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Chelsea FC host ground-breaking hybrid event

Tuesday 8 June 2021

 Hybrid event at Chelsea FC  Sam Gill scores a penalty

Just days before Chelsea's senior team returned from Porto with The Champions League Trophy, their events team had an equally stunning victory, hoisting the ReConnect hybrid event in their pitch-side hospitality and event suite, with industry leaders discussing how we can safely return to live.

The Venue Search London team recently attended ReConnect, a hybrid event at Chelsea Football Stadium, where event industry leaders dove into how, through the power of people, the sector can emerge from COVID-19 stronger than before. This was a slick example of a hybrid conference, which had 50 in-person attendees, but reached a much wider audience via a virtual platform. These guests interacted via topic focused polls and some very thought-provoking questions posed by Martin Fullard, editor of Conference News.

The final panel, ‘Tackling Event Anxiety’ bought together our CEO, Sam Gill, Jo Austin from Lime Venue Portfolio and Neil Thompson, MD of the Delegate Wranglers. It focused on tackling event anxiety, and how the industry can help overcome people’s and organisation’s fears about large events.

“We’re still dealing with some organiser anxiety,” said Austin. “It’s about getting delegates feeling comfortable about coming back, about giving them confidence. From extra cleaning, F&B, entrances and masks - the articulation and communication will be really paramount.”

Gill said the sector must lead by example: “It’s just a gradual nudge towards getting people back towards live events and convincing them it’s fine. What’s going to happen this year is that people will go to weddings and see friends at social events. Then the conferences will come back.” Gill also thought businesses spending social budgets would be part of the early re-opening process, with corporates being happy to entertain staff to build morale and team spirit which only live events can deliver.

Finally, Fullard asked the panellists if they would welcome a form of Covid status certification, whether that ultimately meant proof of vaccination, a test, or having natural antibodies to gain entrance to an event.

“I actually think people will see this as a stepping-stone to the next level of getting back to normality. I would rather that than not go to events at all or do a passport,” said Neil Thompson. Gill agreed saying, “If people are asked to take a lateral flow test, I think that’s a sensible thing and it gives people confidence they can shake a hand or give a hug.”

The event finished with a great opportunity for delegates to participate in a penalty shoot out, which for our CEO, Sam Gill (a life long Chelsea supporter!) was a chance too good to miss...

For further information on the best venues for hybrid conferences and events, please get in touch with our free venue finding team on 0207 870 9305.

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