Fifth etc.venues annual survey provides valuable insights into the value of face-to face meetings, one day meetings and sustainability
More than half (53.5 percent) of event planners say there has been a noticeable improvement in business performance within their organisation since returning to face-to-face meetings, while almost 99 per cent say they value them more than or the same as before the pandemic.
These revealing insights come from the latest survey of event planners in the UK and USA conducted by etc.venues, a leading provider of urban non-residential event venues. The annual research is now on its fifth edition and highlights significant trends.
Planners continue to value the irreplaceable quality of face-to-face meetings. Almost 99 per cent say they value them more than or the same as before the pandemic, up from 82 per cent a year ago and a 22 per cent increase from the start of the pandemic.
What is more revealing is that 53.5 per cent of event planners say there has been a noticeable improvement in business performance within their organisation since returning to face-to-face meetings.
In 2022, etc.venues saw nine months of positive growth in meetings enquiries and bookings across the UK and USA, a trend that is continuing into 2023. Clearly, there is growing realisation of the importance of in-person interaction for businesses.
26.7 per cent of event planners are looking at holding more in-person meetings than before the pandemic, with 35.7 per cent keeping the number the same as before.
One respondent commented: “After being forced online for so long, we have definitely seen our busiest year of face-to-face events with people desperate to be in the room. I think that people really realised how important physical meetings are”
More one day meetings, fewer multiple day events
The research identified that 65.3 per cent of event planners are arranging more one-day meetings than previously. Of these 37.9 per cent said it is to make better use of people’s time, 31.8 per cent are doing to so to reduce costs and 30.3 per cent says it’s to help the work-life balance of delegates. This is a sign that the impact of a dispersed workforce has changed the way in which meetings agendas are constructed.
One respondent added:
“It has been lovely being face-to-face again after such a long time, however work-life balance has become so much more important since the pandemic.”
Planners don’t yet see a comprehensive approach to sustainability
“Everyone is talking about it, but no one is doing anything except planting a few trees here and there,” commented one respondent.
When asked how committed the meetings industry is to sustainability, the answer was inconclusive. Encouragingly, only 6.8 per cent of event planners thought the industry is not really committed but only 4.9 per cent thought it is strongly engaged. Similarly, while 43.7 per cent thought that organisations are taking action but not very committed, 44.6 per cent think that the industry is fairly committed to action.
Adam Simpson, Director of Marketing for etc.venues says: “It’s great to see that business performance is improving as in-person meetings return and that face-to face meetings are now universally valued. Confidence in the industry is back and etc.venues is growing to accommodate this trend with new space opening in both the US and UK.”www.etcvenues.com