At the beginning of 2023 we took stock and then looked at what was forthcoming for the year – so here is what we think is going to happen to the events industry in 2024 – and at the end we consider the implications on event safety…
Where we’ve been
2023 saw what a ‘new normal’ might be like for the events industry following 2020/ 2021 (the COVID years) and 2022 (the recovery year). 2023 saw a number of high profile events including the Coronation of Charles III and Camilla in London, COP28 in the UAE, The Rugby World Cup in France and Taylor Swift kicked off Eras tour across the US.
Inflation, cost of living and wars in Ukraine and Israel-Gaza meant that 2023 was a difficult year for many – and the events industry saw its own pressures, from increasing costs (which saw a number of events cancelled or curtailed) and shortened lead times to continued difficulties in achieving the right levels of staffing and equipment.
What’s coming up for events in 2024?
2024 will see the Olympic Games take over Paris in July, COP29 will take place in Baku in November and there will be the usual smattering of sporting events taking place throughout the year. Glastonbury is already sold out (but other great summer festivals are available) and Taylor will continue her worldwide tour!
The state of the industry
So, what is happening in the world of events… well…
- AI is the buzzword at the moment, with predictions that it will start to seriously impact the events industries through personalisation, dedicated experiences, data collection (and analysis) and networking uses.
- Commercialisation will see organisations embrace multiple streams of income from their events – from creative sponsorship packages, charging for streaming and other content and making events just the focal point of a community through pre and post event engagement, content and programming.
- Organisations, events and delivery businesses will demand greater commitment from their suppliers in relation to sustainability credentials, carbon neutrality and recycling initiatives.
- There will also be a shift to more closely balance the needs for live events with online and streaming platforms to enable participants to get the most from their event spend whilst monitoring and managing travel and time commitments.
Health & Safety in 2024
There is some frustration over the lack of clarity around the new Protect Duty. The legislation has been criticised but also appeared in the King’s Speech. There are wide calls for clarity over what will be expected of venue operators, event organisers and security providers – however it is also suggested that one route forward could be the strengthening of existing legislation and frameworks through licensing and Safety Advisory Groups.