Event planning during a pandemic

Blog postby Ioana-Andreea Grapa
5 min read

The COVID–19 outbreak shows little sign of slowing down and has already had a drastic impact on most industries globally. Regardless of the current pandemic though, whenever you’re organising an event, the safety of the event and its attendees is a key consideration.

The coronavirus has severely impacted event planners across the globe. Now, in addition to the scale and type of the event, they are considering numerous other factors, e.g., the density of the crowd, how will the attendees interact with each other, and where will they be travelling from. To complicate matters further, even expert views on the severity of the virus differ. What event planners can do, however, is to be as clear as possible on what the pandemic means to their business and future events.

Below are a few key things Mambu’s Global Events team is thinking about when planning events in these uncertain times, as well as a few useful tips to minimise the negative impact of the pandemic on your work and everyday life.

  • On event planning. Events are highly unpredictable in their own nature - every event manager is aware of this - no matter how well you plan something, it could fall apart in the blink of an eye. Being flexible and adapting is something that we do on a regular basis. At the moment, digital is the only way, and therefore we might consider live streaming the entire Mambu Summit 2020. Virtual meetings, webinars and global conferences have been successfully delivered across the globe. We have seen high interest in our own webinars over the past couple of weeks. Live streaming of events enables people to take part in an event without the need to leave their home or office, which may be an actual requirement. We know that digital can never fully replace live events, but it is about making it as engaging and close to the experience as possible. On top of that, we always put the health and safety of the participants first, and in practical terms that means that we may enforce COVID-19 specific policies, in case of a live event. In addition to campaigning and building the buzz around the Mambu Summit 2020, we also plan to show what precautions we will be taking at the event.
  • On (team) communication. Keeping in touch is key, working apart doesn't mean being disconnected. Our team communication has been very solid - we have moved forward with our meetings as usual, while the number of spontaneous calls has certainly increased. At the same time most of our calls became shorter, and more efficient.
    We are also trying to do more video calls, as being on camera typically makes the team members more present, which ultimately leads to a more effective communication. And whenever the internet connection is erratic we try other channels, such as Slack and Google Hangouts.
I feel that this entire chaos brought us closer - we find creative ways to connect with other Mambuvians and chat about work and non-work related topics.
Ioana-Andreea GrapaGlobal Events Manager
  • On way of working. We follow a plan and set boundaries. This may not be groundbreaking but all of us try to stick to the same working routine, as the work-life balance is extremely important, perhaps now more than ever. Other than that, not much has changed, and our daily work lunches have been replaced with virtual ones (with real food)!
  • On staying healthy. Whenever possible I would strongly advise to bring the tech equipment from the office, in order to create a much more ergonomic desk in your own living room. Since taking longer walks during a lock-down is ill-advised, try to do yoga now and then, or go for a brief walk but keep social distancing rules in mind!

Life & work during a lock-down.

Ioana-Andreea Grapa, Global Events Manager: "The Marketing department, along with the entire company, keeps moving forward and everyone is giving their all to overcome this situation in the best possible way. I am currently on-boarding our new Events Manager, while continuing working on our Mambu Summit 2020, executive dinners, Customer Advisory Boards and supporting the regions in finding solutions for the postponed sponsored and partner events. It's business as usual, sometimes in the comfort of my sweatpants, yes.

The benefit of working for a company that’s digital and cloud-native is that we are able to work from home and stay home as much as possible, avoiding public gatherings and unnecessary outings. In this we are fully united, and are able to be socially responsible.

We are part of a global movement, and are only now fully grasping the force of nature, which, miraculously, is recovering, as we paused our poisonous routines. We are being kinder to each other, reconnecting with our dear ones and cutting off negative influences. We are going through a global awakening that will transform the world as we know it. We may not be the same again, but I would like to believe that we will emerge stronger, more creative and more human than before."

Smita Pati, Events Manager: "A month ago, I couldn’t have imagined what would ensue within just a few days, I guess I was too encapsulated in the excitement of a new city and a new job. However, I really appreciated the ‘keep calm’ attitude from our leadership and People Operations when it comes to communicating about the virus and the precautions we should take.

Overall, I feel more confident than ever in my decision to work at Mambu, although I only got to enjoy our vibrant Berlin office for a week, I can tell it’s business as usual at Mambu. As we are a cloud-native SaaS company, we are in a fortunate position that our business model remains in place with every Mambuvian being able to work remotely.

In these times of the pandemic, we should all stick together, even if only virtually. To keep the social aspect alive, which is strong at Mambu, we started having virtual drinks after work and lunches. And team members continue to exchange fun anecdotes and ideas on Slack channels. Remember to check-in with your colleagues and say hello. And don’t forget to wash your hands!"

Ioana-Andreea Grapa

Ioana is Mambu's Global Events Manager with more than 10 years of experience in managing events, which fuel her with energy, adrenaline and stardust. She has worked in various industries (education, sport, and tech) and has helped build Mambu’s Events department, globally. She is currently in charge of all corporate events, with the “piece de resistance” being the Mambu Summit - the global reunion of our customers, partners, prospects and industry influencers.

Ioana-Andreea Grapa