The last few years have certainly been challenging ones for the events and hospitality industry. After recovering from a worldwide pandemic, we are now experiencing a financial crisis that’s sees us deal with the inflation of costs across the events industry supply chain along with staffing issues.
Despite these obstacles we are a resilient bunch and we believe that 2023 will be an exciting one, bringing together what we have learnt over the past couple of years.
We have been doing some research on the event trends for this year and here is how we feel events will look in 2023.
In person events are back!
2022 did see an increase in in-person events but we believe for 2023 the demand is there for more. Virtual and hybrid events still have their place as these can increase the brand awareness significantly and also avoid travel costs particularly for those international attendees.
It also gives us the opportunity to rethink and improve on the structure of events and use the learnings from the hybrid and virtual world.
Collaborative, innovative and creative thinking will become even more essential, learning what worked and what didn’t work, offering great networking opportunities and meaningful content so delegates feel they are getting value for money.
We have noticed that our clients are asking for somewhere a little different or special and are looking for new and inventive ways to engage their attendees
But one thing is clear nothing replaces talking to someone in person – thank goodness!
Climate change and sustainability are definitely at the top of the agenda and we all have to play our part to minimise our impact on the planet and that includes events.
Venues will need to show that they doing their bit by offering as many sustainable initiatives as they can. For example; implementing a recycling system, minimising single use plastic, using digital resources rather than paper, easy access by public transport to the event venue, partnering with local charitable efforts.
Food can play a large part in this – we have seen venues offering more vegan and vegetarian options alongside using local suppliers to cut down on the food miles.
The pandemic accelerated the move to hosting online/virtual events and we soon learnt how to engage better with attendees to ensure that they had the best possible experience.
Whilst in-person events are definitely increasing, hybrid events are still definitely high on the list.
Throughout the event journey, event planners have learnt to integrate more digital interactions into their in-person events, starting with the pre-event, on-site at the event and post event. During the event, for example, keeping attendees’ attention by using polls and surveys to collate event and session feedback has seen a dramatic increase. Offering on demand content to attendees post event is very popular.
Fundamental to any hybrid event is the platform used and although there isn’t any particularly new technology in this field, good sound and visuals are a must. The advantage of hybrid is that it could be switched any time to a virtual event, should the need arise.
Some venues have hybrid facilities already set up in some of their meeting rooms, making this more cost effective to the event organiser.
This is one of the biggest challenges for the events industry this year, managing and allocating budgets in the present economic climate.
With the rising cost of supplies and goods due to supply chain issues and inflation, budgets will have to be watched carefully to ensure that the end client gets value for money.
Businesses will also need to ensure their events are aligned with their company objectives. It will become more important than ever to prove genuine ROI from events as cost vs return remains a large concern.