EventCamp Digital Series: Planning Events in 2021


As many areas of the United States have fully reopened with reduced restrictions on masks and business capacity, the West Coast has been on a slower path, waiting until cases and risks drop significantly (California has the country’s highest number of COVID cases and deaths). Oregon and Idaho recently announced that residents can go mask-free and don’t have to social distance if they can prove their vaccination status. California is planning to reopen by June 15 and Washington by June 30.

We wanted to hear from industry experts on the West Coast about how planning events have been impacted by the pandemic and reopening guidelines, so we gathered a panel for our EventCamp Digital Series, titled Planning Events in 2021: A Venue and Planner Roundtable Discussion. Our moderator was Chris Pridemore, Tripleseat’s Director of Account Management, and our panelists included Shannon Dunckel, Wedding Planner and Venue Owner for Five Star Ranch in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Ruzzo Martinelli, Founder of Keynote Management in Austin and Los Angeles; Katie McDowell, Regional Sales Manager for Earl Enterprises in Los Angeles; and Jen McMahan, Regional Director of Sales for Earl Enterprises in Hollywood.


Here are some of the takeaways from the discussion. You can view the recording of the session below:
  • If you want the most up-to-date guidance on COVID restrictions, talk to your local Chamber of Commerce — they are well-versed in what’s happening in your city and state
  • For areas that allow large gatherings for vaccinated guests, it’s up to the venue to check vaccination cards and that’s a time-consuming task for event professionals
  • Leads are coming back for 2021 and are mostly social gatherings; corporate events will most likely return later in the year
  • Venues and planners are seeing requests come in for do-over events from clients who want a second chance to hold parties for birthdays, anniversaries, and other celebrations missed during the pandemic
  • There’s growing interest in in-person networking events, as well as hybrid and virtual events for corporate clients
  • Marketing helps spread the word about venues and event professionals, but word of mouth and cold calls have been driving a lot of business
  • Clients are understanding about increased costs to help cover the work for health and safety measures, as long as venues are transparent about why there are additional fees

Resources for restaurants during reopening and beyond

We want to help hospitality businesses have a successful reopening so we’ve taken the lessons we’ve learned from customers and the industry, and created two Events Industry Handbooks. Our restaurant and venue guide has sections on topics such as safety guidelines, technology, contracts, social and corporate events and trends, event packages, catering, offers, marketing, and more. The guide for hotels includes hotel-focused tips and sections on safety, technology, contracts, social and corporate events and trends, group sale packages, catering, offers, marketing, and more.