Venue finding and events services platform, Hire Space, has released data that shows early trends of business events in the cost-of-living crisis.
Appetite for business events is back
In the first 3 quarters of 2022 Hire Space has seen average budgets for meetings and conferences rise to over 25% higher than in the same period of 2019, reflecting a renewed appetite for business events post-pandemic.
But inflation will have a knock on effect
Venues and operators are having to increase prices, with a survey by the Meetings Industry Association finding that operating costs have increased by almost a third, on average, and that more than three quarters of operators have had to raise their prices.
Companies are looking to get more for their money
Hire Space has seen attendee numbers quoted on enquiries rising by 14.86% between Q2 and Q3, while per-head budgets have decreased. This suggests that companies are looking to get more for their money as they revise their event budgets.
The trend may be towards fewer, but larger events
The events that companies do put on are likely to be more strategic and implemented based on measurable returns, as opposed to following a pre-pandemic calendar. This may result in less frequent, larger events, which are considered more critical to business objectives.
Planners will need to incentivise delegates
Event planners may need to provide more incentives to encourage delegate attendance events as they experience higher travel costs and more expensive accommodation.
Organisers will need to consider whether it is worthwhile for them to foot the bill for these areas, and what content and unique experiences will bring in attendees.
Hybrid events will grow in popularity
As companies cut travel budgets, hybrid events are expected to fill an essential gap, as international travel budgets decrease. This also reflects a turn to sustainability in events. However, hybrid events need to be done right, which can be costly. Hire Space’s complete guide to hybrid events shares more details.
Events will rely more heavily on metrics to prove their value
Post-pandemic, there’s appetite for events and activations that bring people together, and most businesses see the value in investing in them.
But to justify event spends, planners will need to prove their ROI more than ever, and be equipped to measure events against KPIs and business growth.
Stretched teams will need support
With shorter lead times and higher pressure, packages providing on-demand procurement and event-day support, such as Hire Space 360, will be increasingly valuable to in-house event planners.