For the events industry, the dark days of the pandemic are quickly receding in the rearview mirror. But what lies ahead? A handful of recent studies provide event planners with vital insights and information to help spot trends, adapt to changing circumstances and expectations, and plan more effective, successful events in the year ahead.
The reports linked below from Bizzabo, Demand Gen Report, DAHLIA+Agency, Grip, Hubilo, and others provide event organizers and B2B marketing professionals with a wealth of facts, statistics, and observations to help wisely navigate the road ahead.
Among the high-level findings:
- Overall, most marketers and event organizations are planning roughly a 50/50 split for in-person events and virtual/hybrid gatherings (though hybrid is a very small share) in the coming year.
- In-person events are most effective for networking (per 83% of organizers and 78% of attendees).
- That said, virtual events enable organizers to reach a much broader audience, including young parents and people with mobility impairments who find it difficult to travel, as well as prospective attendees with limited time and budget. They are also more sustainable, which is a significant priority for Millennial and Gen Z participants.
- While “Serendipity is a highly regarded attribute of face-to-face events,” (see quote source below), pre-scheduled meetings are increasingly popular with vendors that see the value in guaranteeing they will make relevant connections. 97% of event organizers say they’d like to increase the number of valuable B2B relationships made between participants at their events.
- Concerns about turnover, recruiting in a tight labor market, “quiet quitting,” and the tension around remote work vs. returning to the office are driving the selection of topics when hiring event speakers, with the top five keynote topics all relating to employee engagement in some manner.