IT would rather go back offline: trends in IT company events
Senior Event Manager at Belka Games Elena Slavina told the Anywhere Club blog how the event industry has adapted to modern realities.
Our economic, political, and family background always influences our perception of reality. Generally, however, no matter what is going on, as long as a person is not in a deep clinical depression, their soul sometimes wants a holiday. That’s where IT company eventors come in to the picture.
Over the past 5 years, words such as team building, corporate, branded merch, and benefits have become increasingly popular. The event industry seems to have reached its peak. Requests for branded merch have become more complex. It’s no longer enough that something be branded. Now, we want it to be stylish, to match key colors, and to be part of an expansive line of items (backpacks, sweatshirts, umbrellas, raincoats, blankets, jackets, vests, pens, pencil cases, etc.).
When hiring, HR personnel now talk about things like models of coffee machines, the number of cookies, headliners at significant company events, and much more. The task of the event team is to increase the loyalty of each employee in the company in every possible way.
"Before 2020" events
The events that IT companies arranged for employees before the pandemic began were very different from what is happening now. In pre-pandemic times, you would expect: months of preparation, development and testing of creative concepts, warm-ups in internal communications, tenders, tastings, sleepless nights, days of editing, an incredible amount of equipment, security... and all for the sake of that one Day X. And the scale and scope of the holiday events was impressive:
- The entrance area was thought through to the smallest detail to maximize impact and minimize queues;
- At the entrance, attendees were met by polite staff;
- A huge number of activities, photo zones, and master classes were available — so that everyone found something to their liking;
- Delicious, varied, generous catering and a range of speakers warming up the stage and waiting for the headliner to come out.
After — the official and unofficial collection of feedback to understand whether the event met the goal and hit the heart of the audience.
Just when it seemed that events had reached their highest point of development, COVID-19 arrived. You’ll remember for a long time the fear of leaving home. Now recall for a moment the remote brainstorming sessions, a canvas of cameras turned off in Zoom, pajamas for all occasions including work calls, barking dogs, and cat noses in the camera.
For many, though, remote work turned out to be not so bad, and the sphere of event hosting quickly adapted to the new realities. Zoom and other platforms have become fast friends. In professional jargon, the words stream, online, running line, simultaneous translation, and pre-recording began to be more familiar. Eventors dramatically upgraded into creators of exciting online streams. Who would have thought that you could keep a viewer on the air and engaged for 5-7 hours — but we have learned!
In addition to the pandemic, the global relocation trend has also affected the event industry.
Now, the search for contractors to provide certain services is a quest driving the entire industry. To facilitate the work of myself and my colleagues, I created a Telegram channel where event managers share contacts of executive and reliable contractors.
Online life has given us (besides stress) the opportunity to listen to top speakers from the comfort of our kitchen. Corporate events, conferences, meetups, hackathons — all have become even more accessible than ever before.
5 holidays that are good reasons for events
All of the above holiday formats are the responsibility of the event team of the IT company. But there is nothing to stop you from using these examples and incorporating them in a simplified form to any dates that are significant for your teams, or even just as an option for leisure without a reason.
Share how the holidays are going in your companies in our Discord channel.