While I don’t want to jinx us by saying “We’re back!” just yet in the world of events, things have certainly been taking an optimistic turn lately here in Madison. Last week NACE Capital Area of Wisconsin hosted its first in-person event in over a year and it felt SOOO good to see the real live faces of my friendors!
Guidelines are still fairly tight here, and masks and distancing will likely still be in place for some time, so our group of creative professionals took the opportunity to be industry leaders, showcasing how events can still feel comfortable and elegant while working within public health boundaries.
Event Essentials partnered with our host venue, The Madison Concourse Hotel + Governor’s Club, to set the stage for the event. With the use of lounges, strategic dinner seating, and beautiful decor, it just didn’t feel sterile and restrictive as one might fear, even though everything was set for distancing. Conversations and merriment commenced quite easily.
Food Fight Restaurant Group and Monona Catering took the reins with an enlightening food and beverage presentation, tackling the part of events that may make people the most nervous. Sure it’s all well and good when you walk in with your mask on, but what happens when you need to eat? Lisa and Marcia offered some great suggestions from signage to packaging, to service when it comes to keeping both event guests, as well as staff working, comfortable.
And finally, what about those who are not quite ready to be in-person yet? Enter the world of hybrid events, with Celebrations Entertainment leading the charge as experts in this area. Not only did Geoffrey present on the topic, but the entire meeting was set up as a hybrid event, with a number of guests attending virtually as well. This is certainly an option that I see sticking around long into the future, post-Covid.
This event was a test run, both for those of us who planned it, as well as many of the attendees. There were moments that felt natural and then there were certainly others that were filled with some uncertainty. I believe it will continue to feel that way for a long time, but at this point, there is nowhere else to go but forward. I get emotional thinking about this opportunity that we’ve finally been given to prove ourselves, especially after sharing the state of our industry just three months ago.
Thank you to my friends Tim Fitch for photos and Paul Gero for videography. Events like these are never possible without collaboration from our vendor community and a passion for celebrating each other’s work. Can’t wait until the next one!
Chief Strategist and Creative Director of HUE by Sarah Davidson, Sarah is a sought-after event industry consultant, planner, and strategist based in Madison, WI. Follow her work on Instagram at @huebysd.