How to manage attendee anxieties around face-to-face events.
EVERYONE HAS BEEN ON THEIR OWN JOURNEY
For the past 15 months it is important to acknowledge that everybody has been on their own journey. Some may feel very comfortable attending face-to-face events again, others may find it overwhelming to be near a large crowd. By understanding that everybody has been on their own journey and to not treat the audience as one, will make for a much better experience for those who are worried about attending live again.
BE CLEAR ON THE AVAILABLE SUPPORT
Throughout the pre-communications it is key to make sure that you are clear on what support is available to attendees. This may be mental health first aiders, a reset room or a dedicated contact for them to discuss their worries prior to the event.
COMMUNICATE YOUR COVID-SAFETY MEASURES
A large part of the anxiety around returning to a face-to-face event may be around how well managed the event will be from a COVID-safe perspective. Share everything you are doing as an organiser to keep a COVID-safe environment, including sharing the risk assessment, explaining the sanitisation process and listing all the measures that have been taken.
COMMUNICATE YOUR APPROACH TO
Don’t just focus on physical safety, communicate everything you are doing in terms of mental safety. This can be online and offline support, wellness elements, meditation areas or dedicated team members allocated to look after those who are anxious.
BE CONSCIOUS OF HOW PEOPLE GET TO YOUR EVENT
Recognise that it may not be just the event itself that could be anxiety driving. Attendees may need to get on transport to attend. Don’t just focus on sharing the closest tube station, instead map out where they could walk instead or suggest transport options which may be less crowded.
ASK AT REGISTRATION WHETHER THEY FEEL COMFORTABLE IN ATTENDING
Include a question at registration asking the attendee if they have any worries about attending. This can help to segment any communications on the lead up to the event, and help organisers give more focused support to those attendees.
SHARE THE SET-UP PRIOR TO THE EVENT
On the morning of the event, share the set-up on your social media, to help worried attendees feel more comfortable. This can just be a member of the crew going around with a camera.