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Industry ‘bouncing back globally’ – The Week in Events

This edition highlights an expert UFI panel’s claims that our industry is bouncing back “strongly and globally”. We’ve got findings from health officials that an NYC anime convention was not a superspreader event – after fears had been raised about Omicron last year. There’s also results from a survey which reveal almost 70% of industry professionals have year-round community engagement as a priority.

Here’s everything you’ll find this week:

  • Events industry ‘bouncing back globally’ UFI panel
  • NYC anime convention ‘not superspreader’ – report
  • Top 10 event tech tools for 2022 revealed
  • Communities priority for almost 70% of eventprofs
  • New exhibitions framework for market conditions

Events industry ‘bouncing back globally’ – UFI panel

The “sun is coming up” on the events industry as it starts to “bounce back strongly and globally” from the pandemic, according to an UFI panel.

UFI Connects’ latest session focused on how businesses in our sector are recovering and drew an international audience to hear top insights.

CEO of the organisation Kai Hattendorf, ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath and Sven Bossu, CEO of AIPC, were the three industry chiefs heading up the discussion.

Although there were still some concerns raised about uncertainty moving forward, the mood of participants about the future was positive.

Kai said: “The message the industry is sending is a very clear and very positive one. We’re no longer talking about the light at the end of the tunnel, the light that we see is actually the sunset.

“The sun is coming up, the industry is getting back to business. There will be challenges around that, but the industry will bounce back and will bounce back strongly and globally.”

One of the main things which was said to be driving this confidence was the reopening of borders around the globe.

This is partly because the removal of restrictions provides a greater degree of certainty of travel for business making travel decisions to join a show.

Sven also said “authorities” had a better idea of how to handle further outbreaks so that can give organisers greater confidence.

However, he did raise concerns about that large-scale shows could be impacted by how corporations have seen their costs cut.

He added: “Corporates stepped out of big organised meetings over the last two years. They saw a drastic cost-saving, they saw a drastic cut in travel etc. Will corporates actually start to reinvest back into big events?”

One of the key trends which was predicted was a move towards more regional events, which Kai described as the “end of globalisation”.

More and more shows are likely to have a more regional focus, with some leaders having suggested “copycat” shows could be shown in different markets.

This is fuelled by a drive to reduce our industry’s impact on the environment as well as provide greater security against travel restrictions.

More importance will also be placed on year-round engagement as audiences have come to expect it more.

Senthil highlighted how the quality of content has really been elevated over the last 24 months and this is something that will have to continue.

He said: “What we discovered in the last two years is community engagement is here to stay, I think we have all really learned how important it is.”

NYC anime convention ‘not superspreader’ – report

A major anime convention in New York City was not a superspreader event, according to a new report.

Fears had been raised the 53,000-delegate show had contributed to an Omicron outbreak after an attendee was the first known US person to be identified with the variant.

However, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study has revealed that “evidence of widespread transmission during the event was not identified” and any transmission had been among “social circles”.

The event was held in November last year in a venue equipped with high-quality filtration, with attendees required to wear a mask indoors and have at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

An Omicron case was then identified in an attendee by the Minnesota Department of Health about two weeks later.

CDC health officials tracked down coronavirus test results for 4,560 of the Anime NYC convention’s attendees and found just 119 came back positive.

The report said: “Findings from this survey and a related cluster investigation of a portion of attendees suggest transmission occurred primarily among social circles and during indoor unmasked activities during the event rather than at official event activities.

“These findings reinforce the importance of implementing multiple, simultaneous prevention measures.”

Top 10 event tech tools for 2022 revealed

The top 10 industry tech tools for 2022 have been revealed as the drive towards Smart Events continues.

International Confex announced its ranking of the best solutions on the market to drive digital revenue and engagement.

ExpoPlatform and Crowd Connected were among those in the top 10, as audiences and exhibitors expect more technology enhancements at their in-person experiences.

The Smart Event format is an in-person show that uses digital tools to increase the value of the experience for all participants. 

A major element of this development will be through data-driven insights which can be gathered and utilised through mobile apps.

Release of the report comes ahead of Confex’s gathering in London next month.

Communities priority for almost 70% of eventprofs

More than two-thirds of industry professionals have communities as one of their key priorities this year, according to a new poll.

The EventMB survey explored how our industry has learned lessons from the pandemic and what that means moving forward. It highlighted 11 trends for 2022 with plans for communities being a key component for event platforms.

Respondents were asked whether they had tried to keep attendees engaged with this format. Just over 40% indicated they already had thriving communities or were beginning to build them, while a further 29% said they had plans to build them.

Read our complete guide to building an effective community engagement strategy here.

Adopting a 365 community-based approach is a crucial step in accelerating digital engagement and building a resilient event strategy.  Creating always-online content is quite different from planning activities for a one-off live or virtual event.

It has to be a constant engagement process with numerous low-stake interactions as well as high-value experiences that drive networking and business conversations. 

To create a year-round, online community engagement strategy, it is recommended to set up a content hub. This is where members can read, discuss and interact with all the updates and resources being shared.

New exhibitions framework for market conditions

A new strategic model for successful trade shows has been released by a major consultancy firm to help eventprofs adapt to new market conditions.

AMR International’s Exhibitions 3.0 builds on previous white papers s to show organisers how to secure longevity for their brands through improved customer relationships. 

The framework includes advice for honing a future vision combined with new metrics and measures of customer success linked to it.

It comes amid a “digital transformation” of our industry which has seen the wealth of event data available to organisers explode. ExpoPlatform estimates there is now 20 times more of this information than in 2020.

However, AMR said its report goes beyond focussing on how new technology has become available. The study is about using data, technology and insight to “generate valuable connections across both physical and online channels”.

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.