4 Event Trends for 2023

The event industry is back! In-person events made a massive comeback in 2022, thanks to Covid restrictions being lifted and the growing digitalization of events that offers new avenues to enhance attendee engagement.

However, challenges such as inflation and staffing shortages persist across various sectors. Nevertheless, the demand for events remains strong and continues to rise. Looking ahead to 2023, there are three significant trends to anticipate, and this blog post will explore how they will affect your meetings and events.

1) Event planners should keep a close eye on inflation

As inflation rates continue to rise and demand for events remains high, organizations will have to allocate more funds towards their event spending. A CWT report from 2022 projected that the cost-per-attendee for meetings and events would increase by 25% compared to 2019, with an additional 7% increase expected in 2023.

As a possible recession looms, businesses will prioritize cost savings and efficiencies across their event programs. This emphasis on controlling costs will also place greater pressure on event organizers to demonstrate the return on investment (ROI) of events, as it becomes increasingly crucial to showcase their impact and business value.

2) Experience-first: immersive and memorable experiences are the norm

In the aftermath of prolonged lockdowns and virtual gatherings, there is a heightened desire among attendees for next-level experiences. As such, event planners should prioritize crafting unique experiences for their guests they’ll go home and tell their friends about. In turn, this investment will provide exhibitors with a concrete return on investment and lead generation prospects.

3) In-person events now embrace the virtual component

The post-Covid event landscape has become increasingly digitized, thanks to the rapid shift towards virtual events during the pandemic. As a result, in-person events in 2023 and beyond will look markedly different from those in 2019.

In 2023, in-person events will feature more digital touchpoints, facilitated by technology. This will enable event planners and marketers to gather valuable data on attendee behavior and preferences, allowing for the creation of more personalized experiences.

Furthermore, the integration of more digital touchpoints will allow for the extension of attendee engagement beyond the typical start and end dates of an event, thereby creating a year-round, always-on attendee experience.

4) Event planners are using data more strategically

The advent of digitization has provided event organizers with an unprecedented opportunity to capture valuable data insights, particularly when there is a virtual component to the event.

The abundance of event data available means that event marketers and planners can gain deeper insights into attendee behavior, preferences, and interests. This, in turn, can be leveraged to enhance attendee experiences and increase engagement. Most events we produce have live Q&A, chat sessions, and polling to keep attendees engaged throughout the meeting. These types of interactions oftentimes aren’t possible at live events, nor are they as practical.

In summary, the events industry in 2023 promises to be dynamic and diverse, with the increasing digitization of events offering exciting opportunities for personalized attendee experiences and engagement. However, event organizers will also face challenges such as rising inflation and staffing shortages, as well as the need to demonstrate the ROI of events to stakeholders. Nevertheless, with careful planning and strategic use of data insights, event organizers can create impactful, memorable events that drive tangible outcomes and meet the needs of today’s attendees. Overall, the events industry in 2023 is poised for continued growth and innovation, and those who adapt and evolve with the changing landscape will be well-positioned for success.

Ready to learn more?