Connecting the virtual and physical worlds, part 2
Editor’s Note: This is part 2 of our State of the Industry 2022. Read Part 1 here.
Safety and security. Clear communication. Convenience and control. These three “big chunks of consumer emotion,” as futurist Michael Rogers noted, are the main challenges event professionals will face as customers seek help in celebrating milestone moments. their life. Responding to these inherent needs, born out of how business relationships have changed in the 16+ months of COVID lockdown, is âwhatâ¦ should stay in the virtual world; what should come back to the physical world and how we connect with each other, âsays Rogers.
Customers want to know that their events are safe, and they absolutely don’t want any BS regarding the communication that meets their needs. Plus, having control over how guests experience an event, whether at home, in the office, or in person, is a predominant trend.
Another area of ââgreat concern in 2021 and beyond is event staffing. âEveryone is recruiting at the same time! The New York Times boasted in April 2021. Calls from companies broadcasting upcoming staffing needs are on the rise on multiple social media platforms. Offers to pay for travel, accommodation, airfare to an event and better than minimum wage have become more common. By bridging the gap between the virtual and physical worlds, the onslaught of online staffing apps and programs has become a game changer. App features that collect information about potential staff immunizations, programs to reward workers with bonuses and perks, this connectivity helps the cause tremendously. Some recruiters have signed people directly from an online application and / or after a Zoom interview. The days of bringing candidates into the office are falling apart.
But there is hope: At a C-level business conference in November 2021, Cathy Hardin, chief revenue officer of Instawork (an online, app-based staffing program), noted, âPeople want to work. I’ve seen a lot of things about the Great Resignation, but what we’re optimistic about is that not everyone is necessarily quitting, it’s what a lot of people call the Great Resignation. People are changing the way they work, and we find ourselves at the intersection of listening to workers and understanding how they want to work in the future. The main thing they ask for is flexibility.
The foreseeable future
âThere has been a massive accumulation of asset-based household wealth in the United States,â says Carl Sacks, executive director of Leading Caterers of America. “This is in part because of the remarkable (and sometimes confusing) boom in the stock market. [over the summer], and because of deferred spending during the pandemic. Most American workers, especially in white collar jobs, remained employed during the pandemic. They banked a large portion of their salary due to deferred spending on vacations, dining out, sports and entertainment, and other typical activities. “
What impact does this have on the events industry? Here are his predictions:
- Life cycle events, especially weddings, quinceaneras, and mitzvahs, are already recovering. Some of these have been rescheduled since the pandemic months, but much of these activities are just part of the typical flow of life cycle events.
- Social entertainment is already driving inbound bookings and will start to recover significantly.
- Events focused on corporate marketing, including VIP sponsorship events associated with sports and entertainment, resumed in fall 2021. Many sports and entertainment events were held without spectators or were canceled altogether in 2020. When these events return, so will the catered VIP hospitality events. .
- Small and medium-sized local and regional meetings are starting to be on the calendar for later this year. These include SMERF events (social, military, educational, religious and fraternal), as well as corporate events.
- Fundraisers and galas are already happening, sometimes as hybrid events, and sometimes as face-to-face events. It will likely be 2022 before we start seeing fully recharged gala times.
- Events related to conventions and incentive travel will likely take a while to return to previous levels, but we’re confident they will return eventually.
Put on your helmets?
Finally, look for online programs like AllSeated and other event planning platforms that provide a virtual reality component, allowing spaces to ‘walk’ through, allowing for the planning of destination weddings or other events. , despite the lack of one on site. presence. Just another example of the connection our physical and virtual worlds have for all of us as we move from 2021 to 2022.