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The anticipation of a return to face-to-face

January 26, 2021

Workplace face-to-face meeting

With demand for face-to-face being buoyed by the vaccination rollout, we are seeing a demonstrable change in how and why events are being held. After a year of mothballed meeting spaces, we are gearing up for a change in event formats at 99 City Road as streaming goes mainline and themes at business events reflect on the past year in limbo. 

As we regularly host more than 1,000 events a year, we like to think we have our finger on the pulse of conference conversations and we foresee upcoming events being used to re-instil corporate cultures with the key messages reflecting the broad learnings of a post-Covid society. 

Whilst building on previous years’ hot topics of diversity &  inclusivity, science & technology and innovation, events in planning at the venue home in on the lessons learned from the dramatic changes in society and business across the globe. 

Top issues that look to be on the agenda for corporate events in 2021 and beyond are health & wellness, sustainability and the culture of slow driven by a desire for a greater work-life balance. 

These matters reflect a wider appreciation of the planet and its people, a need for purpose and progression and a conscious effort to focus on what’s most important. A shift from transactional organisations and leadership to transformational leadership.  

Drawing on her 20 years’ experience at the venue, our conference centre manager, Sandra Wilson, sees 2021 as a new chapter for bringing people together with new attitudes and new learnings from the unprecedented period of the pandemic. “For many years, corporate events headlined innovation and procedural progress, however, having been jettisoned into working online innovation needs to catch up as what we thought was progress is now an accepted part of business life. We also expect to see a marked return to people-centric values such as sustainability and personal wellness, which means that face-to-face will have an even bigger value attributed to it. The former celebrity speaker who used to draw in the delegate numbers is likely to be replaced with today’s prominent profiles such as an NHS hero or a small charity champion.”  

“We’re slowly but surely seeing increased demand from our repeat clients for events later in 2021 where they can thank their face-to-face and reassert company values that have been lost to a considerable amount of time spent online.”
 

As a result of living through Covid-19, there is clearly a marked move towards an empathetic and collaborative leadership, and these values are being passed through to events and ultimately reasserting the value of face-to-face.  

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