A year after the pandemic brought in-person events to a halt, things are finally looking up. The question is: when can live events safely return? How will you know when it happens? And what should you do to catch the high demand for in-person events?

Eventbrite is already seeing the demand for in-person events manifest in UK data. In late February, Boris Johnson announced a phased reopening roadmap that would lift all lockdown restrictions in England by June 21, paving the way for concerts, festivals, and large social gatherings to resume in time for summer. And if Eventbrite’s early data is any indication, they’ll meet consumers that are eager to return to the world of live events.

In the weeks after Johnson’s announcement, Eventbrite saw the number of paid tickets sold for UK-based in-person events for June through August increase more than 10 times week-over-week. This signifies that news of a reopening date helped to build people’s confidence and encouraged them to firm up their summer plans.

The music industry, which has been hit hard by the pandemic, saw the most notable growth in paid tickets for in-person events in the UK, suggesting that consumers have only grown even more eager to see live music in its absence.

Catch the live events reopening wave

The reopening roadmap has laid out some tentative dates for lockdown easing in the UK. Although the Scottish, Northern Irish, and Welsh governments haven’t committed to England’s planned June reopening, they have set out their own roadmaps that give event creators an idea of what to expect.

As long as the nation’s COVID-19 data remains heading in the right direction, various in-person events will become possible over the coming months. As an event creator, we want you to be prepared to catch each wave as it hits. So, we’ve rounded up the resources you need to make a smooth transition back to in-person events when the time is right.

Event safety comes first

Before planning your next in-person event, consult Eventbrite’s COVID-19 Safety Playbook – a detailed resource to help creators with event risk assessment for post-lockdown live events and how to address them. In the playbook, you’ll find:

Subscribe to Eventbrite’s Events Industry Report newsletter

For regular updates on the events industry – including details on the easing of restrictions in each part of the UK, vaccine distribution updates, and creative safety measures that other event creators are taking – read and subscribe to the Events Industry Report newsletter, which is updated every two weeks.

Tips on handling the reopening of live events

The UK experienced a brief return to in-person events last summer as restrictions started to ease. As we work our way out of the current lockdown, it’s worth looking back on how event creators started to reopen their live events for a reminder of what’s possible. 

Ease back with socially distanced and drive-in events

As reopening begins, many safety measures may still be in place, leading to a rise in outdoor events like socially distanced festivals. This extensive guide to socially distanced events will help to make the process smooth and comfortable for you and your guests with tons of first-hand experience, expert advice, and relevant content.

COVID-19 has changed the usual top-of-mind considerations for event planners. Instead of buffet tables and banquette seating, it’s social distancing circles and hand sanitiser. Here’s how other creators have tackled pod seating, occupancy guidelines, of-the-moment merchandise, and contact tracing measures.

Whether you’re building your own social-distance-friendly event space or modifying a traditional venue for healthy practices, Eventbrite’s customisable venue map is perfect for creating a ticketed floor plan for COVID-era events. Here’s a step-by-step guide to using the product feature.

This case study on the travelling seltzer festival, Seltzerland, explores how a combination of outdoor venues, social distancing, and COVID-19 compliance plans can help creators host safe in-person food and drink events.

One way to ease back into concerts and other large performances is drive-in events, which saw a resurgence last summer. Read on for everything you need to know to host a drive-in event – from creators who have staged their very own.

Limiting the number of people who can be in your space at one time might seem challenging, but creators from a wide variety of events are using “time slots” to manage the flow of attendees. Here’s how you can adopt that approach using Eventbrite tools.

Why virtual and hybrid events aren’t suddenly going away

When in-person events return, capacity limits may restrict the number of ticket-holders an event can have. Plus, some attendees may not feel comfortable returning to events right away. The solution: hybrid events with both in-person and virtual attendees. These are a great way to make your events accessible and to create an additional revenue stream.

Even as COVID-19 restrictions ease, virtual events will continue to be important. In the last year alone, the benefits of virtual events have become clear, and organisers have quickly learned how to run them. Here’s why they’ll still stick around in a reopened world.

Now you’re ready to welcome back attendees when it’s safe to do so. Start planning your next event here.

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