Cvent has compiled a list of the top seven trends that will play a large role in the hospitality industry in 2023. These trends should serve as a preview of what’s to come in the next year, to provide a look at the opportunities and potential pitfalls venues may face in the upcoming year.
This peek at the future of the meetings and events industry is based on data Cvent has compiled from RFPs flowing through the Cvent Supplier Network, a sourcing platform where thousands of RFPs are submitted by event planners every day. Insights and survey results taken directly from planners were also included, as well as data and observations from other industry leaders.
These trends cover everything from volume of bookings to event format and hot tech options to give you the best picture of the industry going forward.
When it comes to volume, event planners are in the midst of a bit of a boom. The industry is already seeing an uptick in events booked and held in 2022, which are currently hovering around 2019 levels according to data from the Cvent Supplier Network. Per the most recent PULSE in June, a survey conducted by Cvent in partnership with the Northstar Meetings Group, 40% of event planners see themselves planning even more events than they are now in 2023. That survey also found that 48% of planners are more optimistic about the future of the industry than they were just six weeks prior.
Once events are booked and move into the planning process, event planners consider return on time and experience to be one of their top concerns. This is especially true with the increasing rebound of in-person events. Planners want to help forge meaningful connections between attendees to make experience worth the time spent on them. They’re also looking for unique and exciting experiences that entice attendees to participate in the events.
Event planners are looking to capitalize on the “triple threat”, too. That means venues need to be able to host in-person, virtual, and hybrid events with a degree of flexibility. At the Skift Meetings Future of the Event Industry Summit in 2022, over half of the attendees polled said they would continue to execute hybrid events through at least the end of the year. Venues need to adapt to the continued need for hybrid and virtual event types.
That means new technology as well. VR is one of the top new tech options to hit the hospitality industry, with uses from sourcing all the way through executing the event. VR is still in its infancy in the industry, but its potential is huge. Event planners can integrate VR into their events themselves, possibly enhancing the experience of their attendees. Venues have the ability to change the way planners source—perhaps doing away with the need for in-person site visits entirely.
There are also a number of changes that will affect the industry as a whole, not driven by planners and venues, but by the average meeting or event attendee. Pipslay found in 2021 that around 69% of Americans expect brands to have a public stance on social issues, and according to Shopkick in 2021, 39% research brands before purchasing their services to make sure their values align. Planners can now look to “valuegraphics” to understand their attendees holistically and create events that cater towards a socially conscious crowd. Social activism is going to play a larger role in determining what events are planned and where they’re held.
Sustainability and diversity are top causes for these socially conscious planners and attendees, but mental health looks to be a huge focus as well. The Global Wellness Institute expects to see a 21% annual growth in the wellness tourism industry—that means more events focused on holistic health, including meditation, physical activity, farm-to-table food, and even art classes. A venue able to provide these kinds of activities will outperform its competition.
This factors into where events are held as well. An increasing share of RFPs submitted to venues in traditionally leisure destinations, like Big Sky country, Cape Cod, and Colorado Springs, instead of larger city and urban markets is a growing trend currently that is likely to carry into 2023. Many of these destinations offer a focus on sustainability, holistic health, and the ability to combine business with personal leisure.
Cvent has identified these trends to help venues be better prepared for the problems and opportunities you’re likely to face in the next year. This industry is designed to bring people together, and we want to help you do that.
Read the eBook at cvent.com/2023trends