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Safety and Trust: 2021 Events according to American Express Meetings & Events Global Forecast

Hybrid events, nearby destinations, health and safety guidelines and sanitisation: another confirmation of 2021 meeting industry’s trends coming from the Global Meetings and Events Forecast by American Express Meetings and Events.

Six hundred event professionals and meeting providers took the survey, and it identified four significant factors that will make face-to-face meetings valuable for next year: attendees safety, economic flexibility, social distancing and hygienic protocols.

In detail:

  • 68% values attendees safety
  • 59% requires contract and cancellation flexibility
  • 77% considers social distancing still essential
  • 52% would organise a face-to-face meeting only if strict hygienic protocols were in place


Rox Event Staff is the only event staffing agency in the UK that helps you take the headache out of staffing and event marketing in one place.

 All our Event Staff took the mass gathering course by WHO, which is now mandatory for them to work with us.




Event formats, length and cost

For what concerns the event formats, next year, 21% of interviewed people will organise smaller meetings no matter the layout (in person, hybrid or virtual). In contrast, the event length expects to be 1.5 days for small face-to-face conferences and up to 3.1 days for incentives and significant events. The average size for virtual and hybrid events is measured in hours and goes from 7.8 hours for conferences and trade shows down to 3.1 hours for smaller meetings.

Based on American Express, the cost for incentive travel and more significant events will be between $426 (about £318 or €357) and up to $906 (equal to £677 or €760) per person per day. Based on last year’s numbers, the forecast is from -1.3% to -2.7% for trade shows and conferences, while up to -6% for meetings.


Hotels and event venues

Medium range hotels will keep being the most common venues by event organisers (36.9%), followed by unconventional locations (16.8%), resorts (16.2%) and luxury locations (15.4%). Event planners expect event venues to be available in 2021, but to have more reservation challenges in 2022.

The most common requirements are bigger venues and technology to support hybrid formats, for both Wi-Fi connection and technical equipment.

For what concerns destinations, face-to-face events will stay local, in relatively small and suburban areas, incredibly if easy to reach. International destinations are less considered, due to limiting travel policies and necessary procedures, especially during uncertain times caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.


The importance of trust

The relationship among event organisers, suppliers, clients and attendees will be significant in 2021 and will be mainly based on mutual trust.

Linda McNairy, Americas VC at American Express Meetings & Events affirms, “Trust is the answer. Duty of care is now the main attendees safeguard, for both virtual and in-person events”.

Here the full forecast.


European Event Planners: 2021 Events Will Only Happen in Safe and Technologic venues

British and European planners need guarantees to plan their face-to-face events in 2021, especially with safe event venues that follow strict sanitisation and safety guidelines like temperature checks and medical personnel on-site, or Covid-19 trained event staff.

Cvent’s 2020 Planner Sentiment and Sourcing Report said that at their Europe Edition, by Censuswide, involving more than 700 event planners from France, Germany, Holland, Spain and UK, belonging to different sectors among education, finance, healthcare, travel IT, cultural and many others. The survey aims to “offer to hospitality and event professionals information on changes in Europe, to adapt to clients’ requests”.

The report underlines how technology plays a vital role compared to the past, with 62% of event organisers affirming they used it much more since the Covis-19 pandemic.

Hybrid events are an option for 76% of event planners that took part in the survey, and 77% expects “reliable internet connection and AV technology” from an event venue to simplify hybrid events.


Venues Anti-Covid Measures

Safety is a vital element for face-to-face events comeback, with 56% of people interviewed affirming that “safe event venues” influences their event venue choices.

A 58% of interviewed people believe that next year they will face challenges in re-planning a F2F event in “lack of safety guidelines at event venues” and Covid-19 trained event staff.


The cost of 2021 events

Finally, the report states that 52% of event professionals plan to spend more on F2F events compared to 2019, a primary aspect of events comeback, especially for venues following safety guidelines.

Chris McAndrews, Cvent Hospitality Cloud’s Marketing VP affirmed: “While the world plans a comeback, hotels and venues will play a fundamental role for in-person events comeback”.

The full report is available to download at the Cvent’s website, filling in a form with your info.


About Rox Event Staff, Event Staffing Agency in London

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Rox Event Staff is the only event staffing agency in London that helps you take the headache out of staffing and event marketing in one place.
We operate nationwide across the UK with over 2,000 dynamic COVID-19 trained events staff on our growing roster. We have dedicated account management, event marketers, staff’s right-to-work checks, training and skills tests on all workers, taking care of payroll too.
Get in touch to let us know your requirements. We will let you know how we can make that happen.

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