We caught up with Peter Worth, Managing Director of Audio Visual Dynamics (AVD), to find out how they are helping venues through COVID-19. (Please note we talked with Peter before parts of Victoria went back into Stage 3 Lockdown, Peter has advised that the AVD Team are now isolating at home to comply with state government regulations).
Peter and his team have been keeping busy, supporting their clients by assisting with drawing up new floor plans to comply with social distancing regulations. This is a practical activity that is valuable to their clients at the moment, and while that activity sounds simple enough…. It naturally raises many other questions. Venues are going to have to adapt their room allocations to match these new social distancing requirements, however how do we charge for the larger space now required? And in those larger rooms what will the new audio-visual requirements be…. And who will pay for it? These, and many other questions are coming up on a daily basis.
AVD are assisting venues to adapt quickly, as restrictions are lifted in some states. Peter believes that classroom style will be the most appropriate layout in the early stages of social distancing. This will be more visually appealing than individual chairs every 1.5 metres in a theatre style layout. This will allow attendees to feel less isolated and provide a table for their belongings.
Peter is confident that domestic conferencing will be strong (coming out of COVID-19). “Humans are sociable animals and the need to meet face to face after a period of isolation will be greater than ever”.
It is certainly a given that companies will be re-assessing the need for face to face meetings and many regular catch up meetings will continue virtually. However, there are a number of types of events which will always need to be face to face, including business development, dispute resolution, tradeshows etc, which is great news for the event industry. “People do business with people they know and trust”, so relationships are going to become more important than ever.
The AVD team are also providing their expertise to venues in considering social distancing for other spaces such as catering break areas. The days of people going shoulder to shoulder through a lunch buffet may be over, but this opens up the opportunity to truly reinvigorate conference & event catering breaks.
Peter recognises that this is certainly unprecedented times, particularly for the travel, tourism and events industries. AVD’s home city of Melbourne is facing additional challenges with current lockdowns restricting social gatherings and events, and requiring the team to stay home. However, Peter is confident that we will all bounce back. People want to meet face to face and this will continue, hybrid events will be the new normal, however there will be people back in our conference and event spaces … albeit in a more spaced out format than usual! His best guess is that we will not see a return of the event industry proper until March 2021.
Peter and his team are here to help virtually, so please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any audio visual requirements or have questions about how to set up your venue appropriately for the new normal of hybrid events.
Audio Visual Dynamics