Brian Rivers on 2023 Business Trends
“People are finally ready to get out and make emotional connections on-site.”
Q: FROM A BUSINESS STANDPOINT, WHAT ARE YOUR PREDICTIONS FOR THE EVENTS INDUSTRY NOW AND FOR THE FUTURE?
A: What we’re going to see coming up in 2023 is a lot of different folks are more than ready to get back to the live meeting settings. We’ve been living in the Zoom world for a while and I think people are finally ready to get out and make emotional connections on-site.
The trends that we’re seeing are that people understand there are a lot of great things that were done during COVID. Maybe we can bring some of those things to the table with ancillary technology. I also think it is going to come down to budgets. The budgets became an issue somewhat in 2022. We certainly are seeing people start to bolster more of their budgets and go back with more of a boom and have their sales teams be more motivated than ever to meet live and in person.
Q: CENTRIFUGE MEDIA’S IN-PERSON EVENT CALENDAR IS FILLING UP QUICKLY FOR THE START OF 2023. WHAT ARE YOU SEEING AS THE TOP NEEDS FOR CLIENTS?
A: I think one of our clients’ top needs is to push the ballot to continue to do things differently. People are starting to connect more than they ever have. I think they’re starting to really utilize their own resources internally and with others better than they ever have. We want to ensure that we continue promoting and creating the right environments. We used to have traditional breakouts, but how do we do that differently? Whether it’s some kind of a coffee station or a different room that’s going to allow people to socialize a little bit more than just sitting in a didactic lecture.
Q: WE ARE SEEING THE NEED TO PUSH HIGH-QUALITY CONTENT AND VISUALS AFTER YEARS OF LOW-QUALITY ZOOM CALLS, AND WORKAROUNDS DUE TO COVID. WHAT ARE SOME SOLUTIONS FOR THIS NEED TO GET BACK TO QUALITY?
A: Moving forward, when it comes to web conferencing, I believe there’s a place for it and it is an ancillary technology. But ultimately what we’ve seen from the clients that we have been working with is that it’s not like it’s gone, but it’s certainly not going to replace what they are ultimately looking for. Again, it’s that human connectivity.
We just had a conference call a couple of weeks ago and they were saying, “you’ve done a couple of these meetings. How have they gone? How are people experiencing it?” It is not from lack of a sales pitch to say it’s awesome and people are loving being back to live and in person. You can’t tell a story appropriately without being in person. Being a part of the content as an audience member and being part of that experience is amazing. We’re excited to have people look at this as an event and really join in making sure that every component that’s being brought to the table is a true experience.
Q: HOW DO THE DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS AT CENTRIFUGE MEDIA WORK TOGETHER TO GUIDE A CLIENT DURING THE PLANNING PROCESS?
A: Working with a company like Centrifuge Media, the agency’s collective departments play a vital role in this experience.
We want to make sure that now, going back into a different environment and certainly looking into 2023, there are some different needs. What is it that we can do to encapsulate all those expectations? The best way we can do that is by bringing in what we call a discovery. We bring in the heads of each department, from the creative services department, and the event services department made up of project management and account management teams to look and see how we can make this the best experience out of the space? How can we best utilize our creative department to communicate messaging through different visual communication tools that are available?
We learned a lot during the COVID time period. We can create different visuals that people really weren’t apt to try before. And now that they have, they are way more willing to say, “Let’s tell stories and let’s have a visual narrative to help us guide us through that story.”
We function collectively together. And I think that discovery helps us learn which departments we need to bring in, where, and how they can help best so that clients can experience true excellence.