SOCIAL DISTANCING

Social distancing and what it means for the event industry

How can Social distancing save us from the COVID-19 pandemic?

Coronavirus outbreak is now a pandemic, as confirmed by the World Health Organisation. Given its scale and rapid rate of spread, it had to happen. While researchers are trying hard to develop the vaccination against coronavirus, we still don’t have a cure for the infection. As of now, we can only focus on prohibitive or preventive measures.  After it got confirmed that coronavirus can spread via face to face interactions, social distancing measures started making headlines. In this article, we’ll have a look at what is social distancing and how it’s going to impact the event industry.

What is social distancing?

Social distancing is a set of non-pharmaceutical infection control actions intended to stop or slow down the spread of a contagious disease. The idea is to make the transition harder for the virus.

Social distancing is the first line of defense against Coronavirus outbreak

What exactly happens in social distancing

  • Schools get closed (proactive or reactive). Online education is preferred over physical attendance in the classrooms.
  • Workplaces are also closed. The non-essential businesses (as opposed to essential ones- hospital, water supply, electricity, police, etc) are put to halt. Remote working/work from home is encouraged.
  • People prefer to stay isolated by avoiding any kind of mass gathering or public places.
  • The ones who show symptoms of infection are put in quarantine.
  • People avoid handshakes and other means of greetings are used.
  • A limit is put on the Mass transportation systems.
  • Cross-border restrictions are imposed.
  • Cancellation of those recreational facilities which attract a significant number of people.

Purpose of social distancing- 

  • Social distancing acts as an intervention and delays the peak of the outbreak. Health authorities argue that Social distancing can dramatically slow down the rate at which infection is spreading.
  • It also reduces the peak demand on health care, which has reached catastrophic levels in Wuhan, China, Northern Italy and elsewhere.
  • Researchers working on the development of vaccination against coronavirus also get the much-needed extra time to reach the solution.
Science_Covid19-Infographic(1)
Source- Centre for disease control and Prevention (CDC)

Social distancing and its impact on the event industry

  • In the wake of social distancing, many events have turned their in-person physical events into virtual events.
  • Tech events were the first in line to turn virtual. Software company WalkMe hosted a nine-hour virtual conference on 26 Feb. On its virtual platform of Mobile World Congress (MWC), dozens of startups and large companies presented their products online.
  • Following the same trend, Alphabet announced that Google I/O 2020 would be an online event this year and Adobe Summit also faced the same fate.

  • Lately, Companies from various other fields have switched their physical event into virtual events.

The way ahead for the event planners

In the present time, it’s the social responsibility of every event planner to raise awareness regarding social distancing. Also, it is an opportunity for you to reinvent your event planning strategy. One way to do so is by hosting a virtual event. It will not only ensure social distancing but also take care of the various event stakeholders viz exhibitors, sponsors, etc. If you’re still wondering how can you switch your physical event to a virtual event, we are here to make this transition smooth for you!

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