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  • Writer's picturePaul Perez

Events in Post-Pandemic Manila

What to expect as the metro goes full throttle with in-person events

In-person events are back and yes - despite the pandemic, it is stronger than ever.

But what has changed since the world went into a major pause?

Well, branded events were so much around during the pandemic. Agencies quickly embraced new technology and mounted all types of events. Big, small, in one area or multi-city, the event calendar was full! It came to a point several invitees even said " I have been zoomed out" referring to too many events in their calendar.

But despite the seeming success of brands conducting online events, there is a general sentiment that it is still very much different if the event was done in person. For one, people still look forward to that personal interaction- and the common consensus is that nothing beats the energy of mounting or attending an in-person event.

So what do we expect now - as more and more brands are expected to mount brand activations?

Livestorm, a software company that provides browser-based online web conferencing software for webinars and virtual meetings released a list of event marketing trends for success in 2023.

5 ideas caught my attention, which is very relevant to the Philippines:

#1: Quality over quantity:

Per Livestorm, "In 2023, attendees will continue to show a preference for quality content and social engagements over long events with lots of sessions. A 2022 study from Emerald found that businesses, event planners, and attendees will all be prioritizing the quality of the contacts gained and the level of engagement beyond the content of the events themselves.

An example cited by Livestorm is Microsoft - which holds a series of online, hybrid, and in-person events called Microsoft Reactor that taps into this desire. The events are billed as free ‘community spaces’ where professionals in the tech space meet, learn from each other, and connect to local peers, developers, and startups.

These events are laser-focused on delivering quality connections and educational webinar content. Instead of hosting a giant gathering, this series is small-scale and takes place regularly. Focusing on the virtual element is also a great way to reach more people and strengthen brand recognition.

#2 Personalized Events:

Personalized events are achieved by analyzing data about potential attendees to customize your events, marketing efforts, activities, and content to meet the needs of your target audience.

Livestom quoted a study by Statista, which highlighted that the customer experience personalization and optimization software market is projected to be worth more than $9 billion in 2023 - a clear indication event personalization will be the next big thing.

#3 Hybrid Events

Due to the long pandemic, audiences became comfortable attending online events but it has been an increase in the desire of people to return to in-person events. But now, according to Emerald as cited by Livestrom shows that attendees now want a hybrid model that combines the best features of in-person and virtual events Last year alone, Grupo Sorbetero mounted multiple hybrid events - and this will stay - at least for 2023.

# Immersive Technology

Livestorm also cited the popularity of immersive technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) is set to grow in 2023. According to BCC Research, the global VR and AR tech market was worth $13.4 billion in 2018 and is set to reach $142.4 billion by 2023.

During London, Fashion Week Topshop set up an event that used VR to allow virtual attendance to their AW14 show. Customers who couldn’t see the show in person were allowed to get a front-row virtual seat alongside celebrity attendees.

#5 Environmentally sustainable events

Many people are becoming much more aware of their impact on the environment and will continue to look for ways to reduce their carbon footprints in 2023. A 2022 survey by IBM found that over half (51%) of respondents say environmental sustainability was more important to them than it was one year prior.

To show you share your customers’ concerns you’ll need to make your events more eco-friendly. In 2020, the Tokyo Olympics showed off its green credentials by:

  • Recycling 62% of all waste is generated.

  • Reusing discarded electronic devices to create the athletes’ medals.

  • Building the podiums using 24.5 tonnes of used plastic.

  • Constructing the village plaza using timber borrowed from local districts and returning it after.

  • Using 475 electric vehicles for transport.

At your next event, Livestorm proposes to try and reduce your environmental impact by, for example, using only LED lighting. Or make your event fully or partially virtual to cut down on waste caused by decorations and catering, as well as emissions caused by commuting. Show off your green credentials when promoting your virtual event to attract attention from like-minded sponsors and attendees.

So for 2023, let us see which of these trends take a strong foothold on the events scene in the metro - and whichever one takes off - I am sure the brand experience will only be heightened and that experience is what consumers carry with them for a long time.

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