How the Pandemic Forced Event Planners to Pivot

People want to celebrate important moments in their lives. Even during a global pandemic. While restrictions dramatically slowed down business in 2020, hundreds of thousands of event planners across the world depend on the event planning industry to support themselves and their loved ones. 

Therefore, event planners have had to adapt to keep their customers happy and maintain their livelihoods. But, with restrictions prohibiting large gatherings and in-person events, how did they manage?

Virtual Gatherings

As COVID spread throughout the world, social distancing mandates were quickly set in place, significantly limiting the capabilities of face-to-face services from businesses.

As a result, event planners had to quickly come up with creative solutions that followed safety standards. It wasn’t easy to move long-held traditions online, but with a little bit of magic, many event planners were able to make these events as special as ever for their clients. 

Meet Addie Graham-Kramer

Party hats, cocktail glasses, and sequin gowns are just a tiny portion of the available items in this entrepreneurs’ home. Life is always a party with Addie Graham-Kramer. 

Her fiery passion for event planning inspired her to build an event planning company from the ground up! Her 20+ years of success have brought her international recognition! 

However, things changed in March 2020. Party hats were replaced with production headsets. Graham-Kramer and her team of event designers found themselves undertaking the biggest industry shift since they began their careers. They spent countless hours learning all the new virtual event platforms – attending nearly three dozen seminars for virtual event production! This talented team worked side-by-side with their clients to make the move to a virtual and hybrid structure and doubled their event workload in a matter of months. 

From fundraising galas, multi-day conferences, and trade shows, The Event Company became experts in their industry. They attracted dozens of new clients from across the globe and helped non-profits and private organizations tell their stories through events. It’s a move that continues to make an impact in more ways than they could have ever imagined.  

Ceremonies From Home

With the pandemic came disappointment. Many families were forced to either put their celebrations on hold or cancel them entirely. Those looking to get married were left without venues. People who lost loved ones in this period were unable to visit funeral homes. Some of the most important milestones in people’s lives seemed as though they had to go unrecognized.

However, a light appeared at the tunnel when event planning companies found methods that allow clients to experience these moments at home.

Meet Rebecca Burnworth

Rebecca Burnworth, founder of A Life Well-Lived Memorial Services is a Funeral Celebrant that plans unique Celebration of Life Parties. In mid-April 2020 she met with a family to discuss a memorial for their mother. Within 36 hours that service was forcibly canceled because of a mandatory ‘stay-at-home’ order.

As more and more families became severely limited in their ability to memorialize their loved ones, Rebecca’s heart broke for those close to the deceased. Memorial services are a deep part of how we grieve. The connection and support we feel are an intricate part of our healing process.

Rebecca wanted to find a solution for those grieving during the crisis. The result was her innovative line of Memorials@Home™ ceremony kits. The kits enable small groups to gather at home or in Nature to honor their loved ones and create ceremony, connection, and support for one another.

There are currently two different ceremony kits available. The first is for those interested in a fuller, multi-layered memorial service.

The second ceremony kit is the “Candlelight Remembrance Ceremony”. This kit has been popular as a gift for those who want to show support to someone who is grieving. It has also been helpful for those wanting to remember their loved ones during particularly difficult times.

On June 1st, Rebecca launched her newest Memorials@Home™ ceremony kit, “Circle of Life – Pet Memorial”. Designed with a ceremony appropriate for all ages, it allows parents and children to have healthy talks about death and grief. It was also created to honor pets.

Smaller Events

With social distancing precautions, many in-person events are significantly downsized. For example, weddings have become small family gatherings instead of large celebrations with hundreds of people.  

While it can be difficult for customers to let go of a significant portion of their invite list, it’s been a necessary precaution. Breaking regulation guidelines often result in fines and – more importantly — put loved ones at health risk.  

The Future

As COVID restrictions begin to loosen, many of our old events will slowly come back to normal. Increased vaccination rates mean more events that we’ll be able to enjoy in person. While this shift back to normal won’t be instant, it will be a sigh of relief. We’ve weathered one of the most severe public health crises most of us will encounter in our lifetimes (fingers crossed), so now it’s time to look towards the future!

If you’ve been able to continue doing business during the pandemic, I’d love to hear how you’ve been able to best service your clients and community.

Let me know in the comments below. 

All the best,

Melanie Signature

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