Looking inwards and ahead to 2021

By Sonya Callan

Event professionals are nothing if not an optimistic bunch of people, always looking ahead. A well organised event planner is not just thinking about this year’s events but working ahead with their clients and staff on future events.

So how does this play out in the current environment?

According to the Special Events website the overall feeling among event professionals is that while 2020 is being seen as a washout, they are all looking at 2021 with a confident air. The article below give us some interesting statistics that make for some positive reading such as;

“83 percent of respondents saying they will stage the same number or more events next year compared with this year.  This figure is further broken down as 54% saying they will stage more events in 2021 and 24% holding the same amount of events as 2020”.

The respondents were also questioned about corporate event spend and thankfully the optimism fed through to this area as follows;

“Looking at 2021, 20 percent of respondents expect spending on corporate events to decrease next year, while 12 percent expect it to stay on par with 2020. A healthy 52 percent expect spending to increase in 2021 over 2020 levels, while 16 percent are unsure.”

Full article can be viewed here

A time to take stock

While all of the optimism above is positive and great news for the overall event industry, each event company will now have to stop and take some time to review their own individual business to ensure they get through this time intact and in good financial health and ready to do business in 2021.

Decision making: While there may be a temptation to jump at the first new business opportunity that comes your way now is not the time to make hasty decisions.  Taking a sensible, methodical approach to any major decisions now will pay off in the long run.  Discuss any new decisions with your trusted colleagues and advisors to look at all angles before you leap into the unknown.  Work closely with your clients and review how you can assist them in fulfilling their event business needs adapting to the current environment.

Financial Planning: Probably the toughest element to work through during this time, both big and small event companies need to review all of their outgoings to ensure their businesses survive into the future. There may be assistance and subsidies provided for your business, especially for employees so this may be an option for you to review. Any large financial outlay for example, like new technology, should be considered carefully against the longer term.

Virtual Products: With many virtual products on the market, even more so now than before, it is easy to get lost in the ‘cloud’.  Contact your trusted colleagues in AV and production and use their expertise to help choose products that will suit you and more importantly your customers. 

Innovation: Necessity is the mother of invention (Plato), and what better time than now to look at innovative ways of running your business in the future.  You might have always wanted to pitch a new idea to a client and this could be the perfect opportunity when everyone is looking at new ways to conduct business and run events.

While this ‘pause’ in business has been imposed upon us, how we come out of it will depend on our attitude during this time. Using the time wisely to reflect on our individual businesses, consider our current and future plans can only be seen as a positive.  Allowing ourselves to become stuck in the quagmire of negativity can only be seen as a pathway to failure.

When this is all over and we are all rushing around again let’s hope we can look back at this time and say we adapted, evolved, planned and finally, remained healthy throughout.