The future of the events industry
After a lengthy interruption caused by the pandemic, the events industry is once again in full swing. This revival is accompanied by a variety of new trends, including the respect of ethical commitments and the environment, the deployment of new technologies, and the provision of safe and healthy event spaces.
The entire events industry is currently adapting and developing solutions to address these issues. In particular, service providers have now become an essential part of the events industry ecosystem.
With over 30 years of experience in the events industry and proven expertise in the fields of hospitality, security, and cleanliness, Onet is committed to helping implement these vital and exciting changes.
Before and after
With an average annual growth rate of nearly 5% between 2006 and 2016, the events industry has long been considered a sector of the future. In the 2010s, France produced and hosted thousands of events every year, which accounted for more than 450,000 direct and indirect jobs and 30 to 45 billion euros in spillover benefits.
Unfortunately, COVID brought this momentum to an abrupt halt – and with it, the entire sector to a near standstill for 18 months. At the beginning of 2022, members of the French government unsurprisingly designated the events industry as one of the hardest hit by the health crisis.
And the effects are still being felt today. As in the hotel & restaurant industry, many professionals have left the sector over fears of what is in store for the future. Event managers are finding it increasingly difficult to find qualified employees, a situation that is aggravated by the global supply chain crisis. Determined to bounce back, organizers must not only accommodate the renewed influx of event-goers, but also make their mark by putting on more responsible events than ever before.
From now on, all events must take sanitary conditions into account from the earliest planning stages. Here, it is not just a question of complying with regulations, but of meeting the expectations of the public. According to a survey conducted by Ipsos for Onet in July 2021 on the importance of cleanliness in the daily lives of people in France, more than 8 out of 10 respondents expect clean and hygienic conditions at entertainment venues and stadiums, and nearly 9 out of 10 in amusement parks. Tellingly, less than half of the people questioned have their expectations met.
Services at the heart of new trends
Hygiene and cleanliness issues are therefore the focus of event organizers, at a time when the future is once again bright for the industry. In fact, experts believe that the activity level of 2019 will be met (if not exceeded) by 2024-2025, even without taking into account upcoming major international sporting events in France such as the 2023 Rugby World Cup and the Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics.
But the success of this ecosystem will depend on its capacity to respond to societal changes such as the desire for a more environmentally friendly world, the digitalization of experiences, and the prevention of security risks. Onet draws from 30 years of experience in the primary event services of hospitality, security, and cleanliness to develop forward-thinking solutions for these issues.
“Managing the safety and security of cultural sites and events” (French)
The security imperative
What is the best way to ensure the safety of goods and people during an event? The question of security is primordial for both event organizers and the public. With the Rugby World Cup and the Paris Olympic Games on the horizon, nearly 6 out of 10 people in France do not trust the French government to ensure the security of these two major events. Still unsettled by the violence that occurred during the Champions League Final at the Stade de France in May 2022, the respondents indicated that they fear thefts, rowdy crowds (forced opening of gates, throwing of objects, racist chants, etc.), and confrontations more than terrorist attacks. A study by Opinion Way for Onet from August 2022 revealed that 81% of people in France would refrain from going to a sporting or cultural event if they had concerns about their safety.
The question of security is complex as it involves a number of different parameters specific to each individual event. Is it an indoor/outdoor event, a trade fair, an exhibition, a sporting event, an event for thousands of people or a small group? One thing is sure: security measures are not just limited to the time of the event – they must be planned well in advance by event organizers in conjunction with service providers, governmental services, and the local municipality to secure the site both before and after the big day. Three watchwords here: coordination, communication, and anticipation.
The expertise of Onet
Security is extremely important, but as always at Onet, we try to strike the right balance with the user experience. Security measures must not have a negative impact on the reception and comfort of visitors.
With this in mind, we work closely with our partners before the event to study potential flaws and set up appropriate systems. The problems differ according to the type of event, the areas (bleachers, backstage, boxes, etc.), and the timing (quantity of visitors, peak arrival times, etc.).
Since every event must be tailor-made, consulting services are absolutely essential. We create a variety of proposals and customize systems to meet the expectations of our customers in accordance with the type of event, the budget, etc. We draw from our many areas of expertise to develop a 360° approach. This diverse DNA is one of the things that makes us unique!
We can also rely on our talent pool. Onet finds the right man/woman for every individual mission: VIP area, conflict resolution, screening, frisking, etc., as well as technical experts who specialize in tools such as drones and the Exosphere® mobile surveillance unit.
Director of Onet Event-Related Activities
The impact of new technologies
With digitization now rampant in the field of security (e.g., cybersecurity), the daily lives of service professionals are becoming more and more influenced by new technologies. Robotics and cobotics are extremely promising prospects, especially in the field of cleaning. Digital tools have become essential for planning, communication, traceability, and quality control.
Accelerated by the lockdowns of the pandemic, digital events now tend to complement physical events – without replacing them. This was namely the finding of the Event Data Book 2021 of the French Union of Event Professionals (UNIMEV): “Only 21% of the organizers surveyed envision 100% digital events. 65% see digital technology as a gateway that allows them to move toward hybrid events.” The report highlights the benefits of digital events: larger audiences, exclusive speakers, and new data. But big challenges still remain, such as finding ways to create a viable business model and increase the engagement of participants.
The Onet 4.0 vision
We’ve already come a long way with cobotics,” explains Quentin Coquet-Reinier, “especially in the area of cleaning. Onet is sold on cobots. They not only help complete the most onerous tasks, but also increase quality and productivity, allow for employees to enhance their skills, and boost the attractiveness of the profession.
For the time being, cobots are best used on large surfaces and in places open to the public. In the field, cobots work in a totally autonomous way thanks to technology that combines artificial intelligence and telematics. Once programmed, they are guided by sensors and record large amounts of data.
Cobots are not intended to replace maintenance workers – quite the opposite! Instead, they free workers from their most tedious and repetitive tasks. Workers therefore have more time for complex and delicate cleaning jobs, or for applying finishing touches.
The term “cobotics” is derived from “collaboration” and “robotics” and refers to the alliance between humans and machines.
Increased sustainability at events
Truth be told, the events industry was already on its way towards increased eco-responsibility before the onset of COVID. Nevertheless, the health crisis does seem to have given momentum to the movement. New generations are more demanding, and new regulations are more ambitious. The shift to eco-responsibility is crucial to one’s image – as well as business.
Sustainability has therefore become a priority for professionals in the sector, as evidenced by the Commitment to Green Growth signed in February 2022 by the French government and major players from the events industry. Concretely speaking, the goal is to contribute to the circular economy by reducing waste, in particular via the elimination of single-use plastic containers.
Keys to an eco-responsible event:
- The venue should not use more resources than are required for the event. Ideally, it will already have the necessary infrastructures in place and/or be easily accessible by public transportation.
- The choice of service providers should be coherent. For example, they should be local and/or share the same approach to eco-responsibility.
- Waste management must be optimized. Recycling can be set up, reusable cups can be used, surplus food can be donated to associations, and goodie bags can be reassessed or even eliminated.
- The choice of communication means should be coherent. Ideally, paper media should be limited or replaced by “responsible” media. The use of digital media should also be reasonable and limited to communication (for example). Organizers and other parties involved may also be encouraged to delete emails once the event is over. Finally, awareness of sound ecological practices can be introduced into the organization of the event itself.
Although many ethical and CSR policies apply to the events industry, ISO Standard 20121 remains the reference. This standard is useful for everyone involved in events. Its guidelines make it possible to control the social, economic, and environmental impact of all types of events, from school trips to music festivals.
Developed in 2015 by UNIMEV and the Committee for Tourism in Paris, the Cleo calculator uses the following 3 factors to assess events:
- The effectiveness (business, scientific, and image-related development of the communities) of the event;
- Spillover (economic, social, and tax-related) for the region from tourism and events;
- Environmental impact (carbon footprint, energy consumption, waste, and positive initiatives).
Up to 70 indicators can be used to create reports, which can then serve as resources during commercial, marketing, organizational, and CSR activities.
The Onet commitment
COVID has really raised awareness of environmental issues,” notes Quentin Coquet-Reinier. “At Onet, we’re committed to addressing these issues, among other things by way of the use of the Biogistic® biotechnological cleaning solution. Biogistic® combines eco-friendly products derived from biotechnologies with a built-in logistics system that operates from the time of the order to the use of the products on the site. We implement this sustainable solution at nearly every event. We also offer communication and educational tools to explain our approach to event participants and ensure everyone gets involved!
The environment – and more globally, CSR issues – have become a real concern for our customers. In reality, Onet has been committed to responsible development for 20 years. Our CSR policy “A Present for a Future” was launched in 2022! Today, we’re working on several projects geared toward contributing to the circular economy and the preservation of the health of our stakeholders. This approach reflects our mission to help create ever healthier, safer, and more reliable environments.”
So, what kind of outlook for the future?
Today, like tomorrow, the events industry ecosystem (including service providers) will continue to focus on the satisfaction and experience of the end user. “The human element, from the user experience to the working conditions of our employees, will always be at the heart of our concerns,” summarizes the director.
According to Quentin Coquet-Reinier, ethical issues will be a top priority in the future: “There are countless reasons why people will participate in events. We believe people will no longer go to a concert just to see an artist, or to a stadium just to see a game. They will be looking for an additional experience – in particular, one that is in line with their values.” In order to meet the ever-evolving needs and expectations of users, the digital experience will also continue to evolve by relying on technological innovations such as connected objects.
But before looking to the future, it’s best to have strong roots. “Service providers are essential for organizing a high-quality event, whether in terms of hospitality, security, or cleanliness,” insists Quentin Coquet-Reinier. “These services must be integrated very early on, right from the planning phase, as they really are the foundation for a successful event. You can go ahead and plan the entertainment and attractions, but if your premises and equipment are dirty, or if visitors feel unsafe or poorly welcomed, then this is likely all they’ll remember! Only after the three service criteria are met can you add all the other components that will make the event a success.”
In short, current events are generating an awareness of the challenges faced by service providers in the events industry. Hospitality, security, cleanliness…confronted daily with new tools and uses, these are the services that are undergoing a transformation. Services driven by new developments and innovations, and performed by enthusiastic workers setting a meaningful course toward the future.