ICE research shows positive future for events


Event teams are reporting a rise in the value businesses are putting on their roles, according to a report out this week by ICE (In-house Corporate Events). The research contains many bright spots, in what has been a difficult year for the events industry, but shows that, despite the massive disruptions to event programmes, events will enter 2021 higher valued by business.

The findings all form part of the ICE Report 2020, created in partnership with Cvent, which also demonstrated that, compared to 2019, event planners have seen stakeholder perception on the value of event professionals increase by 18%. The report also found that events are establishing their place within business, again adding to the growing perception of value. The research showed that teams are increasingly (7%) reporting to marketing departments, ensuring ‘a more strategic approach to events.’ Further good news is that this continued shift has led to a generally ‘significant’ increase in budgets, and the ability of corporate event planners to demonstrate the returns on the investment.

Anita Howard, Founder, ICE, commented: “The majority of event organisers who contributed towards the survey have been undergoing a massive learning curve over the last nine months, and it’s not been easy. It has been successful though, and their value has been shown not just from a project management and logistical level, but in terms of their ability to find solutions, go from live to digital and keep events creative, productive and effective.”

While the report covers trends such as increase budgets for events and better metrics for evaluation, it also reported that the top three challenges facing event organisers were; Delivering more virtual/hybrid events (74%); Ensuring the sustainability of their events (70%); and Using technology to enhance the team’s way of working (64%).

Respondents within the report also spoke about the importance of evaluation metrics in events, but again reported a rise in effective evaluation. This was consistent regardless of whether it is physical or virtual. However, the data shows that event professionals are less likely to be measuring their virtual events compared to face-to-face events. 

Felicia Asiedu, Manager Event Cloud Marketing Europe, Cvent adds: “In-house Corporate planners have often struggled getting  stakeholders  to recognise the true value of events. So, it is very encouraging that this year’s research reveals a shift in positive perception and an increase in budgets for 2021. With restrictions for in-person events still in place, virtual and hybrid events are likely to remain popular throughout next year – going digital actually provides even more opportunity to evaluate ROI so planners could benefit hugely at looking at what metric measures can be put in place.”

Anita concluded: “It’s been a horrible year for so many within the industry and the very future of events has been questions. ICE Report 2020 has shown that now, more than ever we’re valued and understood as an integral and profitable business tool.”

Adam Parry
Author: Adam Parry

Adam is the co-founder and editor of Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.