Recent events in Spain have proved that not only is it possible to meet in person safely, but that the impact on participants remains powerful…

Even in the current restricted environment, physical events are essential. For many companies, they are still a key element in the strategic development of a marketing or HR campaign, and their value is realised through personal connections. 

As a result, many companies have continued to host gatherings, adding rigorous safety protocols and some changes of format. And confidence and professionalism have been essential in these Covid-era events. 

The automotive industry has always used events strategically, and as soon as restrictions in Madrid were relaxed, CUPRA presented its new Formentor 4-wheel drive to automotive publications, and with agency La5ª, converted Jorge Juan 137 into a CUPRA show room. In small groups, and with strict vehicle safety and disinfection, 24 members of the media had the opportunity to inspect the model at close range. 

BMW & MINI invited the press to The Chapel (a former chapel turned into an event venue) in the centre of Madrid, to present their new range of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. Small groups enjoyed individual catering, some outdoor experiences and again, assiduous safety measures. Finally, Jaguar and Land Rover organised a summer roadshow, stopping at golf courses and sailing clubs to meet the target audience. 

Despite the pandemic, live medical forums have continued. Livemed hosted 220 primary care doctors at a two-day training session at Barceló Sants in Barcelona, where strict safety measures in no way hindered knowledge sharing. 

The Centre for Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Studies of Valencia decided to keep the physical event it has traditionally run to open the academic year, presenting the scientific programme for its next course. Agency Meet and Forum organised the gathering at Eurostars Rey Don Jaime hotel in Valencia; it served as a positive warm-up to the centre’s practical courses and proved that 100 people can meet safely. 

Trade shows, whose essence is mass attendance, appeared to be the least likely to survive, but some have successfully taken place. More than 7,000 people attended Bizbarcelona and job search fair Saló de l´Ocupació in two halls at Fira Barcelona. The enhanced audience, thanks to combined actual and virtual formats, enjoyed three days of intense activity. 

IFEMA also opened its doors for the 72nd edition of the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, marked by capacity and security measures that guaranteed its safety, while not removing from the glamour of the occasion. 

These events have illustrated that personal attendance and a successful outcome have been achieved alongside strict safety measures; and the impact of gathering people together is even greater for a delegate who misses direct contact after months of distancing. Also, because reduced capacity and security measures mean more selective audiences, events attract delegates who are genuinely interested. 

In general, participants are aware and responsible in a professional setting, so compliance with safety measures is high. In addition, staff at these shows monitor adherence to protocols and as a result, the essence of the event – personal contact – endures. 

 Source: M&IT Magazine