Insights on the Safety of Attending In-Person Events

September 02, 2021 | Events

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If one thing is certain, it’s that the event and trade show industry has shown an unwavering sense of resilience, even as the Delta variant, and COVID-19 overall, continues to impact the country and the world. Virtual and hybrid experiences are showing no signs of slowing down and in-person events have been resuming (albeit more slowly and with a greater sense of caution). But for many, the all-important question of in-person event safety still remains when it comes to attending a live experience.

And while event and trade show organizers continue to implement health and safety protocols across the board for live experiences, from mandatory vaccination policies, to mask requirements and more, attendees may find a new sense of comfort thanks in part to findings from newly-published research conducted by Freeman in partnership with Epistemix, a computational modeling software company that develops simulations to fight disease and inform public health policy.

Released in August of this year, the report, “The Data You Need to Navigate Delta” contains a wealth of information and data-backed insights highlighting the overall level of in-person event safety audiences can (and should) expect at live programs.

“As the Delta Variant causes uncertainty around returning to normal activities, new primary research and predictive modeling shows that attending large in-person business events are safer than many daily activities and that hosting the events does not increase local COVID-19 case rates,” notes an article published on Yahoo highlighting the report's findings. “In fact, for recent August events, the infection rates were as much as 95 percent lower than the U.S. at large. Modeling found risks of infection at events to be as much as eight times less than the metro area where they were being held.”

Presented in a recent seminar featuring leadership from Freeman and Epistemix, there are several notable takeaways from this research, with the most critical being that events are, by design, inherently safer than what may have been expected. This is largely due not only to their adherence to current health and safety guidelines, but also, a willingness among the majority of attendees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“In-person business event participants are more likely to be vaccinated than the U.S. population, reflecting a vaccination rate above 80 percent and creating vaccination coverage that drastically cuts transmission of COVID-19 at those events regardless of the gathering size,” notes the Yahoo article.

In addition to a willingness to be vaccinated, another key finding shows the readiness among the majority of audiences to engage in-person, with more than 90 percent ready to comply with necessary health and safety guidelines.

This research comes at a pivotal moment for the experiential industry, as well as a time of continual innovation when it comes to the need to provide authentic moments of human connection. And while hybrid experiences are continuing to go on, as well as more regional and smaller-scale events, these findings may go a long way toward boosting confidence in live experiences overall.

To learn more about this research and the report on in-person event safety, click here.

What should event and trade show professionals keep in mind as they prepare their future programs? Check out Trend Central to access the most up-to-date trends and insights on the current state of experiential marketing.


Posted by Dyan Cornacchio | Request as a Speaker

Social media and creative writing connoisseur. Obsessed with my golden retriever, pop culture, and pizza. Nothing makes me happier than being home on LI, relaxing at the beach with my family.