The definition of Maieutic is the Socratic method of eliciting knowledge by a series of questions and answers.
If we were to apply this to Event Planning in pandemic times, it would mean to erase all knowledge pillars and methodologies we have known until know and question everything.
This meaning we would have to rethink every step of the way, as business decisions are extremely difficult to make in uncertainty.
What are we facing now?
- Destination patterns are not valid anymore
- Long term planning is not an option at the moment
- Leak of vision on the future and development of the situation
- Security and health safety are a real issue for attendees and companies
- Event industry is shaking from grounds
- Collaborators and suppliers are disappearing or closing their business
- Accessing the information and getting to know the locations is very complicated
- Travelling is challenging
- Traditional clauses and contracts are overrated
- No international standards on health and safety for pandemic in tourism
- Technology and digital tools have become naturals in our daily work
- Food and Beverage cannot be used as a social tool anymore
- Human contact, big groups and crowds are a total NO
As all crisis, this type of situations are the ones that bring creativity back to life and incentive the struggle to survive by reinvention. And this is exactly what happened to the events industry: we have reinvented, created new formats and developed new skills and structures.
The Maieutic invites us to believe that we know nothing, we start with a white board in front of our eyes and we need to redesign this business.
Event industry may have to reconsider key aspects such as:
- Destination patterns and collaborators. The events industry has experienced many changes in the last months, professionals made redundant, companies closing, and destinations closed for sanitary reasons. Now it’s time to restart fresh: Update the data base, reconfirm the current situation of the suppliers you use to know and how they have adapted to the new circumstances, check new destinations and possible collaborators, look up for new products and business opportunities
- Planning timeline. Short time planning or re-planning needs to be considered as circumstances are changing from one day to another and back up plans start to be mandatory.
- Live Site inspections. Travelling restrictions and sanitary challenges are strong reasons to cancel all non-essential travel. Remote site visits and other virtual solutions may be options to consider.
- Contract clauses and conditions. Probably the biggest headache for eventprofs in the last period. The contract clauses and major force definition have been totally overrated so redesigning the contract clauses and asking for legal advice to change the policies may be of help.
- Types of set ups and venues. Meetings, workshops, trainings, congresses, etc were traditionally organized in indoor spaces such as meeting rooms and similar. And what if we could rethink this over and adapt the events and spaces creating new trends?
- Flexibility. Big volumes require precision in order to assure the control of the ongoing actions. Flexibility has been always been important, but many times understood wrong. Uncertainty requires flexibility and adapting to what comes next. so this may be the time to reconsider standard rules appliance, company policies, revenue procedures, budget forecasts and anything that may be subject to become flexible.
- Human contact and social dynamics. Happy hours, massive network events and fairs, open parties and interactive entertainment, large incentives, buffet working lunches are just a few examples of services and formats that need to be redesigned, Now it’s time to unleash that creativity that makes us good at this job.
- Offline versus Online. MICE industry has been an offline industry traditionally as it is tailor made, so the online format seemed probably too complicated until now. What happens when tasks that were performed offline until now cannot be done anymore this way. Innovation and online tools are here to help us out. We just need to explore and use the imagination.
In all crises, some are crying, and others are selling handkerchiefs.
Chose to sell handkerchiefs and maybe create your handkerchief business for tomorrow.