In December 2022 and January 2023, Eventgroove conducted an online survey to gain insight into organizers’ thoughts, concerns, and plans surrounding 2023 events. The results uncovered an interesting snapshot into 2023 in-person, virtual, and hybrid fundraisers and events, including:
- Almost 80% of respondents plan to host more in-person events, while over half plan to host fewer virtual events.
- 57% of respondents plan to host the same number of hybrid events in 2023 as they did in 2022.
- Over 60% of respondents say the sustainability of events and fundraisers is already important or becoming a significant consideration.
- Nearly 90% of all respondents said that printed products (used during or prior) are essential to a successful event or fundraiser.
When we released our first Events and Fundraisers Outlook at the start of 2022, it seemed as if maybe (maybe!) the worst of COVID had passed. Organizers had slowly begun shifting resources toward more in-person events and fundraisers while retaining virtual and hybrid efforts. Over the course of the year, that cautious optimism evolved into confidence—in-person gathering was definitely back!
What, we wondered, did the increase in physical events mean for the future of virtual or hybrid events and fundraisers? Additionally, in the second half of 2022 and now in 2023, fears of a recession in the US have continued to build, and the effects of climate change are increasingly making themselves known. How are those issues affecting fundraisers and event organizers? What tools and actions are essential to the success of an event or fundraiser in the world today?
At the close of 2022 with those questions in mind, we conducted our annual survey of Eventgroove customers. We also opened up our survey to any event or fundraiser organizer who wished to participate.
— The Eventgroove Team
The Big Picture for 2023
Events are going strong in 2023 with 93% of our respondents planning to host as many or more events in 2023 as 2022
Innovative Events of 2022
“It is actually our wreath sale. People buy them and comment on how smart of an idea it is. I create a simple graphic with the three options, a Google form with photos for people to fill out, list the payment options…boom done. It’s easy for them and, in turn, easy for me.”
Advice from Organizers
We asked our respondents what advice they’d give their fellow event and fundraising planners. Below are some key themes we noticed from the responses.
HAVE A PLAN, AND BE FLEXIBLE
“If plan a doesn’t work, be cool…there’s 25 more letters in the alphabet.”
“Plan on cost over-runs, also schedule twice as far in the future than you think you need to.”
“Plan early, promote early, and utilize social media.”
HAVE A GOOD TEAM
“To have a good team so the work does not fall on one person.”
“Build relationships with your vendors so they become a dependable part of the team.”
MARKETING IS KEY
“Advertise, Advertise, Advertise.”
“Have great branded give away items so the crowd will not forget your brand and what it stands for.”
In-Person and Hybrid Events Lead the Way
Innovative Events of 2022
“A virtual trade show I attended with breakout rooms. It proved to be better than the in-person version because you were able to talk one-on-one with personnel, which has been impossible at the in-person versions.”
Keys to a Successful Hybrid Fundraiser
The last few years have made it clear that people expect more ways to engage, support, and give. Mindful of supporter and customer preferences, organizers have retained a hybrid approach to fundraisers and events. But what is the architecture of a successful hybrid event?
Our respondents say that the most important element is underlying technology in the form of a user-friendly online fundraising platform. After that, leveraging social media to drive attendance and engagement is a clear second.
The Importance of Sustainability
Innovative Events of 2022
“Buying ‘time’ from volunteers to conduct projects such as yard work. Called ‘Rent a Player’”
Must Haves & Challenges for Organizers
Biggest challenges for event and fundraiser organizers
2023 event and fundraiser organizers face some headwinds, including the threat
of recession, inflation, and competition for share of voice online. Those issues are reflected in the 27% of respondents who point to making money as the most difficult aspect of hosting an event or fundraiser.
When considering the top three challenges to planning events and fundraisers, 66% of our respondents listed making money, attendance, and marketing. Since marketing and attendance directly influence the ability to make money or fundraise, it’s clear that these elements are all intrinsically linked.
Must haves for organizers
It’s no surprise that guest experience plays a big part in the success of a fundraiser or event. However, that 90% of our respondents say that print products are essential is something of a revelation. Though humble, items such as high-quality raffle tickets, wristbands for efficient identification, and posters and postcards for information and marketing all contribute mightily to a positive marketing response and guest experience.
Advice from Organizers
Keep it fresh and come up with something new each year. For example, we (the Marshall Fire Department) host an annual two-day festival to help support our work. This year, in addition to our fish fry sponsored by The Barrel Inn, Marshall Home Talent Baseball game, and a live band (Stetsin and Lace), we decided to have a Latin Family Day. Several local Hispanic bands and a DJ played music (mostly donated by La Movida Radio), and Maria’s Mexican Restaurant brought food trucks. They set one up near the Latin Family Day events and the other near the truck pull. We found that the food trucks were a huge hit with the crowd in attendance.
–Chris Meinholz, Secretary, Marshall Fire Department
Event and fundraiser organizers are actively embracing a combined in-person and online approach to reach more people. Through in-person events and online options, organizers can address their biggest challenge—generating income or donations.
Of course, hand-in-hand with that is attendance and participation. Similarly, many respondents indicated they have adopted a hybrid approach to marketing. By utilizing social media promotion together with printed materials such as posters, flyers, and postcards, they’re able to appeal to more people.
– The Eventgroove Team
Survey data based on responses from 200 respondents of our survey in December 2023.
Eventgroove is the premier one-stop integrated events and fundraising platform pioneering a radical customer-centric approach to SaaS. From simple event ticketing and donation pages to more complex multi-location events and concurrent fundraising campaigns with an ecommerce storefront, Eventgroove enables its customers to manage, market, and execute events and fundraisers from one place under their brand.
Based in Bozeman, Montana, Eventgroove places a top priority on sustainability and conservation. The company is Forest Stewardship Council FSC® certified, and its production runs on 100% wind energy. In addition, since 2007 Eventgroove has donated 42% of net profits to conservation organizations protecting habitat and keeping carbon in the ground.
Eventgroove serves over 78,000 customers across the nonprofit, entertainment, education, sports, faith, and civic sectors. Eventgroove operates in the US, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.