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#YourCrowd is an initiative dedicated to the study of crowd behaviors and experiences, created and moderated by the strategy team at BaAM.

With vaccines rolling out ahead of initial estimates in the US, sentiment data indicates that interest in attending live events by the fall is on the rise.

As more and more events look ahead to a return to LIVE, BaAM President Annemarie Roe joined colleagues at Freeman for an information session focused on how we can bring events back safely.

Together the group shared experiences from recent projects and best practices as suggested by healthcare organizations. Below we’ve synthesized a few key points from that panel discussion – but you can also catch the complete session here.

Build options into your planning and expect to re-evaluate and pivot at some point...

Bear in mind that there are different interpretations around what is acceptable at the moment and regulations vary across jurisdictions - from state to state, city to city. As these policies evolve, contingent planning should be the norm.

Develop a Risk Assessment with event organizers early in the planning cycle

And then form a policy that’s in line with that assessment to meet the needs of your event. These steps will provide a guide for what needs to be considered in your operations plan to adhere to those policy decisions.

Communicate health and safety protocols early and often

Then draw attention to any changes as soon as possible so that everyone is clear. Sports organizations have provided excellent examples of how to communicate policies in advance for fans by narrating plans and expectations on their websites and within apps. And remember all of your audiences – not just attendees – but also staff and all those involved in the build of an event when sharing guidelines and communications.

Consider the operational layer of an event and how to optimize it so that the guest experience is as seamless as possible

Additional health and safety protections don’t need to detract from the overall experience. Consider timed entries or extended hours or additional staff to extend messaging. Maintain excitement and support for live events by keeping health and safety as a priority among Creative and Operational teams. This will allow you to incorporate necessary safety protocols while also delivering a positive and engaging guest experience.

Between hybrid experiences and new approaches to event operations, the pandemic has pushed us to design for the broadest possible audience. While these may be challenging times, the solutions that we’re putting in place now will allow us to create better events that are more accessible to a wider audience moving forward.

We know significant research efforts focus on fans and followers as individuals, but with #YourCrowd, we are tapping the brightest minds and broadening the dialogue to better understand factors at play when engaging larger audiences in real life or in digital life.

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