The Ledger No. 45: The Future of Events

April 14, 2022 Sarah Dameron

in-person conference taking place in the new era of the future of live events

Welcome to The Ledger where we sum up the latest finance and accounting news and trends for you. On this week’s entry, we’re diving into the topic of what the future of live events looks like and how that affects the accounting industry. Read on to explore what the new virtual normal looks like for the events industry, what the future holds for in-person accounting events, how live events are making a comeback and what trends are driving brand events this year.

The Weekly Ledger on the future of live events

The New Normal for the Events Industry

Is the new normal virtual? Over the past two years we’ve seen a shift from having a virtual workspace to having virtual solutions of every type. The lines between live events and virtual events have overlapped with new terms such as ‘hybrid’ and ‘phygital’. But how do you create a event that delivers the best quality experience? And what does that entail?

  • Defining the purpose of an event. Is it to educate? Generate revenue? Entertain? Acquire new customers? The best way to create a memorable event is to incorporate engaging experiences.

  • Identifying value propositions that retain interest and drive brand loyalty. You must account for all customers’ interests.

  • Considering a digital solution. If your event is focused on generating revenue, you need to take your traditional revenue streams and make them virtual.

To learn more about how to guarantee a successful event, read the full article on forbes.com and find out how adopting virtual solutions makes that possible.

What Does the Future of Events Look Like for the Accounting Industry?

The beginning of the pandemic saw companies go remote almost overnight; people were wearing masks and social distancing; and many businesses were forced to close. But for the accounting industry, this meant working remotely, learning to adopt new technologies and moving in-person events online. And as 2021 rolled around, in-person events slowly started coming back. But will virtual events become a distant memory for accounting professionals this year? A HubSpot Blog Research found that 40 percent of marketers plan to increase their investments in virtual events, webinars and conferences in 2022. The good news is that online events have a wider reach and can bring more value to firms in the future such as repurposing event content (email campaigns, blogs, etc.). However, virtual isn’t for everyone. That’s where hybrid events come in. And research from Qualtrics highlighted that the two key factors people miss the most from in-person events are “face-to-face networking” and “interactivity”. The solution is to consider including live Q&A sessions and chat functionality so that your virtual attendees still feel connected. Likewise, in-person events are still hanging on strong.

For more of an in-depth look into what the future holds for in-person events for accountants, check out the article on inaa.org.

Live Events are Making a Comeback

It’s no surprise that the events industry (notably in-person events) was squashed by the Covid. In fact, according to Forbes, 83 million people had to change plans when the pandemic hit. And now that things are starting to resume back to normal, we can see how marketers are approaching events firsthand:

  • Budgets are still focused on virtual events. A July 2021 survey showed that 41.5 percent of marketers reduced and shifted their event budget to virtual events.

  • Live event budgets vary across businesses. Some spend less than $10,000 on events, while others spend upwards of $100,000.

  • In-person networking is becoming a top priority. As of March 2022, the number one reason for someone to attend a live event was “networking opportunities”.

  • Fewer people are attending events. Companies would rather allow business travel than send people to in-person events this year.

  • Covid still remains a concern. Some professionals are still concerned about the virus while only 45 percent said they were not concerned.

  • Virtual event sponsorships were successful for the most part. 25 percent of those surveyed said their virtual event sponsorships were a hit.

  • Digital advertising investments remain strong. As in-person events return, nonevent tactics such as webinars, social media and gated content were the top investments.

To learn more about what marketers thing about in-person events now, head over to corp.smartbrief.com to check out the full article.

Trends Driving Events and Experiences in 2022

This is the year that companies will get back on track. And according to AnyRoad, 81 percent of brands say their event and experiential budgets will “match or exceed” pre-pandemic levels in 2022. Here’s how businesses are attracting people in real life:

  • Hybrid experiences in the Metaverse. Brands can combine real-life social interaction with digital elements.

  • Paid-for experiences that drive positive engagement. A study done by Imagination found that paid-for experiences achieved double the rate of brand and product mentions compared with free experiences.

  • Social media in real life. 40 percent of consumers say they won’t make a purchase if there isn’t user generated content on the brand’s page.

  • Out of home advertising becomes more interactive. Companies are incorporating experiential strategies into OOH advertising – such as 3D billboards and QR codes.

For a better look at the best practices of the future of live events & how businesses are attracting people and creating unforgettable in-person experiences, read the full article on econsultancy.com.

Personiv is back with live in-person events in 2022. Visit www.cfoleadershiplive.com to see our full schedule.

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