Back

Explore Topics

Subscribe

Stay up to date with
Bizzabo's latest

Follow us

Event leadership | 5 December 2022

35+ Events Industry Trends and Predictions for 2023 From Top Event Professionals

Chaviva Gordon-Bennett
Share

In 2023, anything is possible in the events industry. To zero in on what we can expect — from event technology predictions to what the biggest challenges will be — we reached out to some of the top Event Experience Leaders for their take on event industry trends to come.

A few topics came up again and again with these event leaders: budgets, the metaverse, work-life balance, data privacy, and the unknown of supply chains and inflation. At the same time, there is a lot of excitement around the power of event technology to create more seamless event experiences for in-person and virtual attendees and to accelerate personalized experiences.

Want to skip straight to the insights and event industry trends from our top leaders? Click one of the names here:

Table of Contents

Chardia Christophe-Garcia

Executive Director, Audience and Community Marketing, Forbes

Chardia headshot

What are your general predictions for the events industry in 2023?
I think intentionality is really going to play a critical role in 2023. This year was the introduction back to in-person events. Companies finalized their staffing models, and employees had a redefined landscape of what it meant to work in this new environment. For many, that meant a return to the physical office for a few days a week; for others, it meant working from home indefinitely. This new mode of work-life directly affects the event landscape.

Gone are the days when you could lure attendees in with a free happy hour at a hotel bar for an hour. The average attendee now has bigger needs and expectations. Event professionals will need to invest in creating meaningful experiences that get an attendee to leave their home — which in many cases can mean a one- to two-hour commute. I foresee companies doubling down on aiding in these initiatives by partnering with brands like Uber or Lyft to get attendees to commit to participation.

I also believe we’re going to see a reduction in the number of events per company as organizations face the realization that hybrid can often mean double the resources and costs. In this landscape, if you’re not staffing effectively to support these experiences, you risk a poor experience or burnt-out staff. Neither will help your event business grow, and both have negative long-term effects.

After the stress of this year, event leaders will need to shift focus from the many events on the calendar and zero in on the select events truly worth enhancing. Instead of creating more events, pour resources into those that really resonate with your attendee pool and make those experiences so epic that your attendees won’t dare miss!

What do you anticipate will change with event tech in 2023?

I think more and more companies are looking for their event technology to not only make things easier but also to be prescriptive in solving challenges we don’t even realize we have. As contracts get renewed and some get terminated, the need for technology enhancement will be critical.

As data privacy gets even more strict, our tech partners should also have a lawyer that builds things into the backend that safeguards clients from mistakes down the line. If tech vendors can serve as industry experts and understand not only the consumer journey but the marketing journey, that would be super helpful as we think through goals for the future.

What will be the biggest challenge and/or evolution in the events industry in 2023?

Doubling down on the previous question and answer, the biggest challenge the events industry will face will be centered on data privacy. I think that, for many years, the events industry has taken shortcuts for reaching certain goals across attendance and speaker procurement. With the policies around data collection and consent getting even more strict, event producers will have to be in lockstep with not only their legal teams, but also their marketers and data teams at large.

There will need to be real conversations about calculated risk and more leverage poured into database growth and relationship management. I also think companies are going to lean on their event tech to assist in keeping compliance front of mind.

LinkedIn | Twitter

 


Adam Parry

Director, Event Tech Live and Event Industry News

Adam Parry headshot

What are your general predictions for the events industry in 2023?
A new rise in online or hybrid options, as organizers see attendee levels stabilize underneath pre-pandemic levels for in-person events and look to drive audience size and revenue through digital offerings. However, the volume of virtual events won’t rise to the same levels as it did through the pandemic.

What do you anticipate will change with event tech in 2023?

We will see event tech providers forming new commercial and technical partnerships that don’t compete with core offerings to offer planners, organizers, and corporations the building blocks to curate their own tech stack to work for their individual event needs.

What will be the biggest challenge and/or evolution in the event industry in 2023?

Talent. The events industry is high-pressure and unforgiving, and compensation does not reflect the work and effort put in. The challenge here is that there are better-paid opportunities where marketing, project management, planning, and other skills that event planners possess can yield a better work-life balance and higher income. How do we attract new top-tier talent when the grass is greener in other fields?

Bonus: We hope to help the events industry gain a better understanding of software, technology, and innovation at our new North America conference and exhibition taking place in Las Vegas on April 26-27, 2023. Check out the event!

LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram

 


Liz Caruso

CEO, Liz King Events and techsytalk

Liz King Caruso headshot

What are your general predictions for the events industry in 2023?
One of the things I’m most excited about in 2023 is seeing more event planners niche down and really focus on the events and projects that light them up. This will lead to happier planners and events and is a great move for our industry!

What do you anticipate will change with event tech in 2023?

I don’t see much in the way of metaverse quite yet in 2023, but I do think we’re going to continue to see more tech consolidation and a bigger focus on personalized recommendations and marketing.

What will be the biggest challenge and/or evolution in the events industry in 2023?

I think we’re really going to see an identity crisis in the events industry. What is the value that we bring and is it best delivered in-person, virtually, or hybrid? Every sector of our industry will have to shift a bit and continue to innovate, but all of this change will be so critical to the success of our industry in the future.

LinkedIn | Twitter

 


Evan Babins

Production Manager, Diamond Integrated Marketing

Evan Babins headshot

What are your general predictions for the events industry in 2023?
In-person events will become the norm, budgets will increase slightly, and event organizers will have to re-learn how to manage in-person events.

What do you anticipate will change with event tech in 2023?

Event tech has come a long way in the last 2.5 years, and it will only continue to evolve. We will see how tech stacks can be leveraged on the show floor through data capture and engagement activations.

What will be the biggest challenge and/or evolution in the events industry in 2023?

The biggest challenge will be meeting the comfort levels of event participants while being back onsite and in-person with thousands of others when there are no COVID protocols in place (e.g., mandatory testing before entering a venue, mask protocols, etc.).

LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram

 


Connie Cay-Santos

Director of Engagement Strategy at Quest Audio Visual + Chief Experience Strategist at CAY VII INC.

Connie Cay-Santos headshot

What are your general predictions for the events industry in 2023?
In-person events will continue to swing back for a knock-out punch in 2023. In-person was strong in Q3 and Q4 and will be even stronger in 2023. There will be more event professionals showing up as independent planners not tied to full-time roles. This is the continued trend of the great realization that we can set our terms and conditions in how we work.

Mental health and sustainability will be the two top conversations in 2023 for the events industry.

What do you anticipate will change with event tech in 2023?

The strong will get stronger with more tech consolidations. VR/AR will be more prevalent, but with technology that allows better accessibility without the direct need of VR eyewear. People will continue questioning the true meaning of what the metaverse means to the events industry.

What will be the biggest challenge and/or evolution in the events industry in 2023?

Talent and patience. Event professionals are setting better terms so they can have a better balance in their work availability. This means clients must be more patient in getting responses and plan with more realistic lead times. It’s no longer, “How high can you jump for me?” Clients will need to be more diligent in planning ahead so they have the resources, suppliers, and support they need to execute their event with success.

LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram

 


Kelly Carlsted

Global Senior Event Marketing Manager

Kelly Carlsted headshot

What are your general predictions for the events industry in 2023?
I predict more hybrid and in-person events. It seems that people are starting not to be virtual-focused first and are going back to in-person focused with a smaller virtual presence. I predict budgets will be flat going into next year since we are still not sure about the economy.

I also think organizers are burned out. We are expected to do more with less and are given shortened timelines to execute. We always have to be ready to pivot!

What do you anticipate will change with event tech in 2023?

I don’t think the metaverse is going to be as big in 2023. Maybe in 2024? People are going to continue to look for tools that are hybrid-friendly.

What will be the biggest challenge and/or evolution in the events industry in 2023?

The challenge is that everything is still unknown, and we are finally evolving to the next post-pandemic phase. Some companies are still being conservative with costs and going full in-person. The event planner must justify every cent spent and be ready to go at the drop of the hat.

LinkedIn

 


Tika Woolley

Director of Shows & Events, SalonCentric

Tika Woolley headshot

What are your general predictions for the events industry in 2023?
Return on attention (RoA) will be a high priority; using IRL moments to build brand awareness and long-term loyalty is the goal upon inception. Designing events that not only “wow” the attendee but strategically secure ongoing attendee engagement post-event should be a key deliverable for all future experiences.

The current state of the economy will impact budgets. Be prepared to cushion your budget with a 20% increase to cover inflation costs.

What do you anticipate will change with event tech in 2023?

Using AI and AR technologies in real-world experiences will be more present at events. The goal is to leverage existing mobile technologies so attendees can have an enhanced and curated experience onsite.

What will be the biggest challenge and/or evolution in the events industry in 2023?

Analyzing metrics is a key tool for refining event experiences, and data privacy policies will continuously evolve. It is essential to remain abreast to policy updates to ensure an optimal attendee communication experience. Don’t look at the data policy changes as a hurdle; more so they’re a means to protect your event attendees and your company.

LinkedIn | Instagram

 


Claudia Kiss

VP of Marketing, The Vendry

Claudia Kiss headshot

What are your general predictions for the events industry in 2023?
In 2023, we’ll see a continuous influx of events. 2022 has proven that IRL events are back and here to stay.

Internally, companies are going to be focusing on offsites and team-building retreats, and we are likely going to see smaller, more department-focused offsites rather than large company-wide offsites. After two years of COVID and realignments of work-life balance, employees are focused on more intimate and bespoke team gatherings, which will be reflected in the offsites and team retreats that companies are hosting.

Hybrid events will fizzle out, and there will be a bigger contrast between events that are entirely virtual and entirely in-person. Events that do have both components will have separate experiences for their virtual attendees and their in-person attendees.

What do you anticipate will change with event tech in 2023?

Event tech will shift from a virtual focus to an IRL focus. Event tech will be tied into the in-person experience and focus on customization. Think: customizable onsite badge printing and wearable event tech like bracelets and accessories.

Gone are the days of simply live-streaming an in-person event or talk. We will still see event tech being used for hybrid events, but those will have a live portion and a virtual portion that will be produced separately.

What will be the biggest challenge and/or evolution in the events industry in 2023?

The biggest challenge for the event industry will be managing and allocating budgets in a fraught economy. What we’ve seen is that despite the rising cost of supplies and goods due to supply chain issues and inflation, companies are still placing a lot of value on events — both with their internal teams and their consumers. So the challenge of an event producer will come down to basic supply and demand — and of course, budget. We’re also seeing that because demand is so high, suppliers and venues are at max capacity, so supplier minimums and rental fees will continue to inch upward. Event professionals will have to have honest conversations with their bosses and their clients about how far budgets can go.

We’ve also heard a lot from our top community members about producing more events with a focus on the neurodivergent community. We’ll likely see more spaces at large events and conferences that allow attendees to “escape” for a bit by taking breaks in less stimulating spaces and even allowing for time outside in fresh air. Along those lines, event programming will have more breaks in content and smaller breakout sessions.

LinkedIn

 


Ronald Marchena

Stream Director, D3G Productions

Ron Marchena headshot

What are your general predictions for the events industry in 2023?
The pandemic has ultimately challenged and changed the future of the events industry. It will continue to evolve as event spaces look for new and interactive ways to connect with both in-person and remote attendees. Hybrid events with seamless engagement are going to be the key to unlocking an experience that everyone finds value in.

Event teams will have to continue to evaluate budgets. Some budgets were cut when things moved virtual and, as we have seen, in many cases producing compelling content remotely or virtually can incur more costs than speakers on stages.

Supply chain concerns have increased costs for everything in the event space — from technology to consumables and, especially, skilled labor. Add in the demand of everyone making up for missed experiences and venue availability, and it simply costs more to produce an event today than in pre-pandemic times.

What do you anticipate will change with event tech in 2023?

From a technology standpoint, the pandemic pushed our industry to new levels of innovation, creativity, and progress. This can be seen in the accessibility and affordability of adding virtual to an onsite event. It is scalable to livestream 50 or even 100 concurrent session rooms from an event.

You can do this with live real-time engagement from virtual attendees across the globe. Attendees can ask questions, provide feedback, and even speak. Before the pandemic, few events would approach something like that outside of the main stage room. With the right platform, like Bizzabo, and the right production company, the possibilities are endless.

What will be the biggest challenge and/or evolution in the events industry in 2023?

I’m probably not going to make any friends by saying this, but one of the biggest challenges is how slowly the internet infrastructure is evolving in venues across the globe. Internet in venues has always had a high cost of infrastructure and labor associated with it. To move forward into a truly hybrid world, something will have to change on that front.

It is already changing, as many events we work with are finding it more affordable and reliable to bring in an outside partner to provide solid, reliable connectivity to virtual platforms and attendees. This is something we really only saw on large marquee events. We are seeing much smaller events as they may have 600 or 700 onsite but potentially thousands virtual. Venues and internet service providers in these venues will have to challenge themselves with solutions that make sense.

LinkedIn

 


Jenn Artura

Global Marketing Executive, Advisor, and Board Member

Jenn Artura headshot

What are your general predictions for the events industry in 2023?
There is no denying that post-pandemic, there is an overwhelming collision of work and home life, and the entire world had a revelation that the most significant currency we have is our time. We are more selective about with whom and how we spend it, which is an undeniable factor in whether or not we will attend an event. Likewise, a global focus on mental health further blends the lines of work and home as employers look for new employee programs to compete, retain, and enhance work/life. Mental wellness will become a business imperative, linked to results, and no longer a “nice to have.”

The focus on mental wellness will impact the events industry in unprecedented ways in the next few years. First, there will continue to be a greater focus on the well-being of event professionals. A spotlight on burnout and stress forces a conversation change and introduces parameters, best practices, and boundaries for what has been an “always-on” industry and one of the top five most stressful jobs. This will affect who stays in the industry, who goes, and how we attract a younger generation. Mental wellness takes the lead, starting with reshaping the role of event professionals.

Corporations will recognize competitive advantages, employee productivity benefits, and tangible business impacts associated with bringing wellness “in” and leverage event professionals to help them build human-centered programs, events, and experiences that demonstrate empathy and inclusivity in new ways. It will start with leaders and become integrated into day-to-day practices, including why and how we meet.

For example, a traditional sales kickoff could turn from the two-day “product parade” to smaller, intimate sessions focused on developing emotional intelligence skills and shared goals correlated with high performance, positive feelings, and long-term commitment to the team. The power of healthy employees as imperative to achieving business results shifts and becomes a business KPI, and so will the types of events we create to support. More clinical experts, psychologists, and specialized well-being experts will emerge as part of events in the coming year, helping shape experiential wellness beyond green smoothies and quiet lounges. A new type of event professional will emerge.

How we reward, attract, and retain employees is linked to the employee experiences we create — from onboarding and up. New benefits will go beyond Headspace subscriptions and include more personalized and impactful experiences like three-day work-wellness retreats designed to ignite creativity, spark the imagination, and support better problem-solving.

Sales incentives will shift beyond the sales team to include expanded employee reward and recognition experiences, demonstrating that companies who embody true wellness as a retention tool will see it in their bottom line and retain top talent.

As the next generation enters the workforce, the demands for mental fitness in the form of corporate-funded sabbaticals, flexible, remote anywhere/anytime work models, increased time off, and four-day workweeks will all drive the need for both in-person and virtual connectivity that supports communities and networks, which will require technology that supports and creates a sense of belonging.

Likewise, employees will demand employers demonstrate their core values with programs that give back to communities, increase sustainability efforts, show diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives, and pay attention to social and economic realities. All are catalysts, thus driving a need for more extraordinary purpose-driven events.

More and more organizations will design event strategies that include the common thread of mental wellness as a driver for business success, emphasizing movement, nature, conversation, social interaction, mindfulness, relationship building, problem-solving, emotional intelligence, and communities. These factors dictate a greater need for personalization — “show me you know me” — as part of event design with a greater focus on pre-event data collection, neurodiversity, emotional intelligence, and new KPIs.

LinkedIn | Twitter

 


Glenda Lee

Managing Partner, TBT Hospitality

Glenda Lee headshot

What are your general predictions for the events industry in 2023?
Expect tighter budgets with a demand for more creative spending. What does that even look like? Who knows! But, after a period of recovery funds being disbursed and spent, organizations will now need to generate profit through more traditional means — exhibitor fees, member registration, event ticket sales, etc. — while also uncovering newer revenue streams (which will more than likely be tech-driven).

What do you anticipate will change with event tech in 2023?

Event planners and producers will dabble in VR/AR and the metaverse. Think virtual conference centers, performance halls with virtual concessions, and swag shops to round out virtual meeting experiences.

Event attendees will simultaneously demand more in-person events and virtual access with replays available.

What will be the biggest challenge and/or evolution in the events industry in 2023?

Supply chain! Aren’t we sick of hearing about this? Yet, what becomes even more frustrating than listening to complaints about supply chain woes are:

  • Actual shipping delays
  • Subsequent price increases for everything from name tags and awards to food items and Sprinter vans
  • Having to work magic to produce more personalized, memorable event experiences with tighter budgets and supply chain challenges

LinkedIn

 


Julie Ho

Manager, Live Learning and Event Operations, Project Management Institute

Julie Ho headshot

What are your general predictions for the events industry in 2023?
Budgets will continue to be a challenge alongside the impact on supply and demand. Safety precautions necessary for gatherings will be important to care for too. The test on hybrid events will continue as costs and attendee interest change.

What do you anticipate will change with event tech in 2023?

The rise of the metaverse! Event planners need solutions that don’t require APIs or patching together. With hybrid, it gets complicated; you need two teams to support and execute in-person and virtually. Overall, event budgets can’t handle hybrid if there’s low ROI.

What will be the biggest challenge and/or evolution in the events industry in 2023?

2022 was a re-entry to events, with new people joining, learning, or re-learning to navigate the event industry. I am hopeful that 2023 continues the building of industry knowledge we so badly need right now.

LinkedIn | Twitter

 


Indira Fodor

Luxury Wedding Planner

Indira Fodor headshot

What are your general predictions for the events industry in 2023?
2023 will come with budget adjustments. Clients facing inflation in different areas will result in many reducing their guest list to exclusively those closest to them. We’ll also continue to see streaming weddings and many weddings in nontraditional places to search for economy and authenticity. However, there will always be a luxury client with an abundant budget. It will depend on the market in which you develop.

What will be the biggest challenge and/or evolution in the events industry in 2023?

I believe that incredible common sense will be the great protagonist of 2023. Events will be more attached to what is necessary and not to the vain or disproportionate. Coherence and common sense in decision-making will be the trend. More conscious expenses and fewer unnecessary things, as well as more affection and fewer forced commitments, will be more important than ever.

LinkedIn | Instagram

 


Event Industry Trends and Predictions: What Do You Think?

Now that you’ve heard 2023 event industry trends and predictions from some of our 55 Top Event Experience Leaders, we want to know what you think! Share this post on LinkedIn or elsewhere, tag us, hashtag #2023EventPredictions, and share what event industry trends you agree or disagree with and what you think we’ll see in the coming year.

Subscribe to the Bizzabo Blog

x