Survey: Personal events recur, hybrid interest persists

About 83 percent of event professionals surveyed plan to host at least three in-person events this year, and 24 percent plan to host at least 10, according to a new survey from meeting technology company Bizzabo. By 2023, 85 percent of event organizers plan to host at least three in-person events, while 35 percent plan to host at least 10. Ninety-eight percent will host at least one.

In June and July, Bizzabo surveyed more than 230 meeting professionals for its ‘State of In-Person Events’ report.

The results reflect a steady return to in-person events, but with flexibility for attendees, as Bizzabo’s data also shows that 68 percent of organizers plan to have a virtual component at their next in-person event. Most respondents are sticking to hybrid meeting options as they build on the momentum to return to in-person events, as 53 percent claimed to be “focused” or “highly focused” on a virtual event strategy for 2023.

That said, on-site meetings and events remain a priority for organizers, with 72 percent saying in-person events are a “critical” part of their organization’s overall marketing strategy, according to Bizzabo’s research. About 70 percent of respondents indicated that their event budget for 2022 has increased or has remained stable from 2021 levels.

Forty-five percent of respondents had trade shows and exhibits on their 2022 event schedule. Industry conferences and private events were a close second, each in the schedule mix for 43 percent of respondents.

Attendee engagement, robust attendance figures, meeting budget and ensuring Covid-19 safety were the top event priorities among respondents. Engagement was the most common, with 45 percent of respondents identifying it as a priority. Covid-19 safety was a top priority for 35 percent of respondents.

Bizzabo found that 73 percent of event professionals were “ready” or “very ready” to return to in-person events. Only 3 percent were “not ready”.

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