Another leap towards the experience economy

May 28, 2020

Event planners and agencies are involved in organising hundreds of thousands of events here in the UK every year. Outdoor festivals, conferences, exhibitions, parties, weddings and many more contribute towards our vibrant events economy. 

But, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the number of events happening in the UK is set to decrease. Businesses might normally organise several events throughout the year. It’s now likely they will throw their energies and budget behind just one or two large-scale events. As the rise of virtual events has been so successful, additional events such as training sessions or networking with those further afield can be organised digitally. This saves costs for a business and is infinitely more convenient for attendees.

This doesn’t mean event organisers should become disheartened, however. The industry needs event professionals more than ever before. Business professionals, corporate companies and indeed individuals simply don’t have the time or knowledge to create a large-scale event that will really make a splash. They’re more likely than ever to turn to planners and events agencies to help put on a show. 

The experience economy

In today’s society, consumers are all about experience. Instead of bragging about buying the latest handbag or getting a new signed album, people are interested in taking part in unforgettable, irreplicable experiences. Event professionals will be right there waiting to give attendees what they want. An entertaining, engaging experience that not only looks great on an Instagram feed but can be discussed over and over again. 

Themed events have been popular for many years. This could be taken even further by event professionals in the build-up and event marketing. Think themed invitations, party favours, relevant and suitable special guests. Think about small touches such as themed handwash in the bathroom or a cleverly worded menu. This can turn elements of your event into a social media-worthy snap and a great talking point for guests. 

Event professional will also start to think even more out of the box. Kidult events, for example, are a great way to make a corporate teambuilding or networking day into a fun session that everyone will be talking about. Think bouncy castles, tug-o-war and a kids party food buffet. Encourage your suited-and-booted guests to let their hair down and relax like the good old days. There are loads of great ideas just like this one on the Eventbrite blog

The expert addition

Event planning is stressful. It involves coordinating a vast number of suppliers, managing time and budgets, coordinating risk assessments, arranging insurance and much more. It’s frantic, and difficult, and requires organisation and absolute dedication. That’s why so many corporate clients and individuals choose to turn to event management professionals to help. 

We may see a slight rise in people running DIY events in a bid to save money. But it won’t be long before they realise this is actually a false economy and a poor event could end up costing in the long-run. Large corporate events and activations, for example, must stick to its strategic purpose in order to meet business objectives. Even private weddings can be disastrous if a caterer doesn’t have the right venue information. Event professionals also have the right contacts and relationships to negotiate prices and save you money, ensuring your event comes in within budget. 

All this aside, what we’re really talking about is real expertise. The creativity and industry experience to make an event run like clockwork. An event professional has seen it all before, from a late bride and wilting flowers right through to sound systems that just won’t work. Technology and the digitization of events is likely to see a huge spike in the number of clients turning to event professionals for help. Organising a conference or awards ceremony at a tried and tested venue is one thing… but what about live-streaming the event, or running an online Q&A or networking session for those unable to attend? As we enter the “new normal”, we’re likely to see the lines between physical and virtual events blur and it’s likely that only events specialists will be able to coordinate this efficiently. 

Quality over quantity

“Standard” events won’t hold the same level of excitement for people any more. We’ve all been to business conferences, gala dinner fundraisers, anniversary parties with a swing band, product activations. The level of excitement and appetite for these events will droop, leaving an exciting gap in the market for event professionals to do things differently. We’ll see fewer events throughout the year but the events we do see popping up on our calendar will be unmissable. 

Event organisers will be vying for the top spot as “event of the year”. From big-name acts and artists right through to unusual incorporations of the latest technology, it’s time to get creative. Events could even link up with sponsors to provide favours and guest giveaways. 

Be mindful not to go too OTT on any event. Guests don’t want to be too crowded or over-faced with props and gimmicks at every stage. Space is everything (particularly as social distancing is likely to be a feature for some time). Give your guests chance to breathe and take in your wonderful event, really appreciating the fine details rather than being overwhelmed. 

Protect your event, whatever happens

Whatever style of event you’re planning, at whatever scale, it’s imperative you have comprehensive insurance in place to cover you for any unexpected accidents or incidents. Purchasing insurance doesn’t have to be a long and complex process. Just tell us a few details about your event and we’ll sort it out for you. Click here to get started.

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