How Will Large Event Spaces and Other Venues Likely Change in the Next Few Years?

Establishing consumer confidence is necessary to ensure a successful, full return for our industry. Here’s how event spaces are leading the way, in four key areas.

COVID-19 is waning, thankfully, but its influence remains. Meeting planners need to assure attendees that they will be safe at their events. In the wake of the pandemic, four things will likely change in large event spaces and venues in the next few years: environmental hygiene, food service, technology, and the customer journey.

Many venues have established permanent protocols to provide safe and secure meeting environments. However, the entire live-events industry should work together to establish confidence that meetings are safe. A few key areas of change to focus on include:

Environmental hygiene: Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) accreditation is important for all large-scale event spaces and venues. It establishes competencies, procedures and tools to provide a safety standard. To achieve trust, venues could promote the importance of GBAC accreditation for large meeting spaces.

Foodservice: When attending large events and/or conventions, an important part of the overall experience is the ability to network and socialize over meals. Post COVID, food-and-beverage safety procedures must adapt to include improvements in cleaning, additional space between food stations, and potentially eliminate self-serve food buffets.  

Technology: Technology to improve safety protocols and meeting experience is an area where we will see incredible change over the next few years. Commitment from venues and cities to stay nimble and make capital improvements where necessary will be vital. For example, we expect to see technology enhancements immediately in registration and screening. Recent positive numbers on incoming show registrations around the globe illustrate that the desire for—and the benefits associated with—face-to-face live events is still strong. Still, hybrid content will make up shows. Consider hybrid broadcast studios, once considered a luxury, are now viewed as essential. 

Customer journey: Cities, and the destination management organizations that serve them, will need to provide an accessible, thorough understanding of an event attendees’ journey at their destinations. For example, it should be common practice to provide meeting planners with toolkits that outline the safety protocols in place in key areas of a city.

Establishing consumer confidence is necessary to ensure a successful, full return for our industry. We can host large-scale events and meetings again. The key is to adapt, and maintain a commitment to keep our attendees safe!

About Choose Chicago

When you choose Chicago as your next meeting destination, you can feel confident that the health and safety of your attendees, exhibitors, and staff is our utmost priority.

While the city is now fully open and ready to welcome meetings, conventions, and events, safety is always our primary concern. We recommend checking with your venue for detailed information on everything meeting planners need to do to provide a safe and enjoyable event experience.

Our many venues, vendors, and airports have implemented state-of-the-art technology and robust sanitation guidelines, so you can plan your meeting with peace of mind. Additionally, our All In Chicago incentive program offers valuable rewards for meeting professionals. Learn more about the program and Chicago’s plans to responsibly welcome back meetings and event



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