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etc.venues survey reveals latest industry thinking

Event planners are returning to live only events faster than expected, according to the latest research by etc.venues.

The latest research found that 28% of event planners have already live only events, more than the 20% who told etc.venues in July that they expected to return to live only events in 2021. Moreover, 23% of event planners will go back to live only events in 2022, exactly the same as expected in July.

However, the number of event planners expecting to run a mix of virtual and hybrid events, as well as live events in the future, has declined from 57% in the summer to 49% now (January 2022.)

etc.venues also found that 97% of event planners are increasingly inclined to meet in person, with 70% saying they want to meet colleagues face-to-face more often in 2022.

For example, 82%, the same as in July 2021, say they value face-to-face meetings more than before the pandemic. More specifically, 46% of event planners value the greater engagement and participation that face-to-face business meetings generate, while 42% welcome them as a good way to build relationships.

Considering the views of virtual and hybrid meetings, 54% of event planners think they are valuable and expect to run them in future, whilst 24% think they are only valuable as a contingency backup for live events. Additionally, 13% of event planners think they are the future of events and only 3% think they were valuable in 2020 and 2021, but are no longer valuable or worthwhile.

Adam Simpson, director of marketing for etc.venues, said: “While virtual and hybrid are here to stay for the foreseeable future, the driving urge among event planners to return to live only events continues to grow as their appreciation of their value increases now that they have started to go back to them. We think 2022 will be the year of meeting up.”