Helping Clients Navigate Hybrid Events During A Pandemic: Q&A with B. Allan Kurtz
There is a lot to consider when planning starts for your in-person or hybrid event. MM Event Group has been an integral part of the solution to helping our clients navigate this tricky time. We spoke with our colleague, B. Allan Kurtz, Managing Director of Gotham Hall and Ziegfeld. Allan has been very involved in helping the event industry through the pandemic in terms of policy and government support. We asked him a few questions to help inform our constituents.
How is your team adjusting to prospects for the 2021 event season? “We have spent most of our time moving all from 2020 to 2021…the calendar is getting tighter for 2021 but we do not see a lot of new movement (other than weddings) with new inquiries, as they are sitting back awaiting an all clear signal before committing.”
What changes can we except for how site visits are being coordinated? “Right now- we see clients whenever they want to visit—masks are required for all and any employee takes their temperature and reports it to HR prior to meeting with a client. In addition, we do a 2nd temperature check at the employee entrance and log it in a book. We also host zoom virtual tours for those unable to meet in person.”
Does Gotham Hall have any plans on how you might integrate an in-person experience for those attendees who might be joining upcoming events virtually? “Absolutely, Gotham Hall has already made the pivot to being able to host hybrid events and we can do a walkthrough of the presentation…the interesting part about all of this is that hybrid is going to be with us for many years to come. Hybrid Events can increase the reach and bandwidth, no pun intended, of clients be it corporate or non-profit galas thus increasing fundraising. For our wedding ceremonies it allows having guests join a wedding ceremony they were unable to attend.”
What has been the most creative event adjustment or trend you have seen since COVID-19? “The huge push to virtual, and how quickly some shifted their model to incorporate that. You need the energy of people in a room to sustain the event world – the networking, the interaction that you only pretend to get with virtual. Once hybrid starts and you have energy in the room, it will assist the virtual portion as well, so it won’t feel so pre—recorded.”
What would your advice be to organizations who are currently planning their 2021 events? “Make sure you have faith in the venues you are selecting- that they will do the right thing- taking care of your guests, as well as their employees and will be flexible with you, the client. On the other side, be fair to the venue as well.”
Please take this opportunity to also discuss whatever it is you would like to highlight. “Right now we are in the business of confidence. We have three hills to climb. We need our employees confident that they can return to work safely. We need our clients to have confidence in our ability to produce a safe and welcoming event. But MOST importantly we need the NY government to have confidence that professionals can safely host events, allow us to re-open our doors, so we can accomplish the other two important tasks at hand.”
Allan is co founder of the Best Event Strategic Taskforce in NY. Click here to learn more about the specific protocols and safety measures they are taking to ensure the safety of your guests and the staff.
Utilize the expertise of MME and Allan Kurtz by hosting your next event at Gotham Hall or Ziegfeld Ballroom. Email firstname.lastname@example.org