The return of in-person meetings and events has been exciting to experience. Industry trends have shifted rapidly over the past year which has kept event professionals on their toes. Our Winter 2022 Planner Pulse Report indicates that 70 percent of planners are currently booking or sourcing new events. The industry is getting back on its feet with many events making up for lost time, and the need to meet face-to-face will propel in-person meetings further in 2023.
Jo Merriman, Director of Commercial and Operations at Concise Group, comments:
“We’ve seen a strong return to in-person meetings with a peak in demand. We’re finding that clients want to secure their meetings, AGMs or Investor days early so they can get ahead of the curve and maximize their investments by finding new ways to engage their audiences. The uptake for our Chime Live℠ event engagement platform on personal iPads has increased since this time last year.”
Audience connection and engagement are most impactful.
Recognising the importance to engage audiences is seen in our Planner Pulse findings. Data shows that human connection & engagement are the most impactful values for in-person events. In fact, networking and relationship building are the most valuable for attendees, accounting for 74 percent of respondents. Connecting people to an organizations’ mission, training or education is the second most valuable.
How can we best offer this to audiences? A strong event technology partner with a tailored and fully managed engagement platform like Chime Live event app can help planners achieve all their meeting needs from breakouts to educational sessions and networking − pre, during and post event.
In-person events are dominant over hybrid and virtual
“It’s all about in-person,” Merriman says. “There’s a renewed focus on planners wanting events that not only impress but deliver a return on investment on participants’ time and experience.”
Findings show that in-person-only events will continue to rise into 2023 accounting for over 60 percent of events being planned. 62 percent of planners are expecting their attendee numbers to increase. More in-person events with growing audiences will present challenges and opportunities for planners to measure return on investment. An intuitive event platform can track participant responses during sessions and get instant feedback, creating a two-way dialogue for planners to measure engagement. With built in real-time data analytics to support.
Merriman adds, “With planners feeling the impacts of rising costs, it’s important to effectively measure return on investment and partner with companies who can deliver on desired outcomes.”
Budget increases driven by F&B (Food & Beverage), room rates, and transportation costs.
Findings show that 61 percent of planners expect an increase in event budgets, with transportation, F&B and hotel rooms cost allocation increasing the most. Meeting space technology and service levels round out the top three priorities. Making sure that your chosen event partner offers end-to-end technology experts and solutions that meet your event needs can save you time and help your budget.
“Event needs continue to shift in 2023. We’ve spoken about planners focusing on face-to-face events, but there is also a renewed view of hybrid,” Merriman continues.
“Having accessible meetings is still trending, so in addition or instead of remote live audiences tuning in live via a hybrid experience, sessions can be recorded and accessed post event. Ensuring the event experience lasts that bit longer.”
DE&I most important ESG area when selecting event technology partners.
Roughly half of respondents said DE&I was an important attribute when selecting event providers. Finding an effective event partner who can help either communicate DE&I policies or offer an in-person or digital engagement platform that meets international WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility standards to reach more diverse audiences can help.
As part of Encore, Concise event management services works to keep the pulse on the meeting and event industry. The key findings and data on event planning industry trends from our quarterly Planner Pulse Report help to inform how we tailor client experiences and offer the right solutions.
Speak to the team for a quick discovery call to discuss your challenges and explore your event requirements – we’ll bring the solutions.