A year after the pandemic forced in-person events to halt, things are finally looking up. The question is: When can live events safely return? And 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 our data in the UK and other countries. In late February, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a phased reopening roadmap that would end 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 week after Johnson’s announcement, Eventbrite saw the number of paid tickets sold for UK-based in-person events scheduled to start in the summer — June through August — increase more than 10 times week-over-week, signifying that news of a reopening date helped build consumer confidence to firm up summer plans. 

The music category, 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 more eager to see live music in its absence. 

In Australia, which has seen lower prevalence of the virus compared to other countries, live events are already rebounding: Paid tickets rose 26% in February compared to January — a new pandemic-era high for the region.

Globally, trends are also on the upswing: Paid tickets for all events on the platform increased by 18% in February compared to January, primarily driven by growth in paid tickets to in-person events, which increased 23% in that same time span. 

Catch the live events reopening wave 

While the return to in-person events will look somewhat different in the US than the UK and Australia, we expect consumer interest to remain high. With no firm national date for events to return stateside, we believe reopening will be more like a wave — with certain states and cities resuming live events in an ad hoc manner as local restrictions ease. Good news for Californians: Governor Gavin Newsom announced a plan to fully reopen California on June 15 if the current trends hold.

As an event creator, we want you to be prepared to catch the 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 for Events, a detailed resource to help creators determine what health and safety risks are present with hosting live events and how to address them. In the playbook, you’ll find ways to identify, measure, and reduce risk; basic safety steps you can take to prevent COVID-19 transmission at events; and email templates to communicate the safety steps you’re taking to attendees. 

Subscribe to Eventbrite’s Events Industry Report newsletter

For regular updates on the events industry — including details on the easing of restrictions in the US and abroad, vaccine distribution updates, and creative safety measures other creators are taking to hold events — read and subscribe to the Events Industry Report newsletter, which is updated every two weeks. 

Understand how other countries have handled reopening live events

Get some crucial insights on how countries like Australia and New Zealand, which have seen a loosening of COVID-19 restrictions due to declining case numbers, have started to reopen safely.

Ease back wIth socially distant and drive-in events

As reopening begins, many safety measures may still be in place, leading to a rise in socially distant events. This extensive guide to socially distant events will help 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 sanitizer. 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 customizable 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 traveling hard seltzer festival Seltzerland explores how a combination of using 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 fall. Read on for everything you need to know to safely host a drive-in event — from creators who have staged their own drive-ins. 

Limiting the number of people that 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

Why virtual events aren’t going away

When in-person events return, capacity limits may restrict the number of ticket holders an event can have, and some attendees may not feel comfortable returning to events right away. The solution: Hybrid events that have in-person attendees with virtual attendees, providing accessibility and 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 organizers have quickly learned how to run virtual events. 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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