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 adapting for the future.

Blowing bubbles

With NBA players living, practising and playing in a tightly controlled ‘bubble’ setting in order to conclude their 2019-20 basketball season in the USA, Event MB asks if event ‘bubbles’ could be the answer to in-person events prior to a vaccine becoming available.

As with many things to do with this virus, this may be more complicated than it seems. For event bubbles to work, they would have to effectively lock everyone into the event for its duration (so no going back to hotel rooms overnight). Faster and more accurate testing would also need to be available, otherwise, attendees face very long waits at the door, or could catch the virus between the time of their test and their attendance at the event. Support staff also need to be considered and ‘locked in’, and single entry and exit points at venues established.

But on the upside, bubble events could end up costing no more than non-bubble events, after all the safety and physical distancing measures have been implemented. And crucially, bubbles allow events to run as normal, and potentially at full capacity, which will positively affect the bottom line. While testing clearly has some way to go before it can provide a solution, it’s an interesting idea that could help to reinstate trust in large gatherings and is definitely one to watch.

Give it a break

With all the uncertainty going on right now, EventWell, the mental health and wellbeing voice of the events industry, has shared its tips for how to look after our physical and mental health.

From advice on how to ease isolation and create a positive work-life balance when working from home to ideas on keeping up old routines and the benefits of getting a dose of fresh air daily. Although self-care may be the last thing on your to-do list at the moment, the Mayo Clinic reports that practising positive thinking and behaviours can reduce depression, alleviate stress and bolster physical and psychological wellbeing, all more important than ever in these difficult times.

Menu of change

Among many other things, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we view food and drink, too, with healthier and more nutritious options rising to the top of the menu.

The UK government has recently unveiled its major new campaign – Better Health, to help people lose weight and cut COVID-19 risk. With advice on eating healthily, losing weight and becoming more physically active, the campaign aims to help people “protect themselves against COVID-19 and protect the NHS”. Food and drink labelled as ‘health foods’ or ‘immunity boosting’, as well as products lower in sugar, salt and fat, fortified and plant-based foods, are likely to become more popular. Nielsen data, for example, reported a 264 per cent surge in the purchase of plant-based meat in the US during lockdown.

According to Jean-Michel Dixte, Global Vice-President, Food & Beverage for Dusit International, speaking in Hospitality.net, “following the pandemic, I believe the wellness dining market will definitely keep rising”. He continues: “Following the crisis, I believe the vast majority of people will also choose to fuel their happiness by leading healthier lifestyles – replacing any unhealthy eating and drinking habits they may have had with a better-balanced diet.”

Industry adapts to changing times

Some interesting insights on how the industry is getting back on its feet and adapting to the ‘new normal’ were discussed by global MICE industry leaders in C&IT’s Crisis Briefing webinar, How to Recover from a Crisis.

These included simple swaps like ditching green screens in zoom calls in favour of our natural environments, which reportedly helps combat virtual fatigue and foster a more natural connection with our peers. Other adaptations included those unveiled by Singapore Airlines, which has fitted HEPA high-density particulate air filters aboard all their aircraft, which kill 99% of bacteria in the air and force airflow downwards, minimising the risk of spreading the virus.

To watch the full webinar please click here.

BVEP takes the temperature of the industry

The Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP), the umbrella body and advocacy group for the UK’s events industry, has launched its BVEP Partner Events Reopening Survey, to help understand how organisations and venues across England are preparing ahead of the industry’s proposed go date of the 1 October.

Simon Hughes, chair, BVEP said: “We are encouraging our industry colleagues to respond to this survey as openly and as honestly as possible. We want to understand what else venues and businesses need from us and government ahead of 1 October so it can thrive once again after a few very difficult months.”

To take the survey please click here.

Post-COVID shows sell out in Asia

The first major cultural events to take place in Taiwan since Coronavirus restrictions were put in place earlier this year have been hugely successful, with concerts featuring the Taiwanese artist Eric Chou selling out in just 15 minutes. The Taiwanese government has already lifted restrictions on the number of people allowed to attend public gatherings and removed the requirement for social distancing at concert halls and stadiums.

In addition, the Taiwan Ministry of Culture issued over 2 million electronic cultural vouchers, worth NT$600 (€18) each, for tickets to concerts, art exhibitions and other cultural events, or to buy items at venues or culture-focused shops.

A named ticket system, where attendees fill their name and contact number on their ticket, is in place to facilitate track and trace at the shows.

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