Emerging Event Industry Trends

Thanks for checking out our Emerging Industry Trends page! Below you will find an updated list of important tourism trends that can impact our stakeholders and the Edmonton tourism industry. Our research team will update this page monthly here as well as the Industry Newsletter listed on our main page.

Hybrid Events Continue to Grow

Events Are Becoming Important for PR and Marketing

  • As hybrid events remain popular, planners have new threats and opportunities, mainly an increase in attendance, albeit virtual, but a decrease in revenue, as these events are often free, or at a lower cost.

  • To regain this revenue, organizations may utilize sponsorships in more ways for the virtual setting as the increased number of views appetizing. Or using hybrid models for marketing campaigns to reach a wider audience, potentially yielding a greater ROI.

  • Only 25% of planners were able to hold a profitable event in 2020 and with hybrid events continuing, revenue way be slow to recover, but this setting has created new opportunities that should be considered.

Micro Events


  • Rapid changes in structure, technology, and professional skills due to the pandemic have created a new set of skills and knowledge that people are eager to learn.

  • 71% of event planners said that the wanted to learn new skills in designing experiences that have emerged in a “post-covid 19” environment.

  • COVID-19 has caused some obvious disruptions in the event industry like hygiene and safety protocols but there are myriad changes in the industry around technology and event structure that shouldn’t be overlooked.

  • the Event Leadership Institute, an organization dedicated to online training/development for event and meetings professionals, has released several new courses like: Pandemic meetings and event design, and Pandemic on-site protocol.

Transformational Experiences

More Data Collection Pre and Post Event

  • The amount of data available to capture thanks to a virtual setting is unprecedented in this industry. Data that would be difficult to retrieve during in person events.

  • For example: Only 42% of attendees watch the entirety of a virtual session. This could be do to “zoom fatigue”

  • The behavioural rules for an online event are also different than for an in-person event. In-person, the expectation is that one would sit through an entire session, even if they would prefer to leave. This is not the case in a virtual setting.
  • The idea is that data we would not have otherwise been able to capture, can now be captured, and applied to both virtual and in-person event structures.

Investment In Technology

Impact To Our Industry

  • A hybrid event model creates many challenges like loss of revenues, and fear of a continually slow recovery.

  • It also creates unique opportunities to recoup those losses through PR, sponsorship, and marketing to a larger audience.

  • The structure of many events may shift to localised meeting “pods” and micro events, over large conference settings—this is not to say that either will disappear, but there are more options available to those planning, attending, or hosting events.

  • Perhaps additional training is needed (and wanted) from event professionals in leveraging these opportunities, and closing new skill gaps.

  • The experience and entertainment of corporate events are more important than the content.

  • Investing in technologies that enhance hybrid events could be important as we expect hybrid models to stay.