The Resurgence of In-Person Events In a Post-COVID World

Our lives changed drastically during the pandemic. Businesses shut their doors, schools closed, gyms became an empty, lifeless space for fitness enthusiasts, and our worlds were reduced to the square footage of our homes. Locked away in our support bubbles and making the difficult decision of who to spend Christmas with.

We had the time to reflect on what and who is truly important. We thought about our families, careers, relationships, and survival. This became our new ‘normal’, getting used to our own space, seeing fewer people, and being told which way to queue in the supermarket, ensuring we were 1 metre apart.

As we reached the end of the pandemic and having been so isolated, anxiety hit. We were desperate to reconnect, rebuild civilisation and get back to the ‘normal’ we were all used to. Gathering face-to-face uncovered newfound significance. Conferences, concerts, festivals, and events were no longer mere activities; they served as catalysts for renewed inspiration.

But, the benefits of in-person gatherings extend far beyond just good feelings; they are underpinned by research:

  • Forbes Insights surveyed more than 750 business executives about their thoughts on in-person versus virtual meetings; 85% said they build stronger, more meaningful business relationships when they meet in person.
  • Research by the Harvard Business Review found that 95% of people say face-to-face meetings are a key factor in successfully building and maintaining long-term business relationships.

The return of in-person events is not just a sign of recovery; it’s an opportunity to redefine the foundations of B2B and B2C success in an era hungry for human connection and authenticity. As we navigate this new normal, the irreplaceable value of face-to-face interactions has become abundantly clear. These gatherings are not just about reclaiming lost time or celebrating our return to physical spaces; they are integral to fostering deeper, more meaningful business relationships that are the backbone of many successful B2B marketing strategies. In a world that’s rapidly advancing in digital communication tech, the power of personal connection stands unmatched. Businesses that recognise and leverage the unique opportunities presented by in-person events will not only strengthen their existing relationships but also forge new ones, setting the stage for innovation, collaboration, and growth. As we look to the future, we should embrace the lessons learned during these challenging times and continue to place a premium on the human element in all our business endeavors.

Opinion piece by Senior Digital Marketing Executive, Nicola Roberts

Group of people sipping champagne at an in-person event