29 January 2024

My Year Ahead

In the wonderful world of events, we are not very often in the here and now as we are planning future events, which is definitely the case for me as I’m busily organising summer conferences, retreats as well as Christmas parties.

Yes, you read that right. I have a good few Christmas party emails in my inbox that I am working on. This early planning seems to be indicative of the year ahead.

Last year, many people said events were back, but for me it feels very much like 2024 is the year when they are fully back, especially in the corporate world. Budgets are getting approved and signed off early doors and action is happening whereas there still was some hesitancy this time last year.

As you can appreciate, this is music to my ears, but it also a reminder to be cautious and manage my mental and physical health. The main thing that 2023 taught me is that I need to get the balance right as I occasionally took on too much, which then effected my overall health as a result.

I am in a very good position that, on the whole, I don’t have to go out tendering for work – the work comes to me through previous clients and recommendations. This is fabulous and something I am truly grateful for, and together, with all the years of work and networking this has paid off.  But I have learnt to say no, manage expectations and know what my limits are.

I was recently on a forum with other event professionals and mentioned that I organised and planned 35 events last year – a combination of venue finding only projects and event management – and the reaction was shock that it was so many! For me, it felt fine and normal, but this year I am going to limit myself to 30 as I know I can fully commit and give each event my best work and, make sure I am healthy.

I have also decided to give myself more pats on the back this year, which I never used to do. Before Covid I always used to gravitate towards the negative and concentrate on the things I didn’t do! Over the last few years, I haven’t been doing this and am so much happier and confident in myself! Yes that’s right – you heard it here!

As for trends for next year, interaction is so important. No one is doing bog-standard power point presentations anymore (thankfully!), and events now have a feature to make them memorable and interesting. This can be an activity, a play on branding or a giveaway for example.

There will be a big focus on AI too in terms of supporting event management. A lot of the large events already use apps to aid the user experience so this is something I will be learning about and reaching out to my network for support and education.

I think with the advancement of tech in events, it is all about getting the balance right and making sure events still remain personal but use the tech to ease experience and make them slick.

So, for now I am very happy planning a number of events, and love the variety on my books (conferences, awards, retreats, international events, Christmas parties and more!) I am not at my 30 capacity yet, mind, so if you need a helping hand, do get in touch!


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