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November 20, 2020 2 min read

The Future of Live Events in 2021

With the onset of the pandemic, many event professionals had to pivot—and pivot hard.

As national lockdowns and stay at home orders abruptly altered the entire industry, many people were left wondering what the future of live events would look like. Some businesses jumped right to an online-only model. Others followed strict CDC guidelines and were able to accommodate in-person events. But many also found success somewhere in between.

Here is how such “hybrid” models are expected to shape the future of live events in 2021.



In September, Northstar Meeting Group asked event planners about their outlook on in-person events. According to the Planner Pulse Survey, 55% said they plan to return to live events in the second quarter of 2021. Listed as the biggest concerns surrounding in-person gatherings were travel, budget, and fear of the unknown.     

While it may be a few more months before we see a spike in live events, businesses and event professionals are optimistic. One participant responded to the Planner Pulse Survey stating “I just held my annual event with significant safety protocols in place. It worked.” By following local guidelines as well as the comfort levels of guests, businesses can cultivate safe and successful hybrid, in-person events. 



Strictly in-person events will undoubtedly evolve in light of the pandemic. In a recent Forbes article, Senior Contribute Blake Morgan advises business professionals to settle into virtual events as “event organizers will get creative with hybrid events and new safety measures.” This flexible format offers guests a variety of ways to engage, depending on their own comfort level in attending. For those who prefer the format of a more traditional in-person experience, they’ll still have the option to do so. And for those who would rather opt to tune-in from home, they can still participate and enjoy the event from afar.

Integrating live streaming and video conferencing into traditional event settings alongside prudently spaced seating and kiosks can create a well-attended event without running the risk of overcrowding a space. 



As more and more businesses begin to resume in-person events, safety will continue to be a top priority. If you’re looking to host a live or hybrid event in the near future, here are are some of our tips:

  • To help minimize the spread of bacteria at registration booths and shared countertops, we recommend installing an antimicrobial film. Our SafeTouch fabric is a great option that can be printed to match your existing event or selected venue.
  • If you have long lines or queues for your event, you might want to consider installing socially distanced floor decals to help guests maintain the suggested 6 feet of separation between parties.
  • If your specific venue or location is enforcing additional safety protocols, make sure to inform your guests. Free-standing signs and banners will help remind attendees of certain rules or restrictions while they are on the premises. 
  • If you are opting for a hybrid experience, make sure to test your equipment ahead of time. Live streaming and other technology will be an important aspect of engaging your virtual audiences from afar. You may also want to install branded backdrops to help reinforce your brand, sponsors, and theme.


Have questions about how we can help your next live event become a success? Request a quote today.