The event industry has seen a significant market size decline of -9.8% per year since 2017, and the COVID-19 pandemic didn't help that at all.
However, tough times always help breed innovation and creativity. Now that the pandemic has ended, it's time for event organizers and marketers to evolve and find new avenues to success.
This article will tell you what's on the horizon for the event planning industry.
Keep reading to learn more.
Evolving Styles and Personalized Experiences for the Event Planning Industry
It's essential for event coordinators and marketers to invent fresh, new personalized experiences. And 2023 is no different. Coming up with new takes on educational content or interactive formats is a great way to give a fresh spin to events.
Buyers and prospects are becoming increasingly picky about what they buy. More than 70% of them expect to be shown personalized interactions.
Event planners can take advantage of several creative, new formats, ideas, and technology for interactive conferences. Let's take a look at a few.
After a traditional presentation from the main speaker, the focus shifts to the audience. The speaker will facilitate conversation and invite questions and comments from around the room, allowing everyone to share their experiences and network with their peers.
Birds of a Feather
This involves getting a group of people with a common interest or experience in an industry to work together. This typically happens over a simple coffee or lunch break. They have a pre-planned agenda where members can have discussions and network.
This creative activity involves having members vote with their feet. Presenters will ask questions, and participants will walk to different parts of the room to show what they voted for. This is more interactive and can be fun to break the ice with members.
This meeting form gives speakers just a short amount of time to speak (around 10 minutes or less). Because the speakers are brief, they need to get to their point quickly and can maintain the attention of the audience. Many ideas can be covered in a short amount of time.
QR Code Technology
Another new tactic is that event coordinators take advantage of our QR codes. These can help promote networking quickly and easily. Although it might seem like a small addition to an event, it can provide unique data about attendees.
Event coordinators can integrate the information with their CRM, allowing them to follow up with attendees in ways they couldn't before.
Combining Elements of Physical and Virtual Events to Reach Wider Audiences
Research has shown that more than a third of marketers consider virtual events to be one of their main tactics to reach customers in 2023.
Although in-person events are slowly increasing again after the pandemic, virtual and hybrid strategies will still play a crucial part in the event experience. Planners not incorporating these elements into their business events will fall behind when collecting attendee insights for their marketing.
According to Markletic, 86% of B2B organizations received a positive ROI from hybrid events. At the same time, 57% of respondents claimed they would instead attend an in-person version of the event if it were available.
With this information in mind, it's clear that although there will be a shift towards in-person events, businesses and marketers must still incorporate hybrid elements to help maximize event attendance and connection.
Although the lockdown might be over, businesses need to meet their customers wherever they wish to be met, both online and in person.
Managing Budgets In a Down Economy
Economic trends have not been kind to the event planning industry lately. It is getting harder for businesses to budget for events. This is because of factors like inflation and economic recession.
This means that event organizers have to cut excess costs for events. At the beginning of the pandemic, budgets were loose, and innovation was abundant. However, times have changed since then.
Event planners must develop creative solutions that provide an engaging customer experience and lead to actual ROI. They need to choose the right platform to help capture the entire customer profile and reduce costs for event technology.
Here are a few steps that event marketers can take to stay afloat in a down economy for corporate events:
- Stick to the basics when it comes to focusing on the main objective of the event and stick to a cost-effective strategy
- Indicate "must-haves" and "nice-to-haves" to outline your budget
- Reduce costs wherever possible
- Secure lucrative sponsors that can help expand your budget
- Come up with creative ticketing strategies like tiers to make more revenue
Conrad Mills of Forrester also shared some valuable advice for event marketers to navigate the economic landscape:
- Focus on the audience when planning an event by focusing on what they are looking for and personalizing the experience
- Integrate more digital interactions at in-person events so that you can connect with them before and after
- Combine event technology with marketing and sales
- Make in-person events inclusive
- Pay attention to environmental sustainability
There is no one answer when it comes to navigating a down economy. Event planners must be creative and develop unique solutions to build a successful event.
See What's on the Event Horizon for 2023
The event planning industry is an ever-evolving beast. Marketers and event planners must stay on top of the latest trends to succeed. The best way to do this is to connect with other event industry workers to find what works best.
The Event Planner Expo is the must-attend conference for event planners, meeting planners, marketing and PR professionals, and corporate decision-makers.
The Event Planner Expo is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and will be unlike any other event. Industry professionals will be able to network and create long-lasting partnerships to help skyrocket their businesses.
Get your tickets for the Event Planner Expo today!