Much has been written about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the event and meeting planning industry. Pathable, a virtual event company, recently released a survey highlighting some of the lessons learned during the last year related to the changing event industry. Here are some highlights:
- Before COVID-19, 45 percent of events had less than 500 attendees, 42 percent had 500-1,000 attendees, 27 percent had 1,000-5,000 attendees and the remaining five percent had more than 5,000 attendees.
- Most events are held between October and December, which gives planners more flexibility throughout the year to solidify the plans for their event. In the remaining months, the number of events hosted is evenly spread out, with April-June being the second most popular time to host events.
- Of those surveyed, 96 percent indicated they would host a virtual event if an in-person event were not allowed. In addition, 22 percent indicated they would offer additional resources to attendees, including webinars and virtual networking.
- Event planners indicate they have seen the value of virtual events and prefer to engage digitally during these changing times rather than cancelling events or not providing connectivity at all.
- An overwhelming 78 percent of respondents plan to host events with both in-person and virtual components, if in-person gatherings are allowed. Just 17 percent plan to host in-person-only events if in-person events are permitted in 2021.
- By March of 2021, a third of participants anticipate deciding about whether they will host events or not and 40 percent will have decided what platform they will use for their event(s). Whereas 27 percent have already decided whether they will host events in 2021.
Planning events for the year to come will continue to present challenges for event planners as they navigate in-person events, virtual and hybrid events. Innovative approaches are critical for hosting safe events that are engaging and safe for attendees. Digital platforms will certainly be an important enabler for engagement and community.
Need help planning your next in-person, hybrid, or virtual event? Contact AOE today!