Our Predictions for the Events Industry in 2024: How to Get Ahead and See Success | Eventwise

The festival industry has been through a few very challenging years recently. With COVID lockdowns causing carnage and the cost of living crisis creating even more uncertainty, the industry seems somewhat on a knife edge. 

2024 is positioned to be an inflexion point for many, with event businesses challenged to find ways to stay afloat and achieve success in a complex and unsettled market.

The current state of the events industry

While the events industry in the UK remains in a state of recovery and adaptation following the significant disruptions caused by the pandemic, it still isn’t up to the levels we were seeing previously. The easing of restrictions has allowed for a gradual return to in-person events, however, the sector continues to navigate challenges such cost concerns, fluctuating consumer confidence, and the need for innovative hybrid event models. 

The industry’s trajectory is also influenced by ongoing economic factors, including the recovery from the economic downturn and cost of living crisis, and evolving consumer behaviours. 

After the recent announcement of the closing of Nozstock The Hidden Valley due to financial strain, John Rostron, the CEO of the Association of Independent Festivals, stated “After almost three decades of great events, Nozstock has become a key fixture on the UK’s independent festival calendar, and this should serve as yet another alarm bell warning of the perilous situation that many in this cultural sector are facing.” 

As the festivals landscape evolves, there is a collective effort to rebuild and redefine the industry, emphasising adaptability and creativity in the face of an ever-changing environment. With this in mind, what can businesses do to get ahead and make events a success? Hear our predictions for the event industry in 2024.

Our 2024 event predictions

  1. Further rise in social media promotion

People are using social media more than ever, and it’s now become an integral part of most of our lives. Over the past few years, these platforms have transformed the way festivals are promoted and organised, with many finding they can reach and engage with audiences that were more difficult in the past – especially younger audiences.

Why this is great for events organisers:

Social media is a really cheap and accessible tool for businesses. By analysing user data, event organisers can tailor their social marketing campaigns to reach individuals who are more likely to be interested in their event, thus maximising their chance of increased ticket sales. Although it’s been tricky in the past (more on this later), accurate reporting on ticket sales can work well alongside a well-structured social campaign, giving organisers the data they need to ramp up and down their marketing efforts – especially for paid promotions.

  1. Focus on sustainability 

Sustainability is set to be the top of everyone’s agenda in 2024 – especially when it comes to Gen Z customers. As more and more people prioritise reducing their carbon footprint and embracing eco-friendly practices in their lives, festival planners must integrate these principles into their financial strategies. This entails meticulous scrutiny of event costs, supplier choices, and invoicing procedures to ensure alignment with environmentally responsible practices. The shift towards sustainability not only reflects a commitment to environmental stewardship but also presents an opportunity for financial planners to demonstrate cost-effectiveness while adhering to eco-conscious principles. 

Why this is great for events organisers

We’re at a pivotal stage where there is still plenty of opportunity to shine in this area. By prioritising sustainable venues and incorporating renewable energy sources, waste reduction measures, and eco-conscious materials into your events, you can position yourself as a leader in this field.

  1. More personalised experiences

One of the key trends that came out of the pandemic was the need for a more personalised, human touch to people’s experiences. Organisers are increasingly incorporating elements such as personalised welcome messages and curated content based on participant preferences. While this trend enriches the overall participant experience, festival planners must be vigilant in managing the associated costs. As the industry leans towards providing more tailored experiences, financial planning becomes paramount. Event planners need to closely monitor the budget allocated for personalised elements, ensuring that the costs do not spiral out of control. Real-time reporting on ticket sales, cash flow, and overall financial metrics becomes an invaluable tool, allowing planners to make informed decisions and strike the right balance between delivering exceptional, personalised experiences and maintaining fiscal responsibility.

Why this is great for events organisers

By prioritising personalisation, organisers not only meet the evolving expectations of participants but also create memorable and impactful events that resonate on a more personal level, ultimately contributing to increased attendee satisfaction and loyalty.

  1. Scenario planning and risk analysis

While scenario planning traditionally encompasses various facets of an event plan, the consideration of extreme weather conditions has become an increasingly critical factor for event planners. In the wake of the highest recorded temperatures in 2022 and the wettest March in 2023, the impact of climate change on event logistics is unmistakable. As extreme weather events become more frequent and unpredictable, event planners are recognising the need for a proactive and strategic approach to manage the associated risks. This trend holds immense value for event organisers, offering a proactive means to navigate the financial implications of weather-related uncertainties. Scenario planning allows organisers to understand and prepare for various eventualities, from unexpected downpours to scorching heat waves. By conducting comprehensive risk analyses, event planners can identify potential challenges and build out contingency plans, ensuring a smoother execution of festivals – no matter the weather.

Why this is great for event organisers

By incorporating scenario planning into their strategies, event planners gain a distinct edge in foreseeing various eventualities and developing contingency measures, meaning they’re more prepared than others. This proactive approach safeguards against unexpected costs and disruptions that might otherwise jeopardise the success of an event.

  1. Flexible budgeting

Following on from the point above, given the uncertainties in the events industry and the economy overall, event planners and project accountants need the ability to be more reactive. This often leads to them allocating contingency funds for unexpected challenges, such as changes in regulations, weather issues, or other unforeseen circumstances. A flexible budget provides event planners with the agility required to redirect funds from contingency allocations to the areas where more support is needed. This strategic shift toward flexible budgeting not only mitigates risks but also fosters a culture of innovation and adaptability within the events industry. 

Why this is great for event organisers

By incorporating flexibility into financial planning, event organisers can navigate uncertainties with greater ease, ultimately enhancing their ability to deliver successful, resilient, and unforgettable experiences for their attendees.

  1. Shift from spreadsheets to real-time reporting

It’s no secret that the financial management side of festival organisations is an issue for most businesses. But while previous ‘solutions’ meant using clunky spreadsheets, with no concept of how successful your event was until sometimes months after it had ended, real-time reporting is the answer for the future. New tools are being introduced to revolutionise the management of event finances, with up-to-date, accurate data making it easy to understand where you are, and where you’re going.

Why this is great for event organisers

Real-time reporting can help you reconcile ticket counts, bookkeeping and budgets all in one place, meaning you have a single source of truth to manage your past, current and upcoming events. This means you can focus your attention on the areas that need it, when they need it, without having to wait days, weeks or months to see the outcomes.

How Eventwise can help

The Eventwise team have over 15 years’ experience in the festival and events industry, so we know your pain points well.  We designed our platform to specifically address these, helping you take back control of your finances and streamline everything you need into one place. 

With budgeting, scenario planning, ticket sale counts, invoicing & POs, approvals & team management and revenue management all in one hub, you can track multiple events in seconds.

Do you want to find out more? Get in touch with us today.

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