The New Now: How the Pandemic Changed the Events Industry

As the COVID-19 crisis has rocked the business events industry, new business models have spring up — not as short-term workarounds, but as lasting shifts.

Author: Convene Editors       

In some ways, COVID-19 was like an asteroid hitting the business events industry — not wiping it out but instead creating a new world order. For the September/October 2021 CMP Series cover story, Convene editors are taking a look at how the pandemic has spawned new business models, created new roles, caused new ways of thinking to take hold, and creativity to blossom. We’ve uncovered some unifying themes: collaboration, finding ideas in unexpected places, and unlearning what we’ve done all along. As best-selling author and psychologist Adam Grant writes, “Learning is how you evolve. Unlearning is how you keep up as the world evolves.” (Illustration by Jon Krause)

Earn CMP Credit

Earn one clock hour of certification by visiting the Convene CMP Series page to answer questions about information contained in the articles below from the September/October 2021 edition.

‘We Didn’t Want to Give Up to This Virus’

AIM Group’s vice president shares how, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the multinational event company rethought its internal workings, got creative, and offered new innovative solutions to its clients. READ MORE

Digital and Hybrid a ‘Great Change’ for the Industry

Much like many of her peers, event organizer Mia Monroe was thrust into producing digital events during the pandemic. She spoke with Convene about her new skillset and how her experience in the industry helped guide her new role. READ MORE

Got Empathy? Visit Oakland’s New CEO on the Rewards of Listening to Employees

Listening is a critical leadership skill, says Visit Oakland’s new CEO, Peter Gamez, especially in challenging times. READ MORE

New Roles, New Platforms in the New Workplace

The pandemic has remade the workforce experience, ushering in new roles, responsibilities, and tech solutions to meet hybrid workplace demands. READ MORE

‘The Lines Are Blurring’

Google’s global events account manager, Megan Henshall, talks about how a new initiative at Google is exploring opportunities for events in the metaverse — and what that means for the business events industry. READ MORE

Taking on an Expanded Role

The pandemic has given CVBs a fresh opportunity to partner with economic development agencies to benefit their destinations in the short- and long-term. READ MORE

Incubating Recovery

Convention centers around the world have repurposed their facilities to meet the needs of hybrid and virtual events — and the Palais des congrès de Montréal is tapping into the future of events in a different way. READ MORE

The Future of Events is Phygital and Omnichannel

Juliano Lissoni, MCI Group managing director, Canada, on how the pandemic has accelerated the use of AI, machine learning, and blockchain technologies to boost engagement and experiences in the metaverse — “a fully realized digital world that exists beyond the analog one in which we live.” READ MORE

The Hybrid Event Format Is Here to Stay, Survey Suggests

Ninety percent of respondents to an Encore Planner Pulse Survey said they will or expect to use a digital-event strategy once in-person meetings recover. READ MORE

Redefining ‘Live’ Events

The pandemic changed the meaning of “must-attend” events, says Freeman CEO Bob Priest-Heck, because hybrid events are now “bigger than a physical location or moment in time.” READ MORE