By Irina Gelfand
I keep waiting for life to get back to “normal.” Now, almost two years later, I wonder if that is just beyond our reach and will forever be. Flying to Florida for the first time in two years, with my kids, I glanced over to a magazine and realize that “normal” is gone. At least for the foreseeable future. And that couldn’t be more true as we head into year three of planning events during a pandemic.
People, for the most part, have adapted — we regularly wear masks, wash our hands for far longer and harder than we used to, and we regularly test, test and test again. Businesses have adapted or perished despite their best efforts to adapt. Some of those changes will remain as we strive, hope and reach for “normal.” There are changes to the event production world that will survive this pandemic and maybe that’s for the best.
My role at Event 360 is legal counsel, and we have worked tirelessly with our partners on contracts for venues and vendors, as well as overall risk mitigation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Three things that I see surviving the pandemic and thriving in the future are:
- We will regularly keep ordering extra hand washing stations with large amounts of hand sanitizer. Everyone can benefit from a little more hand washing in their lives.
- We will keep utilizing contactless QR code check-in processes. We’ve learned that it moves people through the registration and check-in process seamlessly and loads all the information a participant needs right into their phones, saving time, staff and attention for other matters.
- Every contract from here on out will contain a provision for cancellation due to a force majeure event such as a pandemic or governmental shut down. Just two years ago, this mostly overlooked clause with a Latin name was only talked about in first-year law classes, but now all lawyers and many non-lawyers not only know how to pronounce it but also how to enforce it. Thus, protecting their deposits in case a COVID variant shuts down operations.
Change is hard but it’s part of life and it’s everywhere we look. Sometimes as hard as it is in the moment, it’s for the best. Change brings out our ingenuity, our creativity and our thinking outside the box traits — all the qualities that make us able to not only adapt but thrive in the face of uncertainty.
Irina puts her extensive legal experience to work for us as an internal adviser on intersecting business and legal issues such as labor and employment, intellectual property, contracts, risk and liability issues.