How strategic planning can save your events programme

January 5, 2022

The ever-increasing threat of the Omicron COVID-19 variant has heaped fresh uncertainty upon a business events landscape that had just begun to enjoy a semblance of clarity. However, awardwinning Recovery4Life says all is not lost, with its expert and trusted risk management and testing procedures allowing face-to-face ceremonies to continue safely. Here, Alex Devitt, chief operating officer, explains more.


Autumn 2021 saw a mass return to face-to face activities in businesses right across the North East, as loosening of restrictions allowed people to meet up in ways something like pre-pandemic days.

Events from conferences to networking dinners and breakfasts were staged from Teesside to Northumberland, allowing vital business development to take place. The leisure and hospitality industry was busier than it had been for nearly two years. Yet the arrival of the Omicron variant has changed the situation again, to be one of great uncertainty. While a massive drive to ensure the greatest number of people possible are vaccinated, the prospects for vital business and leisure events are extremely varied, with some continuing, some postponed and many simply cancelled as many companies and organisations struggle with a moral and practical problem in deciding whether to press ahead.

However, rigorous and well-thought through processes can save the day and allow all important interactivity between business people to take place, as Alex Devitt, of award-winning healthcare business Recovery4Life, explains. He says: “Subject to the Government’s restrictions, your event programme can still take place in 2022 if you plan effectively. “Working with us to determine effective risk management protocols will allow your business to continue to reach existing and new customers and clients. “As an early adopter of COVID-19 testing, we have a fully developed risk-management system, not just to carry out testing but to identify when and where testing should be carried out, with an emphasis on safety. “And we offer a range of testing solutions that include PCR antigen (back-to-lab), rapid/lateral flow antigen and antibody. “Ultimately, we help senior management make vital decisions by providing a service that allows events to happen in a safe space.”

The service to which Alex refers, offers unique risk management advice at the start of the event planning process that moves through to actual virus testing on the day itself.

It has been honed over several years by the Recovery4Life team and has been used by leading organisations regionwide, including Teesside International Airport, the North East Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC) and the Entrepreneurs’ Forum at its recent conference.

Alex says: “A bespoke approach to each event is very evident from the personal service we offer. “Often risk management is seen as preventing business taking place. Actually, business continuity is at the heart of our service.”

A highly-experienced team of clinicians and advisers with expertise over several key healthcare areas combines to give clients genuine re-assurance that allows them to keep their event programme on track. Yet, while events are important to inform existing and potential new clients of the benefits of a particular business, it’s important to understand the pandemic has had much deeper effects on the management and staff of companies and organisations. Again, says Alex, Recovery4Life is on hand to help. He says: “We provide a range of occupational health and wellbeing services to businesses across the UK. “We’ve seen a significant increase in demand for health and wellbeing services – including our proactive employee assistance services (EAP), which cover complex and existing cases and direct treatment programmes – from complex mental health issues, PTSD, depression and anxiety, to drug and alcohol detoxes and relapse prevention.

“We’ve also seen increased demand for more traditional occupational health services, such as health surveillance and management referrals, but with a much greater focus on mental health and emerging long-COVID-19 conditions.” The work carried out by Recovery4Life is a serious business, but Alex is keen to point out that there are lighter times too.

He adds: “Due to the nature of the work we have carried out over several years, we understand that, wherever possible, we should try to be positive with clients – giving them hope and a future at work and we find, at times, a little humour mixes well with practical clinical advice.”


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