Insight: Issue 45 (19th May)
Glasgow and Moray watching the UK reopen. . .
Sorry in advance to all event profs in those areas for the first item in today’s insight…UK venues react jubilantly to their reopening; industry experts weigh in on what’s changed in F2F networking; there’s a new report on the impact of coronavirus on the European convention sector; plus a new tech infographic revealing a thriving vendor landscape; plans for a world-first 5G hybrid festival have been unveiled; and we’re taking a breather to reflect on the mental health pressures of working in the fast-paced world of events.
UK venues: “we’re back!”
Venues across the UK have been reacting jubilantly on social media as they reopened for socially distanced events at the start of this week. Much anticipation has surrounded the return of live music, especially after recent UK pilot events got everyone’s hopes up.
And it seems things are off to a strong start in England, with a survey from the Music Venues Trust (MVT) revealing that over 28.5k gigs have been booked for grassroots music venues this summer.
The MVT have also created a virtual map of all the events happening across the UK in the coming months, which you can explore here.
Returning to F2F networking: what’s changed?
With venues finally opening their doors again, it might be time for conference goers to dust off their business cards and prepare to return to in-person networking. But, will it be the same as before? Industry experts have weighed in on what to expect from F2F networking in a COVID world:
- Respect other people’s boundaries. Be mindful of the fact that lots of people will be nervous about venturing into venues after so much time stuck at home. So don’t go diving in for a hug or a handshake without asking first!
- Expect smaller groups in larger spaces. Guest lists will inevitably be decreased to allow venues to comply with social distancing guidelines – and this will mean fewer tickets on sale, so act fast if there’s an event you’re desperate to attend!
- So many events, so little time. With postponed events from 2020 now overlapping with 2021/22 bookings, attendees will have plenty of choice. Event profs will have to work twice as hard to make sure their events stand out from the crowd (because, you know, they don’t work hard enough already…).
Report: COVID impact on European conventions
The Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe has published a report on ‘The Impact of Coronavirus on Europe’s Convention Sector’ – and, long story short, we’re not out of the COVID woods just yet. Given the uncertainty about how the pandemic will evolve over the next few months, the report explains 3 possible recovery scenarios.
The baseline scenario assumes that lingering restrictions and negative sentiment throughout 2021 will have a knock-on effect, meaning recovery will not start in earnest until 2022. The removal of restrictions will then give event profs confidence and boost recovery of the sector, with event attendance expected to recover by 2024. This scenario also forecasts that different types of events will recover at varying paces, with small-scale domestic events leading the way and reaching 2019 levels by the end of 2022.
For the nitty gritty, you can read the report in full here.
Infographic shows thriving vendor landscape
In better news, a new event technology infographic has revealed a booming vendor landscape. The EventTech 800 features 832 tech companies and shows a 400% increase in vendor numbers in just 1 year. The cause of this boom is, of course, the devastation of in-person events; with challenges around virtual engagement leading investors to funnel billions of dollars into the sector. But, if anything, this is evidence of the sheer resilience and adaptability of our industry.
World-first 5G hybrid festival plans unveiled
Tech geeks, assemble! Leading organisations from across the UK’s arts, entertainment, and technology industries are collaborating to create the first ever hybrid 5G Festival – which will be broadcast live directly to remote audiences from world-leading venues.
The 5G Festival will produce a 5G-powered, immersive collaboration platform for artists, allowing them to perform together live, but remotely. Essentially what this means is – musicians can perform together from different venues at the same time, completely in-sync with one another, while broadcasting to a global audience. SO COOL.
Reflecting on Mental Health Awareness Week
Following Mental Health Awareness Week, we wanted to round off this week’s insight with an article from Exhibition News – which is an honest discussion of mental health within the highly pressurised world of event organising. Tom Fisher, Group Marketing Ops Manager for Clarion, speaks candidly about his own experiences of mental health and offers support to those who share his struggles. We highly recommend you get yourself a cup of coffee, and give it a read.
Until next week, folks!