The events industry has taken a tremendous hit due to COVID-19. Myself and many of my colleagues are wondering how we are going to survive. Even if we do survive, how are we going to conduct events going forward? What will the "new norm" be as it pertains to large gatherings? During these times it is important to keep a positive demeanor and keep pressing forward. Here are some tasks you should be doing to come out better of the COVID-19 shutdown than you entered.
Whether you've been in business for 5 years or 20 years, there's no doubt that you have accumulated quite a bit of inventory. You may have moved from your house, to a storage facility and then to a warehouse. Regardless, you should treat every piece of gear as a tenant. If it is not paying it's share of the rent, it has to go. This doesn't only go for gear but also subscriptions. Take the time to go through your bank statements to make sure you are only paying for what you are utilizing.
Now is the time to connect and/or reconnect with other industry professionals and clients. Ask them how they are doing and let them know that you are still here. Just be careful not to sell. Now is not the time for that. Get to know them outside of business. One of the programs that we have been doing is asking our clients if they would like to walk and talk. Many of us have been seeing and talking to the same family members 24/7 for last month and a half. It's always refreshing to see a new familiar face. It's also a good time to verify contact information and make sure everything is up to date.
For many of us life in the events industry is a rat race. We have sacrificed a lot physically to grow our business to a point that we could began to harvest the fruits of our labor. And if you are like me, you have over indulged a little during the first few weeks at home. The good news is that it's not too late to get back on track. If your doctor is available, now may be the time to get that physical you've been putting off for years or see about those nagging knee or shoulder pains. You want to make sure your body is geared up and ready to hit the road running once things pick back up. Make a choice to start trying recipes that are healthier such as Carrot Bacon or Pesto Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale. Research and develop an exercise plan that you can perform at home and possibly move into the gym once restrictions are lifted. Even if you are a novice, there are plenty of resources online to assist. Just like the physical, it's important to treat the mental as well. Try to find peace in activities such as yard work, playing games with family or just sitting back listening to calm music. Whatever your recipe may be for calm, you have to find it.
Whether you stay in the events industry or have to pivot due to current circumstances, make sure you are growing mentally. Now is the time expand your knowledge. There are several tutorials on YouTube that offer free step by step learning. Some universities are even offering free certificate programs. I just recently learned that several of my colleagues completed a free online course by Florida Atlantic University to receive a certificate in Hospitality and Tourism Management. There are countless learning options, both free and paid. Make sure you take advantage.
Now that you have purged, it's time to get organized. Come up with systems to help you work more efficiently moving forward. Here is a bullet point list of suggestions you may want to consider:
Inventory- Make it easier to find and account for. Create labels and storage systems.
Emails- Clean out old emails and develop a better way to track and respond to emails in the future. Think about coming up with a few good auto replies. Unsubscribe from emails that don't interest you
Finances- Come up with a better way of bookkeeping so tax time is not such a burden. Review your banking method. Are there apps that can help? Do you need to open 1 or 2 more accounts to keep spending organized.
Apps- Are you using all the apps you have downloaded. Have you taken the time to learn their full capabilities. Look for new or better apps to keep you on track and help make life easier.
Sync- Make sure all your devices and apps are in sync and information is being shared amongst them.
Files- All those pictures. All of those videos. All of those documents. Now is the time to go through your laptop and create folders and store files in a manner that makes them easy to find and access.
Yes, the dreaded website. The one you have not looked at or updated in years. Now is a good time to make sure that not only your inventory is up to par but also your services listed are up to date. Go through the gallery and replace some of those old pictures with new and more elaborate ones. Make sure all your links are working. Update your blog and look for ways to engage visitors more when they come to your site. If you are having a hard time coming up with ideas, it's always a good to view other sites to get inspiration. Just be sure not to plagiarize.