Happy New Year and welcome to 2024! With January just barely behind us, we thought it would be helpful to post some of our top predictions for this year and to help prepare you for another year of events.
We’re looking at this from the lens of the AV Partner and Event Producer, so your perspective may vary.
There will be more events than in 2023
Traditionally, companies maintain a consistent schedule of meetings and events throughout the year. However, for 2024, there's a noticeable shift in focus towards more in-person engagement. This trend suggests an increase in the number of events compared to previous years of hybrid or virtual events. In addition, many organizations that primarily relied on virtual platforms like Zoom for their events last year are now transitioning back to in-person meetings.
The takeaway from this, is that meeting and event planners want to be starting conversations with clients as early as possible. The earlier you open a helpful dialogue the better you and the customer will be able to plan, prepare and innovate for the best possible events. xth
Meetings and Events will be planned last minute
Speaking of surprises, lead times are going to shrink just a little bit more. Some large conferences must be planned well in advance but so many Company Town Halls can be scheduled with little notice. The leadership team may have important news or a company initiative that cannot wait until the next regularly scheduled meeting. Whether your organization is growing or shrinking, there is a lot happening rapidly.
There is little you can do to plan for this, but we advise creating a template of your event formats. Templates might include seating plans, logistics schedules, catering, AV technology, as well as checklists related to travel-related items. Communicate these “standards” with your partners so when the CEO wants a meeting next week, you can easily ask for what you need without having to design the floorplan or technology with your hair on fire.
Costs will be slightly higher
I know that everyone just said “Whoa!” in their heads, but this is the fact. Everything in this economy has gone up in price and you cannot expect to get everything you got last year for the same rate. At the end of the year, meeting & event planners will have spent more money overall than in 2023. This may be attributed to per-event cost increases, improved services to ensure audience engagement, or simply more events overall.
There are several moving parts to pull off a successful event. The shipping and transportation costs of all of the equipment associated with your production have massively increased year over year. This impacts every aspect of the supply chain and definitely something to be considered when planning 2024.
Conclusion: Predictions Recap
More In-person Events, More Opportunities:
Shift towards more in-person engagements.
Increase in the number of live events compared to 2023.
Start early conversations for better planning and innovation.
Anticipate shorter lead times in 2024.
Create templates for various event formats.
Communicate standards with partners for smoother last-minute execution.
Budgeting for Success:
Overall costs are expected to be slightly higher.
This increase affects every aspect of the supply chain.
Proactively communicate with partners, lock in rates, and share budgets upfront.
Like the comment above, if you host regular or annual events, call your partners now and find out what may be changing in their cost structure. Can you book multiple events early and lock in a rate? Sharing your anticipated budget on the front end may save you some time down the road.