[SPONSORED CONTENT] Here are five hotel meeting and event trends that hotels need to know for 2023.
All signs point to a booming recovery and high demand for event space and in-person meetings. As people emerge and begin to feel comfortable travelling and gathering in groups again, this opens the door for a new breed of attendees – ones who are focused on experiences, comfortable using technology as needed, and intent on forging meaningful connections.
Already, planners are planning more meetings and returning to pre-pandemic levels. A recent Cvent report revealed that 90 per cent of planners are sourcing in-person compared to 70 per cent in early Q2 as of October 2022.
However, there are still challenges at hand. Cost containment is a primary concern for planners: some 85 per cent believe events will be more expensive to hold in 2023 compared to 2019, and in Spain, 94 per cent of planners forecast higher costs. Planners revealed that venues, safety protocols and audio-visual production are the top three areas where they expect cost rises.
Keep reading to discover five key meeting and event trends set to occur in 2023.
1. Planners anticipate a surge in future bookings
Looking into 2023 and beyond, event professionals are more optimistic than ever about the meetings and events industry. The Cvent Planner Sourcing Report: Europe Edition October 2022 revealed that 83 per cent of event planners said that they expect to host more in-person events in 2023 compared to in 2019. This confidence translates into a potential surge in booked meetings and events in the future.
This is great news for hotels and venues as long as they are prepared to efficiently handle the influx of meetings and events. It’s more important than ever to have informed and experienced staff, with the appropriate solutions, on hand to answer planner needs and guest inquiries.
For more trends, ideas, and inspiration, download the full 2023 Meeting and Event Trends ebook.
2. There’ll be a focus on time, experience and investment for attendees
Even with a surge in meetings and events ongoing and likely continuing in 2023, event professionals’ focus is still on quality over quantity. After not being able to meet – or not being able to meet in the ways they were accustomed to – since the onset of the pandemic, there’s now a heightened focus on the return on time, experience, and investment for event attendees.
Content is still king, but it’s also about forging meaningful connections and having unique and unforgettable experiences that attendees have missed out on in the past two years.
Cvent Planner Sourcing Report: Europe Edition October 2022 found that 29 per cent of planners expected hospitality partners to help them maximise the event experience by finding creative space solutions and focusing more time and effort on helping them create better events.
3. Venue selection will be influenced by social activism
The pandemic has caused people to be more socially conscious. A Shopkick survey of over 10,000 consumers in 2021 found that 39 per cent are researching companies’ values to assure they align with their own.
It’s now not only demographics that matter to planners; it’s also “valuegraphics,” which refers to a more holistic way of looking at a person. David Allison, a consumer behaviour expert, and his team surveyed 750,000 people around the world and identified 56 shared, core human values.
Planners can use this information to better understand what motivates their attendees, how to better market to them, and how to provide them with more engaging content. In learning more about their attendees’ core values, planners will want venues to help them create activities and opportunities that reflect those priorities.
Sustainability is one such priority and is emerging as an important consideration when it comes to meetings and events.
4. Event planners will focus on health and wellness activities
According to the Global Wellness Summit, what consumers need most – what they perceive as “true wellness” – has fundamentally changed as a result of the pandemic.
Experiences that are rich in purpose, creativity, and intellect will take precedence. For example, farm and wellness resorts where guests learn to grow food and prepare farm-to-table dishes, and incorporating more art classes into the agenda.
The Global Wellness Institute projects a 21 per cent annual growth rate for wellness tourism through 2025 – this means an increased interest in spas, thermal/mineral springs, sustainability, and mental wellness.
Katherine Johnston, GWI senior research fellow notes that “the pandemic has brought new shifts and a global ‘values reset’. Wellness now means far more than a facial or spin class, with a growing focus on mental wellbeing and the importance of work-life balance, social justice, environmental sustainability, the built environment, and public health.”
5. Virtual reality is longer just for video games
Imagine if planners were able to use a VR headset to see exactly what the event space would look like when guests arrive – or during the keynote.
Technological advances like this would certainly save time and increase the saleability of the venue, such as allowing meeting planners to use augmented reality (AR) to walk through a room with a device and see a variety of room setups in real time.
As new technologies such as VR/AR roll out, event professionals will want to integrate these powerful tools into their programmes to build their events and reshape the experience.
When VR technology becomes available for the sourcing stage, planners will have access to world-class venues across the globe, right from the comforts of their offices or homes. VR has the potential to change the way they source venues, plan events, collaborate with on-site staff, and engage participants the world over.
Want more trends, insights, and inspiration? Grab Cvent’s latest 2023 trends ebook.