Events industry to return bigger than 2019

Patrick Smith

First and most importantly, in-person events have returned to the forefront. In fact, Cvent’s latest Planner Sourcing Report revealed that 63 per cent of event planners across Middle East and Africa expect to host more in-person events in 2023 compared to 2019. 

Some 66 per cent of these planners expect to pay more for meetings of the same size and complexity, while 42 per cent say they’ll have more budget for events in 2023 when compared to 2019.

These results spotlight the positive momentum we’re seeing in the return of in-person events – which are the bedrock of the events industry.

While we believe in-person will remain a prominent part of the events landscape in 2023 and beyond, we expect that virtual and hybrid events will continue to make up an important part of the overall event programme mix – helping companies increase accessibility and reach, while reducing costs – which is critical in an uncertain economic environment.  The Cvent report also suggests, planners hold strongest interest for in-person (62 per cent), followed by hybrid (38 per cent) and virtual (33 per cent).

As more organizations host a smart mix of event formats in 2023, we believe it will drive increased demand for one unified technology platform that seamlessly supports all event formats – like Cvent.

We also expect that in 2023, digitization will remain a prominent driver of how organizations leverage technology across their event programs to centralize event operations and gather more data and attendee insights – which in turn enables better post-event follow up.

Other trends we expect to see in 2023 is a greater focus on sustainable events and venues, increased attendee expectations for more creative and immersive experiences, and wellness activities and social activism efforts as part of the event experience, and meeting destinations that offer both business and leisure environments.

* Patrick is Senior Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer at Cvent