Innovation will be a major challenge in 2023. Even as we see the welcome return of more events and event businesses, 2023 still presents its own financial challenges. The cost-of-living crisis, inflation and the potential onset of a recession on the horizon, it’s understandable that investments in R&D and innovation will be suppressed.
For us at GES, as well as other larger brands within the industry, we feel a responsibility to play our part in ensuring as much innovation as possible, so that we can continue to find solutions to contemporary problems and create new opportunities for events and their audiences.
Our prediction is that the majority of these innovations will be on a micro level and support existing trends such as sustainability, hybrid events and audience engagement. We also fully expect to see more augmented and virtual installations that add more theatre to the live event experience and underline the value of face-to-face. Equally, we’ll see more and more events embracing high quality, digestible data and analytics to gain insights to prove value and support business growth. AI will also continue its influence on the industry, both within these insights, adding further audience engagement, but also advancing operational efficiencies and customer service quality.
Finally, we believe it’s important for the industry to continue to find new innovations in the area of accessibility, a trend that has taken a back seat over recent years but is critical in creating a more inclusive industry. At the recent Event Tech Live we were delighted to see the use of live sign language and real time subtitles. These are worthy investments that will be rewarded by brands looking to create more welcoming events. It’s our prediction that this will in turn spur more innovation and investment from event tech professionals, a wholly good thing for the industry.
So, while innovation will face its challenges in 2023, its incumbent on all companies, large and small, to reward those that come up with the solutions that drive the value and quality of what we do.