To deliver successful events, venues and organizers must stay ahead of the latest trends in event management. From monitoring changes in consumer expectations and industry best practice standards to keeping on top of advancements in technology, there are so many factors that influence trends in event management. Plus, one must also consider the impact of global market conditions as highlighted in this recent Forbes article about what economic uncertainty might mean for 2023 events.
Needless to say, it can be challenging for venues and organizers to stay up to date when managing competing priorities for upcoming bookings and future events. That’s why I’m sharing my predictions for the key trends in event management for 2023 to help venues and organizers succeed over the next twelve months.
Top 10 Trends in Event Management for 2023
1. Adopting Sustainable Event Practices
This year’s top trend in event management is more venues and event organizers worldwide taking responsibility for their environmental impact. To do so, many are implementing sustainable strategies, including reducing paper waste, eliminating single-use plastics, offering virtual/hybrid event options, promoting sustainable menu choices (i.e., meat-free or plant-based options), and proposing carbon offset packages to compensate for the emissions produced at events. If you are looking for ideas to get started, read this VenueNow blog on “5 Ways to Create a Sustainable Event.”
2. Prioritizing Risk Management
The global pandemic forced risk management into the spotlight as businesses navigated new restrictions and government recommendations to keep their staff, suppliers and customers safe. Throughout 2023, risk management will remain a trend in event management for venues and organizers as they aim to identify new and ongoing threats and refine their procedures to ensure any potential risks are quickly and effectively addressed.
In addition, the findings of the Manchester Bombing attack inquest highlighted the need for reform. Martyn’s Law will come into effect in the UK in 2023 putting more emphasis on the importance of formal risk assessment processes.
3. Managing Staff Shortages
Staffing shortages will continue as a trend in event management in 2023, so venues and organizers must focus on attracting suitable candidates, streamlining onboarding processes and encouraging staff engagement. Tactics that are being used include offering desirable packages, flexible working arrangements and upskill/career advancement opportunities. In addition, many businesses are turning to technology to automate basic administrative duties, allowing existing staff to increase their productivity levels and dedicate more time towards delivering the best possible event experience for their customers.
4. Ensuring Data Security, Privacy, Protection and Hygiene
While the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced in Europe in 2018, consumers in other regions are now becoming more aware of the risks of sharing their information. As a result, data security, privacy and protection are fast becoming trends in event management for venue and organizers, especially those who capture sensitive customer details through event registration, ticket sales and online payments.
In addition to protecting client data, venues and events teams are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of maintaining good data hygiene. By capturing the right information and maintaining an accurate database, businesses can produce accurate reports giving them greater insights into overall performance, which can be used to drive commercial decisions.
5. Promoting Accessibility and Inclusion
Throughout 2023, there will be a greater push for all venues and events to offer accessible live and virtual event experiences. This will include offering accessible online booking platforms, providing barrier-free access to venues and virtual events, and delivering enjoyable and accessible event experiences. This blog from the World Institute on Disability is a great resource for organizers and venues wanting to make their events more inclusive to meet the needs of all attendees, as it includes 11 top tips for “Making your Events More Accessible.”
6. Accommodating Last-Minute Ticket Sales and Registrations
The impacts of COVID are far from over for anyone in the events industry. One of the most significant changes for venues and event planners is that potential event attendees are reluctant to book or register for events too far in advance because they are concerned about having to cancel at the last minute due to illness. This trend in event management will continue in 2023, so venues and organizers will need to rely on past event statistics to accurately predict the stock and staffing levels required for their upcoming events and bookings. At least for this year, you cannot rely on final guest numbers until much closer to the event date.
7. Improving the Live Event Experience
As Forbes noted in this article about live events after the pandemic, many people welcomed the return of face-to-face events and less traditional experiences in 2022. Over the next twelve months, venues and event management teams will need to continue encouraging customers to return to live events by enhancing the in-person experience before, during and after the event with features that cannot be replicated in a virtual setting, e.g., premium hospitality packages, unique and interactive fan experiences and behind-the-scenes tours for high-profile venues. This is the year to be innovative and explore new tools and technologies to create one-of-a-kind experiences at your event.
8. Changing Consumer Expectations and Event Technology
Event and venue management teams are seeking digital and self-service solutions to meet new consumer expectations and improve the buyer’s journey in the lead-up to and during events. This trend in event management will continue in 2023, with many venues adopting new event technologies such as online booking platforms, e-ticket solutions, digital signage, “in-app” mobile purchases, and contactless payments.
9. Managing Profitability and Rising Costs
Venues and events businesses around the globe are struggling to maintain profitability while simultaneously experiencing increased costs of goods and services, supply chain issues and consumers who have less disposable income due to considerable increases in the cost of living. In 2023, venues and event businesses will be focused on minimizing costs and maximizing profitability while ensuring a first-class customer experience.
10. Driving Revenue and Increasing Venue Occupancy
My final prediction for trends in event management you’ll see this year is generating new revenue streams at venues. Many businesses are still attempting to recuperate revenue lost during the pandemic by repurposing underused spaces and turning them into bookable rooms to maximize revenue, increase occupancy and provide unique experiences for patrons. This is especially true for unique venues like corporate businesses and higher educational facilities that now offer hybrid arrangements for their staff and customers and have vacant spaces that can be used for events.
How the Worldwide Innovation Lab Will Address Trends in Event Management
One of the primary goals of Ungerboeck’s Worldwide Innovation Lab initiative is to work with our global venue and event management customers, alongside industry partners, to understand the challenges you are facing and monitor these trends in event management. Our aim is to use this insight and feedback to inform the technologies and resources we develop to help venues and event management professionals be successful.
by Steve Mackenzie