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Event venues set to make strong recovery

Revenue for business event venues is expected to rebound strongly and could reach 2019 levels within the next two years, according to a new study.

Research from IACC’s annual Meeting Room of the Future Barometer 2022 shows that two thirds of respondents say they will reach those levels by 2023.

The findings show average revenue in 2021 was 45% below 2019, while it is projected to narrow to just 8% in 2022.

IACC surveyed top event venue operators in Americas, Europe and Australia to understand the pace of recovery and level of optimism for a three-week period in March 2022. 

What’s behind the figures?

Though virtual meetings were once quick fixes to replace physical events, the human touch of face-to-face interactions was sorely missing.

The post-Covid era means attendees are eager to get back to in-person events again. This is indicated in the IACC report, where the value of human interaction and expanding the network are considered key reasons for people to attend. This is especially true of those meetings that are aimed at teambuilding, training sessions and problem-solving.

Another reason for the revenue recovery projections for event venues is the optimistic outlook towards live meetings.

A survey by Encore Global in March also showed that 77% of the organisers polled were feeling positive for live meetings, compared to 65% three months earlier.

Meanwhile, venues have earmarked investments to upgrade their facilities – such as conference rooms, public spaces and dining spaces – over the next 18 months to better accommodate their audience.

Mark Cooper, CEO of IACC, said: “The study clearly points to the fact that recovery is moving forward, and the future looks bright for our industry, with a renewed value placed on face-to-face events.”

What does it mean for organisers?

Venue operators are revamping their spaces to host digitally-enhanced in-person events. This means setting up the required audio/video infrastructure, creating dedicated areas to connect online and offline audiences and more.

Meanwhile, organisers face an important question with the return of in-person events and the recovery of venues – how have audience expectations changed?

Health concerns remain a top priority for the selection of venues. Below are some factors that organisers should consider before shortlisting one:

  • Commitment to follow local health guidelines
  • Vaccinated staff
  • Offering masks and PPE (if needed)
  • Track record of hosting safe events

Live shows have also evolved remarkably. Organisers are looking to create Smart Events and provide their audience an immersive, value-driven experience at every touchpoint. Here are some ways to achieve this:

Building community spaces

Building an online event community helps prospects connect with companies, products and content on their terms and schedules. You can plan out year-round engagement activities to keep the conversations going before and after the live show. This creates a perpetual interaction model to drive leads and boost revenue.

Enhanced networking options

Using AI matchmaking tools enables attendees and exhibitors find the relevant matches for their business. Users fill in their preferences and get recommendations through intelligent matchmaking algorithms.

Improved navigation and wayfinding

Attendees want the maximum value for their time spent at the event venue. An interactive floor plan provides seamless navigation and wayfinding at the show space. This allows attendees to find their way quickly around conference rooms, breakout areas and exhibitor booths.

Increased revenue opportunities

Providing digital monetisation opportunities increases the event’s value proposition. These include tiered packages, splash screens for branding, sponsored content, premium profile customisations and more. This also helps organisers futureproof their business and broaden their revenue potential 

We have a number of resources to help you get started with Smart Events.

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.