A new era for live in-person events; are we ready?

Red lights at music venue with a crowd with arms in the air

A new beginning for live in-person events

As an ever-evolving industry that brings billions to the UK economy alone, we’re ready for live events to make a return so great that it’s worthy of a celebratory event itself. As industry updates trickle into people’s inboxes with a gleam of positivity instead of a myriad of negative news, promising changes are on the horizon.

Of course, there’s an abundance of proof that hybrid events work; Cannes Lions Festival, an event we’ve been significantly involved in before, is going virtual for 2021. It goes without saying that event organisations are continually rising to the challenge of unifying people online, but the hunger for live experiences is arguably greater than ever.

So, what will the future of live events look like?

Various experiments are underway to decipher how live events can effectively operate as vaccination programmes across Europe regain control of COVID-19. In order for the world’s largest pharmaceutical exhibition to return to Milan, organisers are implementing a company- wide model which comprises 10 safety points spanning hygiene, protection and a ban on business card exchanges!

A hotly debated topic throughout is the potential introduction of a COVID-status certification that will prove if someone has been vaccinated, has natural immunity or has a negative test when attending an event. This has the power to eradicate limited attendee numbers so full- capacity, commercially viable, events could again become reality. Numerous European events are hanging in the balance, eager for this news to break.

Preparations for the return of live music events

In the meantime, pilot events (where attendees act as guinea pigs in a remarkably fun scientific experiment), remain the most prevalent method. Liverpool recently opened its doors to 3,000 tightly packed nightclubbers, along with the first UK business conference since the pandemic struck. The city demonstrated admirable community spirit when quickly squashing a local COVID-19 outbreak, proving they have the infrastructure, capability and most importantly the ‘want’ to be instrumental in these efforts.

Further afield, three indoor concerts put Germany at the forefront of change in 2020, each with different social distancing parameters for comparison. Participants were tested on entry, while tracking devices monitored people’s positioning and fluorescent disinfectants identified the most touched surfaces. Some would say that events running under this level of control are safer places than the local supermarket! But the world of sports is getting involved too - in the UK, selected football matches form part of the Government’s Events Research Programme while the UEFA Euro 2021 tournament will be hosted across 11 countries with crowd capacities down to each local authority’s discretion.

The beginning of the end

Several pilot events have reported no alarming spike in cases, so there’s a strong indication that these efforts are worthwhile and could see social distancing scrapped when large-scale events properly return. Regardless of location and experiment type however, one unanimous feeling has prevailed: the pure emotion of attending a live event after so long.

Alpha Crew’s team are raring to get back on a site build when the time is right, and we’re thrilled to see the hallowed light at the end of the tunnel gradually shining brighter for our industry.

Get in touch via info@alphacrew.co.uk and let's discuss how we can support your next in-person event!