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The 180 Group CEO Predicts Industry Trends for 2023 Corporate Events

Expect wellness, immersive studios, and sustainability to be trending in 2023 and beyond.

The 180 Group, J.R. Spiess
J.R. Spiess standing with a 180 Group production showcased in the background
Photo: Courtesy of The 180 Group

J.R. Spiess, president and CEO of The 180 Group, takes an empathetic approach to innovation. This human-first way of production and design has helped The 180 Group keep its fingers on the pulse of industry trends that have shaped flawless events for more than 25 years.

Here are three trend predictions he foresees for the corporate meetings and events industry:

Resurgence of in-person meetings and events
This may come as no surprise for those of us in the trenches: Live events are back and are here to stay. But it's not back to business as usual. In fact, it can't be.

By centering the people who are participating in the events, we can continue to innovate our productions, giving audiences what they want and need, while also meeting them where they're at.

Therefore, we will see the most success come from events that deeply incorporate elements of wellness. Meetings and events will adapt to companies and leaders who are expressing symptoms of burnout through non-traditional scheduling that include more sensory-friendly quiet spaces, breakout rooms that incorporate movement or guided meditation, and facilities for working parents.

Renaissance of tech in virtual events
Despite the accelerated resurgence of in-person events, some corporations are pulling back their in-person plans to prioritize safety and save on costs.

This is why, in 2023, planners will be searching for immersive studios that turn a dreaded "Zoom call" or "Teams meeting" into an awe-inspiring, seamless event that exceeds the audience's expectations and spreads your message further than ever.

While it may sound like science fiction, tech giants around the world are working hard to make this digital frontier a reality. Ultimately, immersive environments add a superior level of professionalism and polish to virtual events that are affordable and efficient.

Revolutionary pivots in DEI and sustainability  
For the past two years, we've collectively struggled with navigating personal challenges while coping with the magnitude of a global pandemic, and in the case of 180, at the epicenter of the uprising after the murder of George Floyd. Not to mention a summer riddled with climate disasters. It is imperative to prioritize well-being and take intentional steps to improve our values and social responsibility. If we all take an effort to look inward, great things can happen. Trust us: It's an easy decision to make.

Leading teams to greatness in 2023 will take more than just exceptional planning. It will also require us as leaders to set the right tone and demand change. We will see an even greater effort to diversify our talent pools and company-wide initiatives to unlearn ideologies that create equity barriers within our industry. I believe clients will start to become selective about the services they choose based on a provider's commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and sustainability efforts.  

We don't just plan expos, meetings, conventions, and events; we're a highly creative design industry, and our reach is tremendous. In reality, our industry touches every industry—from product launches and sporting events to sales incentive trips and all of the meetings big corporations have. That's why it is important to center the human experience in every choice we make.

Let's get started on defining the trends for 2023 and beyond! Start planning your next on-trend, future-forward, human-centered event—no obligation.