Events are about to “go through the roof”, writes Andrew White.
December’s stop start festivities scuppered the corporate Christmas market as events were postponed, cancelled or migrated online. However, 2022’s exit from Plan B is putting a more buoyant air into the events sector and, if the initial demand is anything to go by, events are about to go through the roof.
Like everything brought about by the pandemic we’ve learned new ways, improved efficiencies and made work arounds. It’s the same scenario for the events sector where in-person events will return, and the value placed on face-to-face will be high.
We’ve proved we can work, learn and reward online – we are now eager to get back together.
The pandemic has taught the wider hospitality industry a big lesson, we’ve all learned to cook – restaurants can get amazing food to us pretty instantaneously and we’ve learned how to entertain in our homes and gardens. If we go out, we now want to go ‘out out’. We want experiences and things we can’t replicate. Destinations that bring together food, drink and design is combined with immersive and theatrical entertainment.
Hoteliers and brands are having to go beyond their traditional restaurant and bar concepts and deliver ‘moments’ that guests will talk about for months or years to come. The same is true for the events sector: we are happy to learn online, but we are hungry to get together to network and inspire new ideas.
Corporate hospitality such as tennis, cricket, concerts and festivals is well placed to benefit from the demand for experiences. Corporates understand the value of reigniting relationships that have been lived out online and are willing to spend as long as they get a return on experience.
Christmas parties were cancelled and postponed in their droves, but with the call to return to the office there’s a renewed confidence. Businesses want to get their people and clients back together but do remain nervous about large groups. They want flexibility too in case restrictions are reinstated. But most of all they want to kick start the face-to-face conversations and chatter.
The narrative is very different from 12 months ago, as should your sales and marketing terminology. Capitalise on your uniqueness – your location, your open grounds, your heritage in entertaining people – and you’ll beat any hotel brand hands down on theatre and creating an amazing experience.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew White is MD of Triggerfish Communications, a specialist in helping heritage venues and leisure attractions build awareness and market share in the business of events.