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How will the events industry operate in a ‘new normal’ world?

Today, as part of our new Anything is Possible series, we spoke to Shaun Hinds, CEO of Manchester Central and Holly Moore, CEO of Make Events on how the events industry will operate in a ‘new normal’ world and how Manchester Central was transformed into a Nightingale Hospital in a matter of weeks.

You can now watch the webinar back here.

Here are our top takeaways from the event –

1.There will be a transition period back to ‘normal’- It is difficult to see where we will be in six months’ time. Medical treatments are constantly being developed and what seems impossible now could be normal in a few weeks. There is no substitute for getting together in real life. Conferences and awards will happen sooner as you can distance people easier, but the celebration market will take longer to come back to how it was – for the near future we will be looking at smaller events, formal lunches and virtual celebrations.

Events have already started happening again in China, The 2020 Hunan Auto Show, opened on 30 April. To qualify to visit the show, attendees had to submit an ID card and undergo a strict health and identity check prior to arriving at the venue.

2.Virtual and Live Events will work together in harmony – There is longevity in virtual, but we need to bring something more than just a Zoom webinar. Going forward when live events can happen again, we may look at producing them in different locations and streaming between them to minimise travel and large numbers of people in one room. You will also have to offer a virtual alternative as people might not want to go to your physical event, we must respect this and ensure they can attend in some way. Virtual is part of the events tapestry now.

3.Don’t create a virtual event for the sake of it – With so much uncertainty across the world, employers need to engage their team with a message, so everyone is on the same page. However, as the weeks go on, we are becoming more fatigued with hours of Zoom calls every day. There needs to be a way to make it interesting for the audience and an incentive for them to watch. There is a value in being present, so you need to let the audience at home feel like they’re a part of what is going on (like at a sports event where people are cheering from home!)

Virtual events could be a tremendous platform for promoting live events in the future. For example, Emily Eavis announced that Glastonbury Festival would be going virtual this year by showing performances from previous years. We will all watch and want to be there in the future

4.Broadcast quality equipment is vital – On zoom you are relying on multiple peoples Wi-Fi working to broadcast. This is not engaging. We have set up our own studio that is operated complying with social distancing rules to produce virtual events. We did our first virtual event using the studio last week – watch the highlights of the event here. Manchester Central are also looking at building a studio in their venue to allow live and virtual events to work in harmony – with the live event happening in the main room with everyone else watching at home!

You should also think about what you can use your filmed content for in the future. At Make Events, our footage from our Let’s Grow conference in 2019 is now used as part of our new staff induction plans to ensure the new team can intergrate, as they have seen the same content.

5.For live events, health and safety is your top priority – to start bringing people together for events there are a number of ways you can ensure the safety of your guests such as:

  • Track and trace apps
  • Check the guests’ temperature as they enter the venue
  • All guests to wear safety masks
  • Access control and changing venue capacities
  • Directional signage
  • Automated camera scanning

If you’d like to know more about Make Events please get in touch with Holly at As a creative agency we’re still taking enquiries for future events. We’re able to offer virtual events and we have a full design studio for all your graphic, content and branded products.

Get in touch

0161 549 0699