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    PRSANE and Planit Inc. Planning Safe and Successful Events

    In July, PRSA Nebraska was proud to have Lesley Brandt and Caitlin Gruis of Planit Inc. present how to have a virtual, hybrid and in-person event safely while keeping the attendee experience in mind so that all involved will have peace of mind. 

    In helping organizations get #BacktoBetter with event planning, Planit Inc., an Omaha-based organization with clients worldwide, has reshaped how it assists its clients with events, while still looking at the traditional event planning aspects of the company’s budget, culture and goals. 

    While some may choose to press pause until the perceived end of the pandemic, Brandt shared that leaning into the current situation and stretching the possibilities could benefit organizations instead. Throughout 2020, Planit, Inc. has continuously pivoted to accommodate current conditions and says virtual, in-person or hybrid events can each be successful if tailored to meet the organization’s needs with enhanced communication on safety standards and event details.

    Virtual Events

    Planit, Inc. recommends event planners add elements to virtual events that foster social connections such as shared lunch experiences and time for networking. 

    The current circumstances can work to an event’s advantage, such as securing keynote speakers and/or celebrities at lower price points. With a virtual event, the individual presenters could pre-record their speech or dial in when they want without the scheduling and cost of travel.

    Token advice from Planit, Inc. for people switching from planned in-person events to virtual events is to know your contracts. There are impossibility clauses of contracts that could cover unforeseen circumstances including fear of gathering during a pandemic. They recommend event coordinators ask questions about attendance and understand what does and does not transfer to the virtual world. 

    Virtual event best practices also include hiring event professionals from the beginning to create a safe and successful event without any stress. Clear communication on the steps and expectations for the virtual event is key. Additionally, event coordinators may want to consider increasing message frequency. 

    Planit, Inc. says the average human has 52 minutes of active attention span. To foster robust conversations and interactions at virtual events, they recommend event organizers make the program fast-paced and dynamic. Varying the experience between speakers, slides, videos, etc. can help to keep the audience’s attention. Also, adding interactive features like polling, chatting and quizzes can keep the event engaging and make it memorable. Virtual programs, much like in-person events, will be what attendees make of the experience themselves. 

    Planit, Inc. says to remember that technical difficulties can come along with virtual or hybrid events for some attendees. Keep it simple and provide a phone number/lifeline to help with technical issues. As a presenter, test your slides on your computer and step back to make sure they are readable. Perform technology checks with speakers, mics and lighting weeks ahead of time to ensure plenty of time for troubleshooting ahead of the event.

    Virtual summits and tradeshows also can be organized to allow a large group of people to interact and learn about products and services along with having branding sponsorship opportunities. A landing page could mimic the scene of a conference or tradeshow, with several “spaces” dedicated to break-out sessions, exhibits, networking and keynote speakers. The online portal also could leave room for sponsors to have branded content. 

    In-Person Events

    If you have an in-person event, Planit, Inc. suggests event planners consider the spacing and location of the program (indoors or outdoors) and have items such as green, yellow, red lanyards for attendees to wear to share their social distancing preferences.

    Planit, Inc. recommends checking with the event venue as well as state, city and county health departments ahead of events to understand the rules. Specific event venues may have different rules than the current state, county or city health directives. Knowing the rules at the start of planning and keeping planning flexible in this ever-changing situation can help events stay on the path to success.

    Planit, Inc. also stresses the need for elevated frequency of communication to help attendees navigate the new normal and provide peace of mind of the safety standards. They recommend event planners show health and safety protocols in action at the event such as active cleaning and the use of foggers. Another tip is the place the layout of the event venue on the website ahead of the event, as well as safety protocols to proactively provide information and peace of mind to attendees. 


    For more information on Planit, Inc. visit their website at

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