Working from home: Events industry in it for the long haul

IT glitches and system errors are now a thing of the past (thank you very much University of York IT) and we have settled into our new routines, however bizarre they may be. 

It is now clear this isn’t something that has just jumped into our lives for a couple of weeks and that we need to find a new ‘normal.’ As for many in this industry, we are now on skeleton staff, meaning that I feel the pressure of ensuring every enquiry counts alongside just having one zoom buddy within my team. So how do we stay positive?

Some days, I wonder, how long will it go on? When can I have an event? I have found the best thing to do is put this to one side. One thing event organisers love is planning and control, but accepting that this is beyond our control and everybody is in the same boat is stage one. 

I organise my working hours around childcare, doing home schooling alongside work at certain times, but dedicating other times to only do one or the other. I would like to thank any of my clients who have endured Power Rangers in the background, or that inappropriate scream from a toddler ‘I need a poo!’. 

Then, I then look to the future. If this goes on, what might we be able to do? The University of York has huge spaces, so we are looking into what we can still host and how we might support key workers through these difficult times. We are supporting NHS blood donation and NHS essential training, through using our large spaces and implementing social distancing. This could be rolled out to other events. We are working on new capacities, menus and systems. I am learning more and more about online conferencing, can we support smaller events in the future and extend them virtually internationally. I’m focusing on the challenges and planning for some different scenarios. This gives structure and clients a range of options from your event could be ‘normal’, ‘social distanced’ or ‘postponed.’ I am just one event organiser of many in the industry. Please share your experiences with us.

Sian

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