Fear of digital events eroding the value of in-person events has diminished, and organisers embrace the flexibility it affords in enhancing physical event formats.
Sentiments regarding in-person events are optimistic as well, with projections for its strong and steady return.
M&C Asia finds out from three international organisers:
A slow return, but the demand is there
Spiro Anemogiannis, managing director at Informa Australia says that so far this year, all events, whether they are B2B or B2C, have so far come back faster than most anticipated.
“Two years of pent-up demand, as well as largely unspent marketing budgets, have dragged events off the floor," he said.
"Whilst we may not see 2019 levels reached, especially in terms of attendees, sponsors and exhibitors are re-acquainting themselves with business events as well as consumer shows. Regarding visitor and delegate numbers, it is all about expectations and the business community as a whole accepting that the numbers will not be at 2019 levels this year," added Anemogiannis.
"There has been a fear over the last two years that digital will disrupt the face-to-face landscape, but we all now consider this 'disruption' as an add-on benefit rather than a competing product.”
The rise of micro-events
Tay Ling, vice-president at TBA Hong Kong, Pico believes that bigger, 5,000-person plus conferences will be less frequent.
“Some of our financial sector clients have indicated that the classical conference with a large number of attendees will be a thing of the past.
However, some clients are tending to hold these meetings more frequently on a smaller scale. There will be a rise in micro-events, and the benefits are there to see. They allow for that highly personalised feel that humans crave.”
Large trade shows and B2B will bounce back
Mathias Posch, president at ICS says that currently, he doesn't see major changes in the demand for events.
“That said, we are only just returning to live events in Asia and have to see what the demand will be like. Judging from the experience so far in Europe and North America, most meetings do pretty well with their numbers – but they split them between a live and an online audience.
Face-to-face is still extremely valued and for many businesses, it is an important part of their marketing mix. Nothing provides face-to-face interaction in a more efficient way than trade/B2B events and I foresee them bouncing back significantly when the circumstances allow.”