Keeping Events Relevant through a Recession

Keeping Events Relevant Whilst on the Brink of a Recession

It’s no secret that the current economic climate is unsettling. Companies are laying off employees in diverse function areas by the thousands. Startup funding dollars and inflated valuations have plummeted from their all-time highs. Businesses are effectively telling their employees to do more with less.

In a capital-intensive industry such as event planning, these macroeconomic signals can feel threatening. However, by positioning events as critical to overall corporate strategy, event professionals can remain prudent in their roles.

Minding the Budget

Perhaps most obvious consideration, during times of economic stress it would behoove event planners to review their budgets with a fine-toothed comb in an effort to cut out any superfluous expenses. Taking the time to perform rigorous due diligence on every line item of every budget (both annualized and event-specific) can go a long way in helping to determine which elements are most impactful and which are nice-to-haves. 

This is by no means to say that corners should be cut on big-ticket items that drive measurable value. However, finishing touches that often go unnoticed or unremembered by guests can probably be skipped.

Correlating to the Bottom Line

Whenever possible, event planners should correlate dollars spent on an event to some sort of success metric that is a value-add for the business. Examples include ticket sales, social media engagement, leads generated, or sponsorship sales.

By demonstrating to stakeholders the tangible value that is derived from events, planners can secure their place in the broader business plan. As subject matter experts, event professionals can also advise on which events are worth pursuing and which are not based on expected ROI.

Thinking Outside of the Box

The most creative solutions often arise out of necessity. What might have seemed unfathomable years ago could become a very viable option in today’s times.

Perhaps a large in-person event could take a hybrid approach and become partially virtual. Or maybe a formerly open invitation becomes invite-only so as to create more buzz. The possibilities for reducing costs while simultaneously augmenting results are endless.

Event professionals are an exceptionally resilient bunch, having just dealt with a global pandemic and now embarking on an economic downswing. With some creativity and tenacity, event planners will continue to thrive.