What’s going on in the Speaking market for 2023?

I like to keep up with what’s happening, I hope you do too.  And before we go into some of the detail let me clarify that the subject line refers to the speaking market, but we aren’t in the speaking market, or speaking industry at all.  I know you’re shocked.  The industry we are in is that of Meetings and Events and specifically Business Meetings and Events.  So, this is the market to watch. 

We’ve seen so much change over a very short period.  We moved quickly from in person to mostly virtual over the pandemic and as we emerged, we then saw a mix of the two.  Hybrid was then hyped as the holy grail combining both formats, but what’s happening in 2023?

Well firstly budgets are being squeezed because of economic factors, rising costs and the fallout from the pandemic.   The good news is that there is a huge appetite for in person events, meeting face to face and getting together is top of the agenda because of the positive effect companies are seeing from gathering again.  Engagement, connection, well-being, and overall performance improves when people get together and organisations are seeing this.  In person is back.  Hurrah.  But belts have been tightened and budgets are under pressure.  What that means is that events are being reduced in duration.  Where there might have been a 3-day conference you will probably see 2 days and other examples, it also seems that more one-day events are taking place. 

Rather than not meet, meetings and events are being shortened.  That’s good news for speakers as they will still be needed.  It does mean that there may be fewer speakers needed overall though.  Or does it? Maybe not, because the overall number events in planning is higher than it was in 2019.  That’s great news.  So, they may be shorter but there are more.   That could be very positive for keynote speakers in particular.

The bad news, or maybe not if you’re not a fan, is that hybrid hasn’t taken off to the level that was first expected.  Hybrid is expensive to run and difficult to do well.  It’s particularly hard for speakers, so I suspect many of you will breathe a sigh of relief as fewer hybrid scenarios will be presented to you.

In summary, the market remains strong, better than it was in 2019, which was a very good year.  I’m optimistic.  I hope you are too.

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