event summer camp

Pitching Your Tent: Selecting Event Types and Locations

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So far in Summer Camp Sessions 1 and 2, we’ve reviewed what challenges businesses are facing and what concerns they have when it comes to in-person and other kinds of events. Today’s camp-out will explore one of the pivotal aspects of any gathering – the venue.

These days, venue selection isn’t simply a matter of a physical space and its proximity to attendees. Now, more than ever before, venues must be able to:

  • comply with safety protocols
  • provide suitable technology infrastructure or support
  • offer creative alternatives for social distancing
  • be flexible in approaching activities, food & beverage, and other elements of the event

While this certainly means there can be some limitations in terms of traditional event spaces, in many ways, there are more choices for events. Virtual and hybrid events can take place in venues with a smaller footprint provided there are technology tools available. Likewise, spaces that previously seemed just a bit too large for a certain sized group now seems “just right” when allowing for social distance and separation for food service, parking, and other event essentials.

These same considerations also come into play when choosing the destination for an event. Our industry survey by EventMB reveals the following:

  • 58.% of people said they were more concerned with a destination’s COVID safety commitment and low local case rate than they were with the destination’s attractions.
  • Only 14.1% of people said they were ready to attend any meeting of any size
  • 40.3% said they would attend a local meeting (minimal travel needs)

According to those figures, in attending an event, safety remains a top priority. But how is that balancing against the effectiveness of virtual events?

  • Only 3.9% of people hosted their in-person events as they normally would have this past year
  • 23.3% of people postponed their in-person events
  • 47.1% of people pivoted their in-person event to virtual in the past year
  • 78.1% reported their virtual event shifts were generally successful
  • 42% reported they were able to shift, but not profitably
  • 42.8% reported their virtual events were either profitable or exceeded in-person event results

Activity Time!  Where to Put Your Tent?

You know your brand or business needs to return to events or continue creating meaningful touchpoints, but you’re not sure which is the right choice. Sound familiar? It’s the same kind of choice you face when packing for a camping trip and deciding where to set up camp. Figuring out your comfort level works much the same way too.

Campsite 1:  Safe and Simple

Pitching your tent in clearly marked areas, close to ranger stations, and with great cellphone signal is one way to safeguard against unexpected mishaps while camping. Events are the same. Outdoor venues, large spaces, or simple Zoom-style conferences fall within this category. They may not be as exciting as other options, but it may not be necessary for your particular audience. Ask yourself if a little more flair would generate enough response to overcome any resistance to try something new. For some businesses, the answer is no, and that’s okay.

Campsite 2:  Adventure… Lite.

Perhaps you’ve been working the Safe and Simple route for a while now, and you’re ready to level up. Or, it might be that you’ve been away from your audience for an extended period of time and you need to make a strong impression to win back their attention. In these situations, you may be comfortable going off the beaten path. It may be time to do an interactive virtual event that has swag bag deliveries, interactive entertainment options, and more. If you attended either of our Good Vibes events in the past year, those are great examples of this kind of campsite. It’s a few extra technologies and unique experiences layered on top of a familiar presentation style. For in-person events, it may be adding a new virtual component for the first time ever to go truly hybrid. Again, there are special technologies incorporated – but this time they’re connecting an in-person audience with a digital audience attending at the same time. Yes, it takes more planning, but the end result is often worth it. Ask yourself if your audience is large enough to split into a dual/hybrid audience, or if your virtual audience is savvy enough to try something new. This will help you identify the right path forward.

Campsite 3:   Thrill Seeker

Okay, you’re done with “standard” digital events and you’re not going to sit in another hotel ballroom again – ever. We get it. It’s time to push the limits of creativity and try something truly unique. Maybe, like one of our clients, you’ll choose to create a fully interactive virtual environment with personalized avatars that walk, talk, and mingle through multiple spaces – almost like a first-person video game. Or, maybe you’ll want to visit an aviation museum and see an air show, or go on a wilderness safari, or even… glamping. Ask yourself how much “wow factor” matters to your attendees, and what that may cost. If the budget and the big response both match up – then you know this is how to stand out in a crowd.

No matter what kind of event set up you’re considering, think of VIBE as your personal survival guide ready to help you navigate the event landscape. Let us know your needs at Contact@thevibeagency.com

About the VIBE Agency: The VIBE Agency is a Miami-based award-winning full-service production agency that specializes in the creation and orchestration of live and virtual experiences for the corporate industry.   The agency is forward-thinking and was recognized as one of the 50 top event companies by Special Events magazine in 2019 and 2020.  Most recently, Valerie Bihet, founder of the VIBE was named a Smart Women in Meetings 2021 Hall of Fame honoree by Smartmeetings, for her consistent work advancing the industry.  If it can’t be live, make it VIBE!

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