A micro event – a customised and carefully curated gathering,
typically lasting several hours or a day proved popular during the
pandemic - but is this still the case today?
The trend took off when events went virtual, with the online
environment providing the ideal backdrop for a one- to two-hour meeting
with a select number of individuals. And as the pandemic eased, meeting
in smaller numbers was the norm.
However, with people eager to travel again and network in greater
numbers, events of a short duration appear to be losing their appeal,
unless they are held exclusively online.
New goals drive in-person meetings
CWT Meetings & Events' regional commercial director for SEA &
Hong Kong, Petrina Goh, has not observed micro events gaining traction
among the agency’s client base, particularly for in-person events that
require attendees to travel.
“Most of the corporate events we organise still typically run a
four-day, three-night programme, if not longer,” she says. “On the
contrary, we have been seeing a decline in one-day trips, likely as a
result of the growing focus on sustainability and employee well-being.
Shorter events with programmes of less than a day are increasingly being
held virtually, or in a hybrid format where participants gather at one
or more hub locations, ideally situated close to where the majority of
them are based.”
We have been seeing a decline in one-day trips, likely as a result of the growing focus on sustainability and employee well-being.
Petrina Goh, regional commercial director for SEA & Hong Kong, CWT Meetings & Events
Overall, where networking, collaboration, or motivating and rewarding
employees is the objective, Goh says there is a strong preference
towards in-person events that are generally spread out over several
Natalie Crampton, director at Dubai-based agency TEC, says it is
unlikely their corporate clients would fly attendees in for a short
event – it is expensive and they would be open to criticism from a
sustainability/environmental point of view.
Is longer better?
"If anything, clients are doing the opposite and making events longer
and getting attendees while they have them to do more,” Crampton says.
“They come a day earlier [prior to the conference] and join a social
programme, stay a day later and take a visit to the clients’ office in
Crampton does not believe that it is appealing to travel for a
one-day micro event, unless it takes only a couple of hours of
travelling time. Such short-haul trips might work in destinations
between London and Barcelona in Europe, or Dubai and Riyadh in the
Middle East, but they are unlikely to be favoured by corporates
“The hassles of travel still need to be considered. For example,
would you want to spend time getting a visa for a destination just for a
four- to six-hour meeting?”
Would you want to spend time getting a visa for a destination just for a four- to six-hour meeting?
Natalie Crampton, director, TEC
Purposeful agendas for micro events
On the other hand, Crampton believes micro events would have to be in
held in a very unique venue or destination, and with a very attractive
agenda that features a once-in-a-lifetime speaker and entertainment.
If a planner considers a micro event in terms of restricting the
number of attendees, Rachel Phillips, sales director at UK-based The
Celtic Collection, which has a number of resorts, hotels and lodges,
says these can make businesses think harder about which attendees should
take part, thereby freeing up the diaries of others.
If you’ve selected the most relevant people to attend, it is important to only discuss items which require clear outcomes and actions.
Rachel Phillips, sales director, The Celtic Collection
“You are increasing productivity, focus and creativity across all
aspects of your business,” she says. “If you are reducing the number of
people at your meeting, you should also consider reducing the agenda
points. If you’ve selected the most relevant people to attend, it is
important to only discuss items which require clear outcomes and
Phillips added that scheduling an in-person meeting away from your
daily work location will be much appreciated by your attendees. With a
smaller group you can be creative about the location and structure of
your meeting; factor in a meeting on the move or opt for a space outside
which is surrounded by nature, for example.