Most of the meetings and events industry were waiting for this moment of return, but are we ready for it? Since lifting restrictions on the COVID-19 pandemic, an explosion of meetings and events is happening. We knew people were eager to return to in-person meetings, but no one expected an explosion.
In a 2020 PCMA study, 72% said attending an in-person event was worth all the safety protocols and personal protective equipment, indicating “[we’re] done with virtual events. Bring back live events.” Businesses recognized people’s need for in-person meetings once again. They ran with it and began planning meetings and events for 2022.
This comeback is a good thing and a bad thing. Professionals in the meetings and events industry are getting their jobs back. On the other hand, it has become overwhelming to keep up with demand. The losses that occurred because of COVID-19 included being understaffed or lacking the tools and equipment needed for successful meetings.
Here is what you need to know when it comes to planning your upcoming meetings:
1. How we plan Meetings and Events now is different than pre-2020.
We are all eager to have meetings and events back in action. The expectation of those who host meetings is that things will pick up where we left off. This is simply not possible. COVID-19 did more than just put a pause on meetings and events. It changed the way we have to plan. Click here to learn more about the impact of COVID-19 and how it changes meetings moving forward.
2. Plan ahead. Expect delays.
Did you know? According to an April 2020 survey among event professionals, 87 percent of respondents had to cancel their planned events, while 66 percent postponed them due to COVID-19 (Statista). This meant many hospitality professionals lost their jobs. Employees were forced to find work elsewhere. Now, as meetings and events are back in full force, many businesses are short-staffed. When you are planning, please be patient and expect delays. Limited staff means some services are modified and thorough training takes time. Everyone is doing their best based on their capabilities today.
3. Prices are rising, so budget accordingly.
When it comes to meeting and event budgets, planners and clients need to budget realistically. Especially nowadays as prices continue to rise. Be honest about the total amount that your company/organization is willing to spend on the meeting or event. We have provided you with a guide, Best Ways to Budget to Get the Results You Want, to help you determine the budget for your upcoming meeting or event.
4. Consider going hybrid.
Due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19 variants and the explosion of popularity of virtual meetings, your audience may be split between wanting to attend virtually versus in-person. There are many pros and cons to having a virtual meeting and an in-person meeting; read more. It may be more work and preparation beforehand but going hybrid can increase the value of your meetings and reach a greater audience. If going hybrid is not an option, we suggest surveying your audience on their preference: virtual or in-person.
You are a savvy. You want to work smarter, not harder. You achieve your best results when using the tools available to you. The LaClare Group is here to provide free tips, tricks, and tools to help you succeed in your next meeting whether it be an in-person, hybrid, or virtual!
We want to offer you a FREE ebook, Event Planning Secrets: Tips to Help You Succeed! This eBook provides tips and tools in all aspects of meeting planning including budgeting, online tools, marketing, sponsorship ideas, and SO MUCH MORE!