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Planners Moving Forward Series- Ray Galloway, The Education Trust

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June 3, 2022
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Reading time: 2 min

This post is part of the HopSkip Planner Spotlight Series where HopSkip spotlight's planners across the industry to bring awareness of how they adapted to COVID-19, communicating and lessons learned and sharing how they are viewing the meetings and events industry in a post-pandemic world. 


 

Name: Ray Galloway

Company Name: The Education Trust

Job Title: Operations and Events Manager

Years of Experience: 10+

How do you think you are positioned, after months of persevering with the pandemic, to take advantage of our new and disrupted meetings/events landscape?
 
I believe I am positioned extremely well. Our event attendees are looking forward to our upcoming in-person event in April, and I am in discussion with program leads for 4 more in-person events.
 
As our community moves forward with planning in-person meetings, what new technologies or processes are you implementing that you may have not looked at before?
 
We, I have to start looking at technologies that will allow me to turn the main plenary session into "hybrid" experiences. I am also looking at technologies that will allow me to provide and manage a safer environment for the attendees. Although the mask mandates are currently going away, our upcoming event will still require masking and proof of vaccination. This requires me to implement new processes for capturing and managing this aspect of the event. 
 
As we see virtual meetings transition back to face to face, hybrid meetings are beginning to be the vehicle to return to normalcy. What are your thoughts on hybrid meetings versus traditional fully in-person meetings?
 
I personally do not like hybrid meetings because there are multiple variations of a hybrid meeting that require clear explanation to the program manager/owner. Also, there is the additional budgetary implications that come with having a hybrid event that the program manager/owner hadn't taken into consideration when creating the event budget. The majority of the budgets for 2022 events were created while we were in a 100% virtual event budgeting phase; additionally, most organizations had contracted for two-year virtual platforms with 2022-2023 being the second year. This resulted in some of the events that were meant to be virtual needed to shift to in-person with limited budget for audio visual expenses. 
 
In your opinion, what do you think the biggest value for your attendees is in regards to returning to live events?
 
The biggest value for attendees in my opinion is the face-to-face interaction, networking and comradery that live events all attendees to experience. 
 
As the pandemic fades away and we return to face-to-face events what do you hope changes, either for planners or hoteliers, in the traditional RFP and proposal process as a result of all of the learnings from the last 20+ months?
 
I would like to answer this for both. For planners, I hope that planners have learned to be more explicit in their venue/property needs and truly leverage their events negotiation power based on the size of their event when it comes to concessions and clauses and that they add those request to their RFPs. For hoteliers, I hope that hoteliers have learned to respond to RFPs more quickly, thoroughly read the RFP and to reply with questions for clarification (if necessary) before responding with a proposal
 

This post is part of the HopSkip Planner Spotlight Series where HopSkip spotlight's planners across the industry to bring awareness of how they adapted to COVID-19, communicating and lessons learned and sharing how they are viewing the meetings and events industry in a post-pandemic world. 

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