have to help improve the safety of attendees at events, and may even allow events to happen sooner.

Jordan says:

Found this to be a super interesting read. Personally, I would feel more comfortable attending outdoor events with proper safety precautions and love the innovative ideas that were found here. I especially loved the idea of UV robots to kill the bacteria. I think adding these kinds of extra safety measures along with things like wearable tech, pool noodle hats or the bumper tables etc are a fun way of ensuring safety and making people feel more confident with attending events. Giving people a way of having fun while sticking to safety precautions is a good way to get people to feel comfortable and excited with getting back to their lives and attending events they love after the hard times they’ve endured over these past months.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Jordan, thank you for your comment!

We are glad that you found our blog interesting, and love the idea of UV robots! It is most likely that events outside will return before inside ones, as this does make people feel more comfortable. Creating confidence is a big part of getting attendees to return to events, and we agree that if it is made fun as well it will encourage people to return!

Do you think that the lack of events over the last year has had an impact on mental health? Events create an escape from regular life and without this, we are stuck inside, when events do return do you think there will be an immediate boom, or will people be hesitant for a little while?

I do believe for the events industry they would want festival goers as soon as possible but would you think the organisers (depending on the social contact laws) would go as far as not allowing people into venues if not vaccinated or at the least proof of a negative test to enter the venue?

I understand for outdoor it may be more relaxed but any event (a conference perhaps) may enact this type of system in place?

Blog Authors says:

Hi Marcus, thank you for your comment!

In our opinion, for outsourced events such as festivals, it would be possible for events to have in place a rule baring none vaccinated people into the event, however for internalised events, like a conference within a company, it would not be possible to do this, as companies cannot force their employees to get the vaccine, and cannot then bar them from a company event for not having one, but with festivals, people do not need to attend them and therefore it would be possible to implement such a plan.

With proving a negative test result, it would be important to have this at any event, as this would help to stop the spread of covid, and you would not be discriminating against anyone for not having the vaccine. If it was for a company event, and an employee needed to be there it would be easier to turn it into a Hybrid event and allow people to access the event online. In theory, this could also be done at a festival, but it would be more difficult to plan and it may be easier to refund someone if they turned up and had a positive test result.

Felicity forster says:

I feel like there will be a real rise in virtual events due to the development of technology in the last year. At the same time, I am very excited for real events to start again (however June 21st may be too soon for mega events for me)!

Blog Authors says:

Hi Felicity,

Thank you for your comment, we also believe that virtual and hybrid events will become a large part of the events industry. It is interesting to hear your views on returning to events, if you were vaccinated would this change your decision?

Kelly Turley says:

Personally I think covid safe places will be so difficult to police. From working in the industry, for many years, I struggle to see how this can be effectively achieved. No vaccine, no entry is harsh. This would in turn mean, no vaccine, no working in the industry. Covid passports will be on the black market in no time, lateral flow tests give many false negative results, so these cannot be a reliable source for entry …. I am testing weekly for my full time job, and not once have I been asked for identification when attending! How do we know the test results are for the person who is carrying them? Again a system easily up for abuse! All of us in the industry know what an impact the Manchester Arena terrorism attack had on the arena footfall, it hasn’t been the same since. I pray the industry can be rebuilt and people will have faith in those who manage these events to make them as safe as humanly possible. We can however, only make it as safe as the people who attend allow!

We all know social distancing when intoxicated goes out the window, and trying to eject someone or search effwctively upon entry socially distanced would be interesting, full PPE to be worn?! Good luck to all of those in the industry in building it back up. I’ll see you all there!

Blog Authors says:

Hi Kelly,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, restricting access to consumers who have had the vaccine is harsh, however, do you think it is a necessary precaution to reduce the spread of the virus? We believe to begin with footfall to events will be low however, consumer confidence will be slowly rising as they are able to see how the events are run and whether they would feel safe to attend the next one. What methods need to be in place for you to feel safe attending events?

Holly says:

Great article!
I think that confidence in attending events will rise as more of the population receive their first vaccination. Considering Reading Festival has already sold out I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people have experienced a confidence boost just knowing that most vulnerable people will be vaccinated by then.
I think it’s likely that hybrid events will lead to a drop in physical footfall (especially in corporate events) but a rise in attendance overall as events become more accessible to home viewers. As for recreational events, I suspect that people who couldn’t otherwise engage with the event will make use of the virtual side, whereas anyone who wants to attend and can attend in person probably will, so less of a decrease in footfall there.
Hopefully hand-sanitising and masks for crowded areas will stick around for a bit, to help support the opening up process.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Holly,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, we believe there will be a transition period as events begin to come back, many consumers are still worried and they may be interested to hold back and see how these events are run before they begin to return. Hybrid and virtual events will be a part of the future of the events industry, but as you said footfall to the events may be low however the attendance for the events could be more than the live event itself.

Reece says:

As someone who loves festivals, I would really like to see events like this happening again. Although safety precautions need to be high Amidst the pandemic, I feel like this is going to be a good social network for everyone again. It will also bring some joy in what has been a depressing time. As someone who is weary (a bit of a conspirist) I’m not sure how vaccination will work at an event like this, as lots of people like myself may not be ready to take a vaccine, on lack of time of testing, and to be reassured that it is ready for human consumption. However I feel if this is a safety precaution needed to ensure return of festivals, I believe most people will be ready to oblige.

Blog Authors says:

Hi Reece,

Thank you for your comment, many consumers like yourself really crave events, we agree that events are essential for your mental health due to the social interaction and having a sense of escapism which we have all missed. It is intriguing to hear your views on vaccination, as many consumers cannot wait to get it. If the vaccination was mandatory to attend events, would it change your view?

Becca says:

This was such an interesting read- especially as I’m the kind of person who I just so excited to get back out and go to events (even though I haven’t been vaccinated), that I kind of forgot about the fact that actually there is still a huge risk of getting the virus this way.. I think we so badly want to get back out there that so many of us have stopped caring in a way!

I think the idea of doing a COVID test upon entry to events and/or carrying COVID passports will be a really good way to monitor this and also make people attending these events feel safe. It will also be great for those who still have anxiety about attending events, because then they won’t miss out either!

Blog Authors says:

Hi Becca, thanks for your comment. Yes it’s so easy to get excited about returning to normality that it’s easy to forget about the risks! We agree that some sort of testing or proof of a negative result is a great way to reduce anxiety for those who are still cautions about being around a large number of people again!

John Taylor says:

A great read with some interesting points raised.The pandemic has massively effected the events industry , but being one of the most creative industries it will bounce back stronger with new approaches. There is a huge appetite for events , recently Leeds and Reading festival going on sale and selling out quickly. Organisers will have to build in COVID plans into their operations, I believe event attendees will need to play their part as well. Working in the industry for many years sometimes it can be challenging to manage crowds even without COVID going on .Its going to be interesting to see how we have plan and adapt to new ways of thinking moving forward.

Blog Authors says:

Good Morning John,

Thank you for your feedback and thoughts on our blog.

We feel the same, as being young event students graduating this year the future was not looking so bright at the start of the pandemic and throughout. However, with people adapting to new circumstances and the Governments roadmap creating a clearer picture, new strategies and procedures being put in place for hundreds of thousands of creatives out there this we feel has sparked optimism and hope. As most being put on furlough, this has allowed time for reflection and appreciative inquiry to be utilised in rebuilding for the better, having more of a focus on CSR benefits, safety and wellness being main priority.

We agree, that is it very exciting when you see huge festivals such as Reading and Leeds to sell out in just a few moments as this creates hope within a stronger event community and shows the interest and demand from event fans.

We feel this time away from the operational aspect of the roles which we play will increase focus on making the future brighter, more creative as demonstrated already within the few examples of the blog and unify the industry as a collective. Additionally, opening new doors for those interested and new prospects for many to engage with events professionally and on a personal level. On the plus side, with understanding these safety procedures and with some if not all being put in place will create a sense of assurance for those front line professionals interacting with the public and also offering a guide for attendees, conveying the expectations that need to be met in creating a harmonised environment for the future.

Picking up your point about crowd management, what do you think COVID Marshalls could do as an extra precaution in creating a safe environment and do you wearable smart wristbands will have an impact on peoples awareness?

John Taylor says:

I appreciate they will additional costs in managing events post COVID , event organisers will won’t want to spend thousands on additional manning which could possibly be done with existing staff. The buy in will need to come from the customers attending events , having dealt with all genre of events in my career , some are more challenging than others.

Hayley says:

Great thought provoking article. Personally, I don’t know anyone who can’t wait to return to normal and attend events ASAP.
Added to this, I think so many of the younger generation have already tested positive for covid 19 and therefore aren’t as nervous about infection.
The older generations are bound to be more cautious for some time understandably, but once people have received their second dose of the vaccine, this will hopefully fill people with confidence to attend events.
I believe society are yearning for social interaction and something to look forward to; therefore I can see the event industry really profiting when social restrictions are lifted, especially for those who have worked through the pandemic where finances are perhaps more stable than ever.
In response to your question about the vaccine rollout not being complete once restrictions are lifted: I think it would be impossible to demand vaccine passports when so many 18+ won’t have had the opportunity to have received their vaccination yet.
Therefore, I feel we all have a moral responsibility to take advantage of at home testing kits and local testing sites in order to keep positive cases to a minimum once we are out of lockdown.
Furthermore, I would not be adverse to attending a testing facility upon entrance if it means attending a large scale event.

Blog Authors says:

Hello Hayley,

Thank you for engaging with our blog and giving your thoughts!

It is felt that many people are in harmony with your opinion on this topic, as you have stated as time goes on many young people are willing to get back socialising and interacting with friends and loved ones, and rightly so. Speaking on behalf of young people out there, it is felt as though what could have been a great year exploring different avenues, undergoing new activities and experiences has been taken away from us, especially when the Government is to extend lockdown dates for social restrictions to be lifted. However, this is also the same for older generations that are missing loved ones and spending quality time with one another as many of us cherish spending time going to events and social gatherings, whether that be going to your local farmers market, heading out to a concert or seeing a show in the theatre it could be seen as unfair. Nonetheless, this time has enabled everyone to sit back, reflect and appreciate the times we once had and will in hope have again soon!

Also, in agreement with your point on those working through the pandemic with extra savings accumulated will appreciate some normalisation again and hopefully give key workers the break they deserve, allowing them a chance to let their hair down and giving everyone something to look forward to. Additionally, about your thoughts on the COVID passport, we feel the same that is could be a struggle to enforce upon everyone and could be easily forged and replicated resulting in becoming an even bigger risk. Although, once everyone is to be vaccinated it might be something for the Government to look into as an extra precaution. However, with new technology evolving constantly there could be adjustments made to apps such as the NHS app highlighting to event vendors a negative result done prior to arrival which would be a more sustainable way of implementing safety measures.

Overall, we are glad to hear you are looking forward to the return of in-person events and our blog has sparked food for thought in regards to your safety in the future.

Holly says:

A very well thought out and put together blog. I really like the bullet points part of the blog as it actually gives the reader something to think about.

Personally I would be happy to attend a small sit down event as soon as lockdown has ended as long as it is sit down and social distancing is enforced fully.

I do however think that stand up events with thousands of people (and a lot of alcohol) should not be done for a long time. I just don’t think it can realistically be managed and when people have had a few beers the social distancing will fly out of the window.

Blog Authors says:

Hello Holly, thank you for your comment.

We agree lots of people will still be wary attending larger events. Crowd management will be an important aspect for when events do return, the use of Covid Marshalls will hopefully ensure people comply with the rules and this will have to be very strict. The other procedures we have mentioned within our blog such as the potential Covid passport and testing could also help people feel more confident in attending.

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