27 May 2020

How the events will look like after Covid-19

(para português use o tradutor na barra lateral do site)
               The world has been under constant uncertainty since we as humanity started to face this unpredictable crisis with Covid-19. By now we know that our “normal” world is not going to look as normal as it used to be. Somehow it can have several benefits from a broader and environmental perspective in general if we take this time to reflect and change a variety of habits we used to have.
            Since my late 20’s I have been working as a Conference and Events Organiser and have been enjoying and acquiring some good experience in my history, Although, right now I am very skeptical of how the future scene is going to be for that profession. There are plenty of articles out there with ideas, prospects, and possibilities. However, I intend to briefly describe my experience in my first event after the restrictions are been lifted and step by step we are finding our way again.

               Just as a piece of base information, I live in Hobart, Tasmania, an island in the very south of Australia and since the very beginning of the crises the local government had closed its borders and is controlling in a very good manner everything and the cases were mainly found in the north of the island. There are today 11 days with no new cases here and the restrictions are been now a bit more flexible. Moreover, the government is tracking in many ways people that might be sick, for example, when they had found new cases they track all the step of the patient in the last weeks. Then, if a sick person said that he or she was in a specific bar they will try to find everyone that was there and test them all.
               That said, last Saturday I went to my first event here. It was a Food Market at the Hanging Garden. I was surprised of it been approved by the government at that stage of the Covid-19 procedure. Although, they have used all the guidelines provided by the Department of Health.
                So they were running the event with limited numbers of patrons available per time at the venue. That means they opened up bookings on their website even though they were accepting walking ins, but with no guarantee entry for those not previously booked. As I first step into the venue they took my body temperature with a no-touch thermometer and they got my name and phone number. In this way if someone reports sick in the following days saying that it was there in the event, the organizers can call every single person that was there on the same day to get tested for covid-19. The second procedure I noticed is that the way you have to walk through the venue is also controlled and there is only way to go throughout the place. They made use of bollards to manage it and lines on the floor were creating 1,5m distance from a person to another. On the website they were giving some guidelines to not touch any product displays, we should tell the vendor which one we want and they would prepare it for us. There was plenty of hand-sanitizer all over the place.
               I ended up been there shorter than I was expecting, of course, it wasn´t a social gathering as we are used to… not at all. It is a new time, a new moment where we will need to re-create everything and especially our social behaviors. The world it not the same anymore and we must get used to nevertheless how difficult and awkward it may seem.
               I truly don´t know how the events industry will look like after all, that experience was just a glimpse of how works life will look like for professionals like me. In other words, my professional future looks like a question mark at the moment.
               My final hope is that we as humanity will reflect on our behaviors and possibly build this new world with a new event perspective where we will find more conscious ways to socialize and produce events with a better environmentally mind even though I am personally considering finding a new profession somehow.
               And you? How do you think the world will look like when we think about socializing and gathering?


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