Insight: Issue 26 (6th January)
Happy New Year, event profs!
Despite getting off to a rocky start, we’re tentatively hopeful about the year ahead. This too shall pass, as they say. And when in-person events resume, they’ll be better than ever.
As well as some predictions for the events industry in the coming months, we’ve also got: career advice for job hunters and business owners in the new year; the best apps to take your events to the next level in 2021; 4 major event trends to look out for; and some of the best videos from 2020, to start the year with a much-needed smile.
A rocky start to the new year
Remember when 75% of event profs said our industry would be back to normal by Q1 of 2021? Well, with COVID cases surging, the vaccination rollout lagging, and *another* lockdown underway, that seems impossible.
BUT, as Event Manager Blog points out, it’s not all doom and gloom. The events industry has generated some top-notch case studies showing how to revive in-person gatherings, which will allow us to hit the ground running when virus numbers decrease. Virtual is the only option available to us for the time being, but that’s okay—because event profs are more savvy with these events and their platforms than ever before. Not to mention, the more time that passes without live events, the more we are collectively realising their importance—and that means we’ll appreciate them all the more.
Will meetings return to normal this year?
Smart Meetings has also weighed in on what we can expect in 2021. Though event profs no longer believe the new year will magically fill calendars like it did in 2019, 75% are still rebooking meetings—energised by news of multiple COVID vaccines, and by the rigorous safety protocols being adopted by venues and hotels.
As for what will bring back in-person meetings for good, 65% of event profs are pinning their hopes on the vaccines, while 60% believe flexible hotel contracts are the second most important factor. For 25% of planners, true confidence in the return of face-to-face meetings won’t begin until Q3 of 2021; 72% suggest 2022 is more likely; and 46% believe attendance will not return to the giddy heights of 2019 levels until 2023. For all of our sakes, let’s hope it’s sooner.
New year, new job?
2020 was a difficult time for job hunters, career changers, business owners and…well…everyone. So Smart Meetings has rounded up their best career articles to get you through the year ahead. Whether you’re searching for new opportunities, bulking up your skillset, or just trying to keep your company afloat—there’s advice in here for everyone:
- Etiquette for job hunting on social media—how to let your connections know that you’re #OpenToWork.
- A business owner’s guide to surviving the pandemic—which has a lot to do with pivoting your business and developing additional skills.
- Top 5 talent tips for virtual & hybrid events—AKA, how to stay employable in 2021!
- What event profs can do to prepare for a post-COVID future—from transferable hospitality skills, to unconventional career hacks.
- 5 steps to boosting employee morale—more important now than ever before.
- EIC offers hope for displaced meeting profs—EIC’s revamped Career Centre offers tips for job hunting and online learning, plus info on financial support and scholarships.
Top apps to take your events to the next level
Event apps weren’t new in 2020, of course, but they’ve advanced a hell of a lot in the 10 months since COVID hit. They’ve helped event profs to form the foundation for our new virtual world, and are paving the way for a hybrid future. Key features like focus, intuition, response time, and ease of use are still as crucial as ever—but increased reach and capacity are really changing the game.
If you’re looking to kickstart the year by learning something new, Event Industry News has profiled some of the best apps to take your 2021 events to the next level.
4 major event trends for 2021
With COVID restrictions constantly changing, it’s hard to predict what we’ll be doing tomorrow, let alone several months from now! But, as we all know, event profs cannot sit still—and we can’t resist making plans anyway. Event Industry News have shared their predictions for the top 4 event trends for 2021, and we’re all for it:
- Catering—Catering solves several problems for consumers: it’s a safe way for food to be prepared, delivered, and served at small gatherings (and it saves time, too!).
- Micro-events—For people who want to host safe celebrations in 2021, socially-distanced micro-events with a small guest count will fit the bill.
- Venue flexibility—As restrictions change, venues will need to think about how they can run safe and comfortable in-person events that adhere to evolving capacity limits.
- And, you guessed it, virtual & hybrid events—Virtual events are here to stay; but they’ll continue to evolve over the coming year, with hybrid events to follow.
The best videos from 2020
Okay, here’s a controversial statement: 2020 was not all bad.
We’ll admit, it was *mostly* bad…but it also provided our industry with the opportunity to be really creative, to rapidly expand our collective skillsets, and to show the world just how resilient event profs can be. In that spirit, Smart Meetings shared their best videos from 2020. There’s some good stuff in there—so have a nosy, have a laugh, and then it’s onwards and upwards in 2021.
Here’s to better and brighter times ahead, folks!