What We’ve Seen As In-Person Entertainment Industry Events Have Returned

In-person events are back! Ok, yes they’ve been back for a few months now. But it’s still exciting to say that phrase after most of the events in our industry were cancelled in 2020.

In-person events were one of the things that we missed most during the peak of the pandemic last year. As things have slowly improved and our industry has recovered, there’s been a return to normalcy with an increase of in-person events. Throughout this summer, there have been several of these events and they’ve all been a success! Amusement Expo, Bowl Expo, Foundations, and others were able to get everyone back together in person for education and fun.

Events and trade shows are so incredibly important to our industry for so many reasons. In this blog, we’re celebrating the return of these events. We’ll talk about some things that our team has noticed at in-person events and discuss the importance of attending these events again.

What We’ve Seen

It can really be summed up in 3 words: people having fun.

After a year-long hiatus, everyone in our industry is more ready than ever to gather, learn, network, celebrate and have some good old-fashioned fun again. Our team has attended a handful of in-person events over the last few months and we’ve noticed several observations.

First, and most importantly, everyone has been having a lot of fun at the events, and the rooms have been bubbling with optimism. After such a long period of being stuck inside and deprived of social interaction, people in our industry were ready to see old friends, share some laughs, and reminisce about good times.

Another observation has been the overwhelmingly positive outlook that almost everyone has for our industry. Yes, the last year and a half has been extremely tough for every operator. But, those who were able to survive are now seeing the rewards of their perseverance. Many operators are dealing with more customers than they can handle. A lot of FECs are surpassing their 2019 monthly revenue numbers. During the pandemic, many predicted that once the vaccine became widely available and people felt comfortable going out in public and doing social things again, FECs would be seeing extremely high demand. This has proved true.

An important aspect of these events has also been the variety of new products and services that companies have been able to show off. This is one of the main reasons for trade shows: companies are able to showcase their newest products, services and offerings to an audience of interested operators who are looking to upgrade their customer experience. Due to the lack of trade shows last year, many companies now essentially have two years worth of new offerings to show and talk about. Attending these events in-person allows you to explore products and services you might not know about and wouldn’t be able to experience virtually.

The Importance of Attending In-Person Events

Regularly attending industry events is very important if you want to keep your entertainment business at the top of its game.

Being in the same room as industry experts gives you the opportunity to ask questions and have conversations with these people to help you overcome your biggest business challenges right now. You can get immediate insights and answers from people who have overcome the issues you’re facing.

One of the most valuable aspects of events and trade shows for operators is the social time outside of the actual event. Oftentimes, events have social or happy hours where you can informally chat with pretty much anyone in order to pick their brain or just have a friendly conversation. Oftentimes, some of the best business discussions and connections are made outside of the actual event hours.

Too Busy With Your Business?

All of these things sound great, but you might be thinking “I’m too busy with my business to step away and attend these events.” We get it. With industry-wide staffing shortages, and increased volume of visitors, it can be anxiety-inducing to think about leaving your business for even a few days.

But, we challenge you to think about the alternative: “Can I afford to MISS these events?”

In-person events are great for all of the reasons we’ve outlined above. But the necessity of attending runs deeper: if you’re struggling, nothing will change unless you make changes. If you’re drowning in your business, you need to get out of the water. Industry events will give you the tools, knowledge and resources to make immediate changes to improve your business. You will learn solutions to problems you didn’t even know you had.

With such a wide variety of events in our industry, it can be tough to pick and choose which events to attend. Last year, we put together this guide, which outlined the major events in our industry, and explained what they were, and where you could find more information.

In-person events in our industry are back in a BIG way. Make sure to track which events are coming up soon so that you can join in on the fun while improving your business. We hope to see you soon!