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Survey: In-Person Events Returning, Hybrid Interest Persists

About 83 percent of event professionals plan to host at least three in-person events this year, with 24 percent planning to host at least 10, according to a new survey by meetings technology firm Bizabo. In 2023, 85 percent of event organizers plan to host at least three in-person events, while 35 percent plan to host at least 10. 98 percent will host at least one.

Bijabo surveyed more than 230 meeting professionals in June and July for its “State of In-Person Events” report.

The results reflect a steady return to in-person events, but with flexibility for attendees, according to Bijabo data, 68 percent of organizers plan to have a virtual component at their next in-person event. Most respondents retained hybrid meeting options while building momentum to return to in-person events, as 53 percent claimed to be “focused” or “very focused” on the 2023 virtual event strategy.

That said, onsite meetings and events remain a priority for organizers, with 72 percent indicating that in-person events are an “important” part of their organization’s overall marketing strategy, according to Bijabo’s survey. About 70 percent of respondents indicated that their 2022 event budget increased or remained stable from 2021 levels.

Forty-five percent of respondents had trade shows and expos on their 2022 event roster. Industry conferences and personal events were a close second in the planning mix for 43 percent of respondents.

Participant engagement, strong attendance numbers, achieving budget and ensuring Covid-19 safety were the highest event priorities among respondents. Engagement was the most common, with 45 percent of respondents pegging it as a priority Covid-19 protection was top of mind for 35 percent of respondents.

Bijabo found 73 percent of event professionals were “ready” or “very ready” to return to in-person events. Only 3 percent “were not ready.”

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