We have never been more excited to welcome in a new year. We can feel our industry awakening and know the resumption of in-person events is right around the corner (in some cases are already happening). What a morale boost! Once the foreign feeling of optimism gives way to the anxiety of “now what?”, we need to be prepared for what will happen in 2021. Here is what seems most likely as we move forward into the new year:
The event industry as a whole will focus on late spring for the “re-opening” across the United States. There will be regional pockets where this happens sooner.
Attendance will be a struggle. This will vary by industry served. Currently, there is nothing to guide estimates, but as an organizer you should be surveying your audience to gauge their feeling about the re-opening. I would not rely on broad information for specific markets.
Some exhibitors may not be able to exhibit. Again, this will vary by industry served, but there will be companies that still have travel restrictions.
Company (exhibitor and attendee) travel restrictions for health purposes will ease in the second half of 2021.
Economic conditions will be a factor we have to pay attention to. No one can predict with any degree of certainty what 2021 will look like.
Remote working has already affected the event industry. Everyone is now proficient with video meetings. This will affect some events more than others.
What does this mean to you?
Working harder for less attendance and maybe less exhibitors. This means you may get pressure on your price per square foot. This is one of the reasons the industry is talking about hybrid; to change the value proposition. Hybrid will help to supplement your ROI for the exhibitor and stabilize your revenue because of new opportunities.
Marketing is going to be key. It must be strategic, and it has to resonate.
What does your data look like? Have you updated your data to account for people working remote? Do you know what the industry is talking about? Not having an in-person event can lead to a disconnect. Using data can help bridge that.
Vendor health. Have you made sure that your vendors can deliver?
On-site check. It is going to be time to visit where your event is going to be held soon. You need to check everything again. Space, hotels and surrounding area; can the location support your event? Do adjustments need to be made?
And finally – make your choices for the long-term. Think about the next show and the one after that.
If you are already a customer of MYS, we have added a lot to our product to help you and will be reaching out to explain our view of “Hybrid.” If you are not a customer of MYS, we would be happy to show you what we are all about and how we can guide you into your 2021 events with confidence.