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For Meta or Worse? The Week in Events

This edition highlights Meta’s biggest ever fall in stocks after the company set out its route to a virtual reality. Meanwhile, a new trends report from Emerald has highlighted how year-round connectivity is a key priority for event professionals.

Here’s everything you’ll find this week:

  • For Meta or worse?
  • Hotel profits starting to recover across US
  • Calls for New Zealand’s borders to reopen
  • Global events market to hit $1550bn b7 2028
  • Trends report highlights year-round engagement is top priority

For Meta or worse?

The company formerly known as Facebook took its largest one-day hit which saw it s stock plummet more than 26%.

Meta saw its market value plunge by more than $230 billion as the social media business navigates towards a focus on virtual reality.

It comes after an earnings report on Wednesday and CEO Mark Zuckerberg setting out how the company would transition to the metaverse.

Several issues facing the business have impacted their earnings, with one being changes to Apple’s privacy policy about tracking behaviour on apps.

Mark said: “We had a solid quarter as people turned to our products to stay connected and businesses continued to use our services to grow.

“I’m encouraged by the progress we made this past year in a number of important growth areas like Reels, commerce, and virtual reality, and we’ll continue investing in these and other key priorities in 2022 as we work towards building the metaverse.”

Meta has invested heavily invested in a virtual reality after announcing its plans late last year.

The CEO’s 90-minute online presentation included talk about teleporting, holograms and communicating “across different layers of reality”.

It was even claimed this metaverse will free people from screen addiction and enable more genuine human connection.

The event industry witnessed its own virtual transformation recently, but has seen a strong return to in-person experiences with digital enhancements.

This massive investment in a niche area is a bet which is still very unclear as to whether it will pay off.

Hotel profits starting to recover across US

US hotel profits reached more than half of their pre-pandemic levels last year but business bookings are slower to recover, according to a new report.

Findings from STR show  gross operating profit for the businesses reached 52% of the comparable 2019 takings.

It shows that strong demand in November and December helped overall profitability levels, with the final month showing 2021’s highest recovery index in each of the key metrics.

Raquel Ortiz, assistant director of financial performance at STR, said: “Though the industry still has a way to go on the path to full recovery, a lot of headway was made in 2021.

“Each passing month we saw revenues and profits continue on a positive, upward trend. Profit margins were relatively strong throughout the year, remaining close to pre-pandemic levels.”

Markets that rely heavily on business demand – such as San Francisco and San Mateo – were found to still have more ground to cover in terms of reaching pre-pandemic ) levels.

Calls for New Zealand’s borders to reopen

An industry body has called on the New Zealand Government to announce when it will reopen its borders without isolation.

The nation has pursued a zero-coronavirus route to tackling the pandemic, but has recently updated its five-part plan to emerging from the restrictions.

Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) has cautiously welcomed the New Zealand government announcement, to begin a phased opening of international borders, although vaccinated incomers are still required to self-isolate upon arrival in the country.

Lisa Hopkins, chief executive of BEIA, stated: “The sooner the government can announce opening to Australian manuhiri without isolation, the sooner our sector can begin to recover.

“We do take some optimism from the government’s decision to continue to review these restrictions. However, given planning is required for business events, the sooner we know borders can open without isolation, the better.

“The reality is a business visitor will not isolate in a hotel for seven to 10 days if they are expected to attend a three-day conference. The sector will now be fielding cancellations and postponements from Australia.”

The organisation highlighted that currently NZ$150 million (US$100m) worth of business events are at risk because of international border settings.

Meanwhile, the Australian Government announced that its borders would be reopened to fully-vaccinated travellers as of February 21.

Global events market to hit $1550bn by 2028

The global events market value will increase by more than a third to be worth more than $1,550 billion dollars by 2028, according to new research.

Latest findings show the industry will grow by 37% from its 2019 when it generated $1,135.4bn.

These findings fromAllied Market Researchshow it will be worth $1,552.9bn a decade since that valuation. The figures include all events ranging from conferences to music concerts.

Aniket Kadam, senior research analyst, said: “Increase in popularity of such events among the global population, especially the youth and middle-aged individuals, which boost the growth of the events industry.

“Furthermore, such music concerts and events offer valuable opportunities for promoters and brands to align themselves with people attending concerts.”

Corporate events and seminars segment garnered the maximum events industry share in 2019. The research puts this down to a rise in number of companies and shows conducted by them.

This segment was the highest contributed $314.7bn to the industry in 2019, but is estimated to reach $454.6bn by 2028. Meanwhile, the music concerts category is anticipated to grow at the highest CAGR of 13.1% during the forecast period.

Europe was the highest revenue contributor in 2019 as it was extremely successful in winning conferences of international associations. More than half of the top cities and countries across the continent were selected as destinations for international association conferences.

The region accounted for $419.0bn of the global market in 2019 and is estimated to reach $498.5bn by 2028.

Trends report finds year-round engagement is top priority

A major events business has released its first annual research report focussing on changing expectations influencing and shaping the future of the B2B industry.

Emerald surveyed more than 1,000 B2B professionals across the US and Canada to understand how shows are driving business growth while still recovering and evolving.

The report also examined how constant connectivity is driving the demand for year-round engagement, which was found to be the number on priority.

Some key points include:

  • In-person event organisation and attendance are expected to rise in 2022, but won’t fully offset 2019 vs. 2021 declines
  • The 2022 growth projection estimates a 50% increase in the number of in-person events and participants from 2020
  • An expectation for sales pipeline attributed to events — live and digital — will make up for the downturn from 2019
  • The number one priority for the future was the quality of contacts and engagement levels beyond actual events
  • All survey groups are searching for a dynamic model to combine physical and digital
  • All survey groups, including 84% of attendees surveyed and 67% of B2B vendors/providers and planners polled, want organisers to enable and help facilitate e-commerce transactions

Andrew Gaffney, president of Emerald’s G3 Communications division, said: “Events have served as the central part of pipeline-building strategies for most B2B brands, and while the survey responses suggest that will continue, there are evolving expectations around how events will guide more of the entire buying journey.

“While the core, in-person aspect of an event will remain critical, companies appear to be looking for year-round engagement, diversification, commerce and community.

“Event organisers would do well to consider using content to build dialogue, meet buyers where they live and make it a more seamless process to move from discovery to evaluation to selection.”

We hope you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful. At ExpoPlatform, we want to help you build better events and communities. Please get in touch and ask for a demo here. Thank you.