Once again it feels as if we blinked and here we are at the end of the year! 2023 is coming to a close and 2024 will be here soon. But, before it arrives, we love taking this poignant time of year to review at what we learned, saw, felt, celebrated, etc!
The year began with our (typical) slower time of event execution but we saw one of our biggest influxes in event sale inquiries of all time! It was clear that events were back, new ones were being created, and many were needing new support as they dealt with staffing shortages.
In these event sales, we received many calls to support events that were traveling to Minnesota from outside of the state or even the country. We hadn’t received these types of calls the past few years with travel being limited. As some of Minnesota’s biggest fans, it sure made us happy to know people were excited to visit this state with their company or industry group!
Spring Season Review
As we entered the Spring Season we were starting to see many slight evolutions in how events were occurring and guests expectations were changing the scene:
- Attendees were purchasing tickets very last minute and those buying habits didn’t change with early bird ticket pricing.
- Guests were starting to change their giving habits slightly and oftentimes gravitating towards the live auction where they received something vs the giving moment
- Food & Beverage vendors were getting creative as guests dietary preferences continue to evolve to include less alcohol consumption and an importance on inclusive beverage offerings. We also saw creativity in vegan and gluten free dietary options.
- Valet usage was declining as guests opted for rideshare options.
- Guests were feeling more open to where they attended functions.
- Floorplans were including new and unique traffic patterns or seating options such as community tables, high-top seating, or small conference rooms used for registration vs a pre-function space.
We really enjoyed the hustle & bustle the Spring event season brought and it carried us right into the Summer! While we always prepare for a variety of weather, this Summer (and into the Fall) was unique as we grappled with extreme heat for many outdoor events. It had us implementing versions of our indoor rain plans, renting extra umbrellas for shade, and gifting golfers items like cooling tools to mitigate the effects.
A few top learnings included:
- Prep your weather preparedness plans well in advance. Planning for heat is equally important to planning for severe weather.
- Sometimes it’s better to execute an event in less-than-ideal weather, than it is to cancel. Try to find joy in the rain!
- Summer event attendance tends to be lower, but the enticing outdoor options may be worth it!
- More venues are offering outdoor options!
As Summer concluded the busy Fall event season was upon us and we saw many happy guests and low no-show rates. Our Fall events included many special amenities for VIPs such as customized swag, post-event photo mailings, exclusive spaces within the event space, and private access to speakers.
- Venues are becoming more selective of their events – particularly hotel venues. Consider adding room blocks for your event goers to further entice venues to want your event at their location
- Digital programs are on the rise. More events are printing smaller, one-page programs with a QR code to the more in depth.
- If you go this route, make sure you consider where you can add sponsor exposure elsewhere in your live event.
- Auction displays continue to be dynamic. While some events are still having a full auction display, others are taking saving floor space and time by moving their silent auction fully online. Attendees like to see items, so there is opportunity to get creative here.
End of Year
We are now in the midst of Winter and enjoying a bit of rest from what was a hugely successful year for us and our clients! At Do Good Events, we love to celebrate this time of year with our by the numbers recap and this year’s numbers are blowing us away!!
- $12.3 million – Dollars raised at Do Good Events supported non-profit events
- 106 – Event days in 2023
- 26,000 – Attendees at Do Good Events in 2023
We are grateful for all of you and for a year worth celebrating! We can’t wait to gather with you and continue to create meaningful events in 2024!