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June 15, 2023

Eventex insights: Return of in-person events  

The 13th edition of the Eventex Awards couldn’t be further from fatal, seeing a record number of entries. And as we wrap up what proved a stellar year, we have moved to analyze the entries in the different Eventex Awards categories to see where the industry stood in 2022. While the return of in-person events was largely expected, our analysis revealed some other interesting trends as well and points to some exciting times ahead. So, read on for further insight. 

An overall rise in entries  

Starting with the most obvious (and impressive) stat this year, the number of applicants for the Eventex Awards 2023 increased dramatically — we saw a total of 761 submissions, surpassing last year's record of 606 applications. This outstanding result conclusively shows that the much-celebrated industry resilience in the face of global challenges has turned into a definite recovery. 

In-person events are back   

It is hardly surprising that one of the most notable trends we identified was the return of in-person events. The easing of Covid 19 restrictions around the world, the scaling back of testing, and the relaxing of travel bans made in-person events much easier to organize and attend. 

For Eventex Awards 2023, this meant: 

  • 345 entries in Events, making this the 2023 edition’s most popular track; 
  • B2B, Corporate, and Public Event emerging as the top 3 most popular Events categories, showing that business, which swiftly adapted to the reality of the pandemic, is also quick to bounce back;  
  • B2B Event, Celebration, and Ceremony were the categories that saw the biggest increase in entries compared to the last two years. 

The other side of the coin 

The return of in-person events came with what is an unavoidable drop in virtual events, a trend reflected in the 13th edition of Eventex Awards with the following stats:

  • Entries in the Virtual event track slumped to 66, from 108 and 250 in the 2022 and 2021 editions, respectively; 
  • Virtual Event, Hybrid Event, and Live Streaming Event were the top 3 categories that saw the biggest drop in entries compared to the last two years — a massive 300%, 500%, and 567%, respectively; 

These stats mark a huge difference from Eventex Awards 2022 which maintained a high interest in the Virtual conference, Virtual Event, Virtual Corporate Events, and Pivot to Virtual categories. 

Other notable trends 

Apart from the trends noted above, our analysis of the Eventex Awards 2023 categories revealed some additional insights about the state of the industry. 

Immersive events & experiences 

Our overview also showed that industry professionals have upped their game creating more comprehensive experiences to engage audiences: 

  • Experiences were the second-most-popular track with 191 entries; 
  • Kick-A** Experience made it into the top 10 most popular categories; 
  • Event Storytelling retained its popularity this year as well, with 17 entries compared to 16 in the previous edition.

The above stats point to a shift in focus to events and experiences which build connections and bet on interactivity, transforming attendance into a journey. 

A focus on sustainability  

We also noticed a spike in our Green Event category — a massive 200% rise compared to the previous edition. This underscores a growing sustainability awareness among both event planners and participants, mirroring a wider societal trend.

What’s next

If the previous couple of years have taught us anything, it’s that things can go sideways in a snap. That said, barring another pandemic or a similar occurrence on a global scale, we can expect the following:

  • A continued steady return of in-person events — with the industry well on its way to a complete recovery, we’re likely to see a rise in in-person entertainment, public, and B2B events; 
  • Halted fall for virtual events — while the inevitable decline is likely to continue, the pandemic made the world recognize the convenience of virtual events. This makes us believe that the decline won’t be a freefall but rather, at some point, virtual events will find a support level and remain steady for certain types of events;   
  • Where to for technology? — If virtual events continue to decline, event technology might shift focus to aid more complex experiences. Another trend to watch is the development and adoption of event-related applications of AI; 
  • Venues in focus — given the return of in-person events, venues are likely to take center stage in organizing an event. Then, the growing sustainability trend is likely to put extra pressure on venues as well and it will be interesting to see how venues and organizers rise to the occasion. That is why, as a trendsetter, Eventex also wants to put emphasis on venues in its next edition. 

Along for the ride 

Whatever happens, we are looking forward to providing a place for the industry’s best and the brightest to shine. If you want to join them, Eventex Awards 2024 is now open for registration

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