Tendencies in Event Management in 2021

When will people feel safer again and be ready to participate in events? Do they miss live events?

A recent study from ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) has demonstrated that people’s need to attend live events not only remains, but grows. Spending more than a year in a virtual environment has only confirmed that digital alternatives cannot replace “face to face” experiences.

The organizations who participated in the study were ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association), AfSAE (African Society of Association Executives), APFAO (Asia-Pacific Federation of Association Organizations), and ESAE (European Society of Association Executives), investigating the need to hold meetings after Covid-19:  in 2021 and onward. The study is sponsored by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau.

The study focused on 5 questions:

1. How are meetings changing?

2. How do associations adapt to the changes?

3. How do participants feel?

4. What are the most important demands for event organizers?

5. How can event organizers help restore associations?

Key findings of the study:

  • A large portion of the associations plan on organizing live events (49% of the participants in the study plan to organize live meetings during the first or second half of 2021, while 38% plan to organize meetings throughout the next year).
  • There is a clear tendency of organizing more regional meetings, with the majority of the interviewed expecting to organize more local meetings in 2021, compared to 36% (May 2020) and 23% (September 2020) respectfully in each of the two studies done in 2020.
  • For 96% of the interviewed technologies play a significant role in the way events are organized. Compared to the May 2020 study, there is a tendency of investing in more professional productions: 38% in March 2021 compared to just 8.4% in May 2020.
  • Among “traditional” services offered by PCOs and AMCs there is an increased search for virtual events and integrated digital platforms for event organizing. 


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