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Where is optimism about event health coming from?

More event professionals are optimistic about the health of the industry than ever, a new survey has revealed.

Several factors point towards a positive future for events in 2023, according to the 2023 Global Meetings and Events Forecast by American Express 👇

  • 72% of the eventprofs surveyed chose 8 or above when asked to rate the industry health out of 10
  • Two-thirds (67%) of the respondents polled expect in-person events to return to pre-pandemic levels within a couple of years.
  • 65% anticipate meetings and events budget to rise in 2023
  • 87% expect meetings to have an in-person component. This is six percent higher than last year.
  • Events are set to become more attractive propositions for environmentally-conscious consumers. Nearly 80% of organisers said they consider sustainability while planning events. Of these, 76% mentioned that their organisation had a defined sustainability meetings programme strategy.

The survey polled 580 events industry leaders – including corporations, associations, buyers and suppliers – in 23 countries.

Meanwhile, the State of Business Events released by Skift Meetings (formerly EventMB) suggests a more tech-powered future for events. Compared to the pre-covid era, 78% of event professionals are using more technology now – with 52% leveraging mobile apps for their shows. To learn more about such tech-enabled Smart Events, read our organiser’s guide.

The incredible comeback of in-person events, bigger meeting budgets and widespread adoption of tech clearly indicate the event industry is cruising to a profitable, productive 2023.

Let’s analyse why this is happening.

What’s behind the figures?

Let’s dial back the clock by around two years. Remember when virtual was the buzz of the industry and many had written the obituary of in-person events?

Turns out, people really like meeting each other face-to-face. There’s only so far one can continue having business meetups and conversations over an online call.

Virtual fatigue has set in. In fact, ongoing trends suggest future in-person events will be more popular than before the pandemic.

Even the much-vaunted hybrid events have been put on the backburner – organisers prefer them as a fallback than a preferred format.

A similar shift has been witnessed for event technology. From being pushed as a value-addition for events and making life easier by replacing/automating manual tasks, technology has become a must-have enhancer for every event.

Some areas where event tech is scaling new heights include:

What’s more, these new event solutions and systems won’t be easy on the pocket.  Cost per attendee is expected to increase in 2023 – indicating the industry uptrend despite higher expenses.

Jonathan Kaplan, VP of global sales strategy at IHG, said: “Average rates continue to rise due to higher labor, food, and other fixed costs, along with the impact of inflation –we believe that trend will continue with high demand.”

What does it mean for organisers?

In-person events are flourishing. Organisers are exploring new ways to make live experiences more immersive and value-driven.

Personalisation plays a huge role here. Attendees are no longer viewed as a homogenous block where a one-size-fits-all approach can work.

The expectations of the new-age buyer is shaped by their personal experiences as well as trend and stories around them.

New event platforms that can catalyse these individual personalities and create a journey aligned with their desired goals have become the need of the hour.

But there’s a lot to consider before you make a purchase decision.

It’s crucial to get informed about what these new tech solutions are, how they can solve your pain points and create more value for your events.

As a starting point, you can read these checklists on Smart Event tech, mobile event apps, data safety, 365 communities to get a quick idea of the current solutions being employed by event organisers.

Once you are ready to dive deeper, download our Blueprint collection – a set of free ebooks with in-depth insights, industry research and tips from experts to level up your event strategy.

Also, read these case studies to understand how these technologies are being successfully implemented at shows by leading organisers.

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.