Is it starting earlier this year? My kids (young adults, actually Dad) are already talking about plans for enjoying the festive season and with an extended family, two grandchildren and siblings it is complicated, even for two experienced event organisers, to juggle the needs of step-parents, great granny et al.
Having learnt the dark art of delegation, honed to perfection by 25 years of running a business, or as my young adults would say, the art of lazy. I tend to take a back seat and let negotiations take place in the 2nd tier of management, trust me, it works.
And all this reminded me of Christmas parties. As a company we have had some memorable years and some not so. My favourite had to be last year’s stay at Amberley Castle with a cocktail making competition in the Alan Sugar Apprentice style, the worst, I have wiped from my memory!
What is going to happen this year? As a team we are back in the office enjoying a socially distanced and carefully managed working environment, but for us that is relatively easy. Being based in sunny and rural Rye, we have a large office with room to sit apart and nobody needs to commute by public transport, we even have room for a Friday evening after work drink together.
But what if you are a larger company based in a major city? Your staff may have been working from home for a long time now and there is a need for some social interaction.
There are few solutions really. One is a wait and see strategy, social distancing regulations may have eased, who knows? The reality though is that this is a risky strategy, with the likely position being much where we are now.
A venue could be booked, but if doing so, be very careful of the cancellation terms and Force Majeure and ensure that they are mindful of any social distancing and cleaning regulations in force.
Or you could use a virtual platform as a social meeting place with entertainment and opportunities for networking in smaller groups. There are many viable and fun solutions for this option.
My favourite would be a super hybrid event with staff in different locations enjoying smaller group, in person get togethers and with each location connected to a central virtual platform, a bit like Children in Need. Each location could demonstrate an activity or fundraiser, the opportunities are endless.
I’m looking forward to the challenges our clients will throw at us, whatever happens, it will be a very different year.
Until next time,
Malcolm Wallace, Managing Director at Dynamic Conferences & Events Ltd