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Event Management Direct takes its services online

SHEFFIELD company Event Management Direct is expanding its operations into the online arena as it responds to the COVID-19 pandemic.

EMD has more than 22 years experience in event management and administration at venues across the UK, working primarily in the medical sector.

The company - based at the Hydra Business Park on Nether Lane in Sheffield - has a client base that includes many societies and associations within the fields of anaesthesia, hair research, paediatrics, scientific research and orthopaedics.

It offers a full event management service, including venue finding, bespoke registration system, negotiation, budget management, speaker liaison, accommodation, delegate management, conference and faculty dinners as well as flyer design and print, website and social media updates and feedback collation/reporting.

Although extremely well established within the medical sector, the company is now keen to extend its services across all sectors and industries.

The COVID-19 pandemic, however, saw EMD’s complete 2020 programme brought to a halt, leaving the team investigating new approaches to conferences and seminars.

And that has meant researching and developing a full programme of virtual events for clients.

“EMD have had to change and develop throughout this crisis to stay afloat,” said director Jane Heppenstall.

“We have worked really hard to build a package for clients which then can be developed and changed to meet their specific needs.

“Some, for instance, will need just online lectures, while others might need breakout spaces or private rooms for 1:1 meetings.

“One client has even requested live demonstrations, which will mean filming patients!

“It’s all very exciting for us as a team, working together to deliver new packages and creating a bespoke proposal for every new enquiry, proving that cancellation or postponement is not the only option.

“A virtual event may be a different approach to conferencing but it means the client can still offer an event to their membership/database/followers whilst also keeping their brand and business in the limelight.

“We don’t want clients to think that all they can do is sit back and wait for next year’s events to be given the green light while their members are champing at the bit to get back to learning and networking.

“As we are demonstrating, that’s the point when a virtual event can be particularly effective.”

Jane added that there had been a positive response to the virtual platform from current clients and it was hoped that new clients would also see the advantage of going online.

At the same time, though, the EMD team is also working towards the delivery of its usual programme of ‘in-person’ events again from 2021.

“We have yet to have any cancellations for next year, so there is a real sense of optimism and perseverance with regards to getting back to normal, which is refreshing.,” Jane said.

“We know there are going to be some new safety guidelines for us to adhere to as we plan for 2021/2022 and we are already investigating the options available to us, such as temperature scans, sanitising stations, social distancing and one-way systems. 

“But it is positive to know that people are still keen to have face to face events. 

“EMD is a small business with big ambition and lots of passion and drive to succeed and we’d be delighted to hear from all sectors, to see how we can assist them with the delivery of their conference - either virtual or face to face.

“We understood the need to change our way of working and our style of event delivery, and whilst we miss the face to face meetings, the virtual world is currently our focus.”

John Highfield

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