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What Does the Future of the Events Industry Look Like?

Last updated December 8th, 2020

Predicting the future of any industry includes as much crystal ball gazing as analysing trends and audience appetites. This year more than most. In what is one of the most challenging years in modern memory, can we even tell what the future of the events industry looks like?

Yes we can, sort of.

There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic is a massive challenge. There is no doubt that the events industry has been hit harder than most. There is also no doubt that the industry will have to adapt and change to come out the other side.

With that in mind, we think the future of the events industry will include the following:

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Virtual events

Virtual events are part of the future. They aren’t all of the industry like they are now but they will form a big market within events. They were a growing aspect of events long before 2020 and that popularity has surged this year. Partly out of necessity and partly out of an increased acceptance of new ways of doing things.

We have been hosting virtual events for many years already. We were organizing virtual reality events, webinars, live streams, webcasts and were offering virtual attendance to in-person events long before lockdown and will continue long after.

This has accelerated out of necessity but was growing anyway. We expect that trend to continue afterwards too.

In-person events

While some commentators have heralded the end of live events, we don’t agree. We think some events work well virtually but some don’t work quite so well. Live music, networking events, product releases, weddings, christenings and corporate events can all be hosted virtually but they lose something important.

We think there will be a welcome return of live events and we think they will be bigger and better than ever. They will also be smarter, more efficient, less wasteful and perhaps include virtual elements alongside live performances.

Sustainable events

Sustainable events were on everyone’s radar long before lockdown. We think that trend will accelerate. Now that we have experienced cleaner air, less traffic and congestion on the road and less waste from living at home for a few months, we think the appetite for more sustainable ways of living is going to hit the roof.

The events industry will have to sate that appetite. It was something we were working towards anyway but it is something we are going to have to accelerate significantly to keep up with.

More value for money

Every business of every shape and size has been financially impacted by coronavirus. The events industry is going to have to adapt to that. There won’t be the budgets we are used to for a long while yet but we are still going to have to deliver fantastic events.

We are all going to have to get used to working much closer to budgets, for getting more for less, doing more with what we have and delivering much better value for money.

Better cooperation between events businesses

The events industry is amazingly competitive as we are sure you already know. But we think the future will be more cooperative. Some of the drivers towards offering better value, more innovation and doing more with less will encourage companies to work together to deliver on expectations.

Cooperation to help other companies with expertise and such but also in enforcing industry standards. A collective voice is always stronger than an individual one and we need that more than ever!

Increased self-reliance

While the government did what it could to help the industry survive, there were many companies that fell through the cracks. Many businesses were dropped like hot potatoes by clients who found themselves in trouble or left chasing payments from clients who could no longer afford to pay them.

We think there will be a more cautious approach in the future. Less flying by the seat of the pants and working from brief to brief and more planning for the future.

It is likely that we will begin charging earlier, perhaps at the pitch stage. Clients who send the same brief to multiple agencies may find themselves being charged to make the entire industry more sustainable.

This is what we think the future of the events industry looks like. Using the core strengths of the industry to best effect while adapting to the world that emerges from COVID-19. It will be an interesting exercise to see just how many we got right and how many we didn’t!

What do you think the future of the events industry looks like?

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