The ultimate guide to planning an event in 2021

We all know 2020 was a year like no other, and now we are in the midst of 2021 facing the ‘new normal’.  So what does this mean when it comes to planning events?  The first things that come to mind are capacity restrictions, health and safety concerns and difficulty in travelling, but over the past year hotels and venues all over the world have been working to overcome these difficulties to make the event planning process even easier than before.

1. Hybrid Events

Beginning with travel difficulties both internationally and domestic, as well as those who choose to work from home; the Hybrid event was born.  So what exactly is a Hybrid event?  A Hybrid event is the combination of both a face-to-face event with guests attending onsite, as well as a virtual component.  The beauty of a Hybrid event is it brings everyone together, regardless of location, takes away some of the hassles of planning accommodation, and last minute attendance issues.  A Hybrid event can be as simple as a board meeting with some guests joining virtually, or a large conference with multiple speakers joining and presenting virtually.  To read more about Hybrid solutions, click here. 

2. Engagement 

A question you might be asking yourself is how to get the same level of engagement with a Hybrid event, if not all attendees are in the same room?  It may seem daunting to begin with, but keeping in mind the need to involve your virtual attendees, there are a number of ways to encourage your virtual attendees to participate in your event, such as online Q&A sessions for both virtual and onsite attendees.  As your virtual attendees will miss out on the benefits of being in the venue itself, why not send them a conference pack in advance with a notepad and pen, merchandise and conference materials, and some snacks or treats.  Your attendees will feel as much as part of the event and those on site!  Make sure you schedule plenty of breaks too, to cater for those watching on through a screen.   


3. Room set up

The next thing to keep in mind is your choice of venue and the way the room is set up for your event.  An event in 2021 is not likely to have as many onsite attendees as previously, so you will have the luxury of booking a room that is spacious enough for your onsite attendees to feel comfortable, and keep in mind social distancing.  With the unpredictability of the current times, you don’t want to book a room at maximum capacity, only to worry that restrictions might tighten as your event date approaches.  Your event coordinator will be able to walk you through the best room setup styles to suit your event and their function room, as well as space for a registration table with queue markers, and adequate room for catering.  

4. Serving food

When it comes to catering for your event you may feel apprehensive in booking a working buffet lunch as you have done in previous years, but rest assured your venue will be well prepared to serve your event catering in the most safe and hygienic way.  You will have the option to book individually portioned food, for ultimate the peace of mind when it comes to health and safety.  There will also be options for serviced buffets, where staff can serve the buffet food to your guests, so there are no shared utensils.  You may also choose to safely go ahead with a buffet similar to previous years, with the requirement guests sanitise, wear and mask and social distance while accessing the buffet.




To give you further peace of mind, many hotels partner with hygiene companies; Radisson Hotel Group partners with SGS, meaning our health and safety standards worldwide are of the highest level, giving you confidence to book your event.   (link to SGS and image/logo)  Make sure you check with your chosen venue about their cancellation policy – just in case the worst should happen!  2021 has brought flexible cancellation policies to most hotels and venues, taking away some of the worry in planning future events. 


Planning an event in 2021 requires thinking outside the box, new technologies and embracing of change, but with so many options at your fingertips and venues ready and raring to go, you are all set to plan your most successful event yet!

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