By Rudy Brown
Looking back over the past year, overall, 2022 has been very good for us at 3Ten Events Inc. We have seen lots of highs and some lows throughout the year.
But, as it is time to look to the coming year, here are three events and meetings industry trends we are foreseeing for 2023.
1. In-Person will be a hot ticket
This year has brought the return to in-person events. Organizers and attendees alike have craved that face-to-face interaction that has been missing for the past few years. Over 80% of our events were live. All the major conferences and expos that we did virtually, or none at all for the past few years, returned in-person. Based on current bookings, 2023 is shaping up to see an almost full return to in-person for our clients.
But live events, like many other aspects of our lives, have seen changes. For 2023 in-person events will also continue to evolve. Events and meetings will need to provide a more meaningful experience to attract attendees, especially to get them to travel. Companies have to balance employee and customer work & life needs and keep them all connected as remote work will continue to be a reality. Event organizers need to be creative and innovative in meeting the new needs of participants, sponsors, and other event stakeholders where they are located.
We have encountered several events that started with an in-person plan, and at the last moment added a virtual component. Organizers and participants will continue to request some virtual component or hybrid events. Whether for greater audience reach, cost-reduction for travel, health and safety concerns, or offering other media/content options, clients will still want the capability to stream their event or capture it for on demand playback.
2. Event Tech Evolution will open the doors
New Event Tech will continue to evolve and be a leading driver for events and meetings.
Participants demand more than the normal ways of doing events. As mentioned before,
events and meetings will need to be creative and innovative in meeting the multiple needs of their participants.
Event content and data will also be in high demand. One event ROI for companies is the ability to resell and reuse event content. Companies seek large amounts of event data for all types of marketing and strategic planning efforts.
Event technology will help transform the event and meetings. Event tech companies are working hard to produce the type of technology that is easier to implement across different types of events and in different environments. New technologies will help expand the event experience, for in-person, virtual, and hybrid. Also, event tech is a must in creating and capturing the type of content and data needed.
3. Human-Social-Environmental causes will be on center stage
As the world faces several major challenges, event participants, sponsors, and companies are stepping in to do more. National and global issues will be the banner or backdrop for many events and meetings.
Events and meetings will not only use these issues and causes as talking points, but they are expected to be incorporated into the event. Therefore, expect to see more planning and implementation at events to address the major causes, and any new issue that might arise during the year.
As more and more organizations around the globe tackle DEI (Diversity Equity, Inclusion) issues, participants will be wanting to see it not only as a meeting theme, but fully exhibited by event stakeholders. Event organizers and venues will need to have an effective and efficient accessibility plan in place. Environment-friendly, and sustainability will be a major requirement, especially for events with a large footprint. After the effects of the past couple years, physical and mental health & wellness for not only participants, but for vendors too, is a must have for events and meetings.
3Ten will continue to deliver
Throughout the year the event industry faced some major challenges, supply chain issues, rising equipment prices, and work force shortages. The coming year will see additional challenges, fears of a global recession, some level of inflation, or slow economic growth that might curtail event spending, at least through the first half of 2023.
Despite all the ups and downs, 3Ten will continue to work with our clients to provide cost-effective, quality, professional event audio-visual and production services.
Thanks to everyone who supported us throughout the past year. We now look forward to a great 2023.
Rudy Brown is CEO at 3Ten Events Inc.