In-Person event in 2021?

Melissa EsteppUncategorized Leave a Comment

“When can I plan my in-person events in 2021?”

In person events in 2021? Well first, let me tell you what everyone wants to hear. In-person events are going to come back and they are going to COME BACK STRONG! There is just something magical when people can sit together at a round table, for a cause and clink glasses together. Can I get a Whoop Whoop

I am connected with events planners all across the US and the conversation continues about WHEN you should plan your in-person events this year based on what we have learned over the last couple months. 

So I have compiled some different event models and my best predictions based on data from the event industry to help you make your best educated event planning decisions for 2021. 

How To Plan Your Events


My prediction here is that it will be a slow roll into in-person events. You will see smaller events and networking events picking back up. Drive-in Movie events will still be popular this year as people ease their way back into events and a great way to connect with clients or donors for a fun memory! Check out my article here on Drive-In Movies!

Things to think about:  Most companies and nonprofits are pushing their larger events to the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2021. While this is exciting, I have two thoughts on this

1. Invitees are going to be spread out thinner between events. My suggestion, try not to cram your events in with everyone else’s. How can you capitalize on the first two quarters of 2021 while everyone else is focusing on the last two?

2. There is still much unknown and unpredictable about COVID19. Yes, vaccines are rolling out. However, they are not rolling out as fast as they were predicted too. 2021, I see us still needing to be flexible in the event space. If you are planning an in-person event, consider a back up plan.

In-person Event Pre-Covid


Hybrid events are different than in-person events. They are a mix of people choosing to attend both in-person and online. Together, they experience the event simultaneously. The event industry and business world saw a HUGE success in Hybrid events in 2020.

Sponsors love that the event was online and continued to live there after the event was over. PLUS people who were out of state now could participate in the event with a much lower overhead for the host because there was no airfare or hotels to cover. 

Hybrid events help reach your full audience potential. You reach both the fans of in-person events and those feeling a little more timid about the masses. Being sensitive to your attendees needs and reaching them where they are at, will make them appreciate your organization even more!

Hybrid events take a lot of consideration and planning to make sure the event attendees both online and in-person have the same experience and feel like they are there together.

I believe that Hybrid events are here to stay, but will also continue to be a trend in 2021. Plus they make a great back up plan! If the pandemic shifts, you already have a virtual plan in place.

Hybrid Event


Needless to say, virtual events were a lifeline for many organizations and the people that actually utilized this power tool had massivley successful events in 2020. All across the country MILLIONS of dollars were raised for organizations through this virtual space. Virtual events expanded the experiences in the event industry and made it possible for people around the world to connect during a pandemic.

TO BE CLEAR.. Virtual events ARE NOT Webinars! Virtual events are immersive experiences that bring in human engagement, build connections and create community with effective messaging and strategy. They have camera crews, the right AV, lighting and are set up in a studio where speakers are socially distanced but can move around creating more energy to be brought through the screen.

These events are well rehearsed and executed LIVE. Audience engagement is #1 priority and a strategy is formed on how to create community through personally engaging each attendee. Attendees leave with a sense of ownership and positive memories proudly talking about your organization.

These, like hybrid events, became a game changer in the event world. Though we will see in-person events come back with a vengeance,  I believe that well executed virtual events are always going to be a part of the event world now that we all saw their impact!

Behind the scenes at a virtual event

To sum this up… in 2021 the word in the event space is Flexibility. You should consider backup plans and ways to execute these no matter which one of the above event choices you choose. Don’t lose hope we will get back to pre-covid events one day, I promise! 

Melissa Estepp Owner of Premier Events By Melissa

Have question on which event model is best for you? I would love to help you out! Schedule your FREE 15 min consultation here: FREE EVENT CONSULTATION 

Let’s make all over our events successful and make 2021 a great year!

Your Event Experience Guru,