By Jonathan Morse, CEO of Tripleseat
It’s hard to predict what exactly will happen with events in 2021, but we do know that some trends created in 2020 to enhance safety and prevent the spread of the coronavirus will continue into the new year.
Here’s a look at the top four trends for the events industry in 2021:
There’s been an increase in catering during the pandemic, and that’s because catering solves several problems for consumers. It is a safe way for food to be prepared, delivered, and served for small gatherings, and it saves time (no cooking or clean up at home).
Catering has emerged as the new food delivery for restaurants. While takeout and delivery have been the norm for a lot of areas of the United States this year, it is costly and has very little profit for restaurants. Off-premise events for restaurants are much more profitable and provide a new revenue stream.
For people who still wanted to have celebrations in 2020 with safety in mind, micro-events became a popular trend. These events include a small guest count that complies with local and state capacity restrictions, social distancing, mask-wearing, catering or contactless food service, and compliance with COVID safety guidelines.
Micro-events and micro-weddings started because venues were limited to the number of people they could host, but people like the intimate feeling and the reduced stress of planning for a small group that micro-events provide.
- Venue flexibility
As the number of coronavirus changes and restrictions changes throughout the year, venues will need to think about how they can accommodate in-person events that require evolving capacity limits and make attendees feel safe and comfortable.
Event venues should consider how they can provide more space to allow social distancing between tables and people, if they can upgrade or add outdoor spaces, and if they can provide accommodations to allow people to gather outside throughout the seasons. There should also be a focus on venue or restaurant buyouts, which allow consumers to book the entire restaurant for a private event.
- Virtual and hybrid events
The reliance on virtual meetings and events increased in 2020, as tools like Zoom allowed people to work and have social time safely from the comfort of home. Virtual events are here to stay but will continue to evolve over the next year, especially with hybrid events.
Hybrid events are a combination of some guests attending in-person and some participating virtually. This allows people to take part in the event according to their comfort level. Venues and restaurants can benefit from virtual and hybrid events by providing catering services that deliver items to virtual attendees’ homes. They can also offer their space as the stage and broadcasting location, and provide staff and audiovisual equipment or partner with local vendors.
Start now for a successful 2021
You may be offering one or more of these trends, or are thinking about adding them to your services. If you start planning now and get everything up-to-date for the new year, your venue will have everything in place to generate more bookings and more revenue.