IBTM Insights: The latest events industry trends and news

IBTM Insights: The latest events industry trends and news

As our industry begins to rebuild and recover from the pandemic, here we take a look at some the key trends and insights that reveal how our industry has changed and how we’re rebuilding for the future.

The industry’s data muscles are well and truly flexed

At the beginning of the year, Skift predicted the ‘Megatrends Defining Travel in 2020’. Now, six months on, it has re-examined these trends in light of the impact of the coronavirus.

Having already predicted that more event planners would be tapping into increasingly sophisticated planning software to take a more data-driven approach to events, the sudden rise in virtual events driven by the effects of the pandemic has dramatically accelerated this process, with new and enhanced tools and data analysis options coming online. Skift predicts that this will ‘change the way live events are planned once the industry reopens. Meeting and event planners will be able to spark new ideas and provide better tangibility to sponsors and other key stakeholders by using the data muscles they developed during the pandemic’.

The volume of data, plus data analysis skills and services honed during the pandemic will have long-term effects on the way live events are planned in the future, with end-to-end event planning tools becoming ever more prevalent, which ultimately should provide a better, more enriching and personalised experience for attendees.

Adapt to thrive

The pandemic has resulted in a huge focus on reskilling, as event professionals recognise the need to adapt or enhance skillsets in order to thrive post-pandemic. With virtual and hybrid events becoming commonplace during recent months, the need to develop new skillsets related to specifically to this has become a priority for many in order to embrace the new opportunities these present. This includes everything from event production and how to engage with attendees, to how to market events effectively.

Blair Sheppard, Global Leader Strategy and Leadership, PwC, recently penned an article for the World Economic Forum stating that up-skilling is essential for survival in a post-pandemic world. Whilst the article takes a broad approach, it’s clear that it’s vital for anyone working within the events industry to ensure they’re in the best possible place to re- or up-skill to adapt and thrive in the short and longer-term. Testament to this is the fact that PCMA recently reporting that it has seen a massive increase in global demand for its Digital Event Strategist certification.

‘Zoom fatigue’ and the desire for face-to-face

A recent survey by Northstar has revealed that, despite acknowledging that there are challenges in doing so, 41% of event planners surveyed expect to hold rescheduled face-to-face meetings before the end of 2020, even if they are smaller than originally expected. According to the survey, 79% of event planners are now looking for dates beginning in 2021 for newly scheduled events.

The return of face-to-face meetings is greatly anticipated elsewhere, with a survey by New Zealand revealing that, whilst technology and hybrid vents will continue to be important, it’s unlikely to replace to need for face-to-face meetings in the long term, with 86% saying that face-to-face meetings remain vital for their organisation.  Read more via CMW here.

Venues unveil reopening plans

We have taken great heart in seeing a number of major venues unveiling their plans for reopening. This includes our partner venue for IBTM World, Fira de Barcelona, which will open from September 2020. With Fira and several other venues announcing details of the new and improved health, safety and hygiene protocols in place, the news has been well received by an industry that’s keen to get back to business.

As part of their reopening plans, venues are also showcasing new virtual tours, hybrid event facilities and upgraded AV equipment designed to ensure planners can successfully deliver events that meet the needs of our new normal.

You can read more about Fira de Barcelona’s plans here.

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Find more content like this on our virtual resource hub, IBTM Connect.

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