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The future of events

Over the past few weeks there has been one question I've been asked more than others 'What will events look like in the future?' So I thought I'd share my ponderings as we move forward in 2021.

Events will be back - that's the good news! There is no doubt about it and am encouraging businesses to look and start preparing plans and strategies to reconnect with their customers and build relationships. Whether these are via virtual platforms or physical/in person events (remember them) our options for events are actually increasing not reducing.

Digital technology was always working towards the offering of virtual events, some forward thinking companies were already experimenting via these means before 2020.We have, over the past year all had to adapt more to virtual platforms - Zoom, Teams etc are common and almost normal now. The classic ' You're on mute' is repeated in houses up and down the country.

Digital technology was on its way and has just been brought forward more rapidly due to circumstances, it will continue to evolve and offer us an alternative to how we engage and connect with each other as businesses. Interactive experiences and reality events will begin to blow our minds as we realise what can be offered via these platforms.

I for one will embrace this and learn more about these new apps and programs to integrate in to event offerings and be sure to share and relate the benefits to clients as they investigate what suits them and their event. It is possible with some of these apps to closely replicate a real life event - you'll be amazed what technology is already capable of.

Physical events will return and I for one can't wait, we are human after all and need that human contact and engagement in real time, real energy and real places. It may at first be a different experience, with regulations and restrictions in place. Capacity of venues may be reduced, layout and formats changed. Procedures e.g staggered arrivals may have to be put in places, check -ins via apps inc Tracking apps may be a new feature. More guidance will no doubt be introduced, but this does not mean they can't or won't take place. The energy at events is something we miss, the buzz of attendees arriving, connecting during breaks, engaging with speakers and exhibitors. The opportunities to really connect with your clients and guests and build those relationships further. Being there, in the moment when something unique and memorable occurs, the goosebumps you feel sometimes -that's what we're waiting for.

I recognise that large events are perhaps a while away, but when we look at for example sporting events in New Zealand or Australia we can have hope.

What else may change in the future? Perhaps we'll be seeing more hybrid events. Businesses may look more closely at the travel and rationale for attending events and will want to ensure maximum benefit and ROI for sending colleagues to attend. These to me aren't negatives in anyway, they are necessary in some ways for events to evolve. Event management companies like myself, will really ensure we are able to offer real value to events we are managing. We'll inform and demonstrate from the offset to our clients how we plan for this in every step of our process pre, during and post event. Venues will become more competitive in pricing and offerings. If anything, events will be better in time as the offering and benefits improve. Businesses will benefit from clarity when measuring event ROI, reconnecting with clients and developing stronger business relationships at events that are tailored to their needs.

Yes the industry has been hit hard and perhaps neglected in some ways throughout this period, but we must regroup, come back stronger and have hope together to get back to delivering what we are passionate about.

Please do feel free to share your comments and thoughts. If you would like to discuss anything about events as you plan your calendar please do not hesitate to contact me Mobile: 07957 548619

Lastly, I'm a notorious hugger so I apologise to all those I meet at the first event I attend!

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