20 May 2020
Virtual and Hybrid Conferences and Events Offerings
Members of DFK UK & Ireland a leading association of independent accounting firms have been talking to their clients and contacts in order to understand how businesses are repurposing through the COVID-19 lock-down.
In the ninth in a series of articles, Caroline Cassidy, Executive Officer for DFK UK & Ireland spoke to Jennifer McCormack from Precise Conferences & Events.
Precise Conferences & Events are a boutique events agency offering our clients global venue sourcing, virtual and hybrid events, full-service event management and creative event design & concept. Established in 2019, co-owners, Jennifer McCormack & Shane Carroll, have over 13 years’ experience in the luxury hospitality and events industry.
The pair originally worked together in Powerscourt Hotel before starting Precise last year. Together they work with corporate clients in all stages of their conference or event, from the initial concept to planning and managing all the details in between to the final delivery and execution of the event.
As a new business only launched last year, a global pandemic was certainly not part of their business plan! While so many industries have been, and will continue to be hugely affected by Covid 19, the hospitality and events industry has been one of the worst hit.
At the start of March, Jennifer and Shane saw events in Ireland, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Philadelphia one by one cancel or postpone. It was a real domino effect, and understandably they were very nervous opening emails each day.
Initially we thought it would be short term but then when the current Government lockdown was announced and all our industry partners and colleagues in the hospitality sector shut their doors, we knew that this would be devastating for the live events industry. Virtual and hybrid events were already on the rise and for us it was the natural path to pivot the business in this direction.
They quickly established a key team of industry suppliers and partners to work alongside to create a virtual and hybrid conferences and events offering. They have put together a range of fun, engaging and interactive online events to keep remote teams connected and improve employee communication. Jennifer and Shane are also working alongside clients to design large scale conferences, meetings, staff training and sales events, bringing the live event experience into the digital world.
To date Precise Conferences & Events have hosted events for clients in Ireland and Brazil. That's one of the beauties of virtual events, that you are not restricted by geographical location and they are also extremely cost effective for the clients.
Jennifer’s tip to other business owners surviving lockdown is
Don't be afraid to take a risk and if you see that something is not working, move to change it as quickly as possible. Also do gain as much information from fellow industry professionals as they are all going through the same thing right now and trying to build for the future and the new "normal". Build a strong network and partnerships with key suppliers, the events industry in Ireland is small and it's a close-knit community. Diversify and listen to your clients.
At the moment the road for the tourism and the hospitality industry looks very uncertain. We don't know what live events will look like in the future but remote working and the use of technology in the industry is here to stay and that being visible online is key to staying connected.