With businesses and people starting to get back to some sort of normal, in the events game we will still be waiting a little longer! It is hoped that the final quarter of the year will see some medium sized activities being allowed to operate in a safe and controlled environment. The events industry needs to see that activities start to roll out for businesses to continue being viable and for the community having choices available.
Managed or controlled events are seen as separate to mass gatherings and should be able demonstrate they have the systems in place to build the confidence and trust of event attendees. There will be elements of cabin fever for event goers, but they will make decisions on safety and question their need to attend an event. Organisers will need to demonstrate both the public safety in place as well as the value for people to attend. Face to face marketing will remain a key reason for exhibitions and events to be staged in the future and the experience and benefits of attending will need to be outlined to satisfy patrons. If the value or experience in attending outweighs the perceived risk, then the likelihood to attend will increase. This analogy could be in line with the recent protests where thousands of people attended because the strength of the message for them was worth the risks involved.
To assist our planning over the coming twelve months and to understand the sentiment in the marketplace we recently approached our consumer base to find out how they felt about attending events in the future. The results were encouraging, albeit things will change and hopefully for the better.
Quite simply, we asked if they were likely to attend events in the future?
Events for 100 – 500 people: 3% were unlikely to attend through to 58% likely and weighted more as likely to attend. Events for 500 – 2000 people: 10% were unlikely to attend through to 38% likely, still weighted more likely to attend. For mass gatherings: 21% were unlikely to attend through to 30% likely with a more even weighting across the responses.
Other responses of note, people attend an average of 2 to 3 wine and food events annually and 79% of respondents used events as part of a social experience. And, in case you were wondering, there is a propensity to drink more red than white wine! Also measured in the survey were things like household income, leisure holiday frequency, trusted & viewed media and spending habits from events, plus more.
The outcomes of the survey (over 500 responses were received) are encouraging for the future and our ongoing promotion of events. It will assist greatly in our forward planning, benefiting both exhibitors taking part and the experience for attendees.