Survey: In-person events return, hybrid interest persists

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

Bizzabo for its “State of In-Person Events” report surveyed more than 230 meeting professionals in June and July.

The results reflect a steady return to in-person events, but with flexibility for attendees, as Bizzabo data also shows that 68% of organizers plan to have a virtual component at their next in-person event. Most respondents are retaining hybrid meeting options while building on the momentum of returning to in-person events, as 53% said they were “focused” or “very focused” on a 2023 virtual event strategy.

That said, on-site meetings and events remain a priority for planners, with 72% indicating that in-person events are a “crucial” part of their organization’s overall marketing strategy, according to Bizzabo’s survey. . Approximately 70% of respondents indicated that their event budgets for 2022 had increased or remained stable compared to 2021 levels.

Forty-five percent of respondents had trade shows and exhibitions on their 2022 event list. Industry conferences and private events come in second, each in the planning mix for 43% of respondents.

Attendee engagement, high attendance, meeting budget and Covid-19 safety were the top priorities for the event among the respondent base. Engagement was the most common, with 45% of respondents considering it a priority. Covid-19 safety was a priority for 35% of respondents.

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

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