Madness surrounds us. Russia is forcing another senseless war on the world, affecting us all, not just those directly involved. Inflation is running rampant and the energy crisis makes all too many go pale as they receive their electricity bills. On the other hand, we appear to be making it through a pandemic that at times felt terribly bleak and where the future often seemed highly uncertain. Some feared that face-to-face meetings might be forever lost to Teams, Zoom and poorly-produced hybrid meetings. But as it turns out, far too many simply wouldn’t accept that fate.

Most people enjoy face-to-face meetings and look forward to seeing others, because in human connection and in the meeting of minds things happen, move forward and develop. The human race is outright threatened without face-to-face meetings. So we see organisations like ICCA, PCMA, IAPCO, MPI, ASAE, IACC and others reaching out and creating new opportunities. And we see the industry trade show giants, Imex and IBTM World, yet again attract exhibitors from all over the world. And many hosted buyers are eager to once again meet up with both friends and other professionals and join enticing sessions aimed at inspiring and developing people’s hearts and minds.

And just as I’m about to start writing this column, I see InGo’s Event Industry Trends & Stats and my facial features soften, my pulse calms, and I start smiling to myself, as I read:

“Even with the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic reverberating throughout the industry, there is no doubt that events remain a critical part of most businesses’ overall strategy. Whether the purpose is to skyrocket sales, cement brand recognition, or bring together industry thought leaders, an event can be a game changer. In fact, 60 per cent of leaders believe that events are the most critical marketing channel for achieving business goals. And, research predicts that the global events industry will bring in $2.194 trillion by 2028 – a huge jump from the $887 billion it generated in 2020.

“The remaining months of 2022 look to be interesting ones for the events industry as we navigate the twists and turns of different formats, goals, and ROI. As we look ahead to 2023 and beyond, there is no doubt that we’ll continue to see explosive growth in the industry and more numbers and trends to inform the events of the future.”

Wow. That almost seems too good to be true. And when something seems too good to be true, there’s empirical reason to suspect that it is.  And yet, as I listen to event companies, both here in Sweden and from all over, like Ireland, Germany, England, Denmark, Portugal, Spain and France, there really does appear to be good reason for optimism.