Data: 72% of Americans planning in-person events this year

With summer around the corner, and an imminent surge of demand for experiences and events in the months ahead, Tripleseat, a web-based sales and event management platform for restaurants, hotels and unique venues, and SevenRooms, a data-driven guest experience platform for the hospitality industry, partnered to survey 1,000 U.S. consumers to better understand their feelings about planning events in 2021. According to the data, 72% of events are expected to be held in-person and of the venues chosen, unique venues, hotels and private restaurant space were among the top selected for hosting.

The survey revealed that after a year of birthday, holiday, graduation and anniversary celebrations over Zoom, respondents are ready to get back to event planning. With just under 50% of people planning to host their event outside, restaurants, hotels and venues with an outdoor space should begin promoting these offerings through their marketing and social channels. As consumers ramp up their event planning, operators should continue to leverage connected technology solutions to ensure the event booking and management process is streamlined and as user-friendly as possible.

As events of all kinds are being planned, the survey data revealed that consumers are looking to make up for lost time, especially while the weather is warmer and outdoor space is available. Additional key findings from the survey:

  • More than a third (38%) of respondents plan to have between 1-20 guests, with 32% planning to have under 50
  • 70% of survey respondents are planning a birthday party, 47% a holiday party and 30% a wedding
  • Budget remains a concern for guests, with 37% indicating their planned event spend as under $1,000, with under $5,000 a close second (25%)
  • 30% of respondents shared they will be hosting their event at their home
  • More than one in three (34%) said that they will be planning their event with 1-3 months’ notice
  • The most popular COVID-related safety offerings people look for when booking a venue included outdoor spaces (47%) and socially distanced floor plans (40%)

Catering is still a promising source of revenue for restaurants, hotels and venues to continue to capitalize on. One in three respondents shared that they still plan to host their event at home, with 51% of those respondents stating they will be catering their at-home event.

“It’s essential for businesses to creatively promote their offerings in order to get in front of their target consumer as event planning is expected to increase this year,” said Jonathan Morse, CEO, Tripleseat. “Our survey found that people are excited to get out of the house and gather with friends, family and colleagues, so now is the time for venues to get creative in their offerings and ensure they leverage the tools they have to get in front of customers and provide them with a safe, fun, seamless event experience.”

Joel Montaniel, CEO/cofounder, SevenRooms, added, “2021 will bring a restaurant renaissance unlike any we’ve seen before, with more consumers dining out and planning events than in years past. Hospitality operators should be prepared to meet this demand—both from an operational and technological standpoint—to keep guests safe and provide the types of hospitality experiences that will foster long-term loyalty with customers. Whether a customer is ordering for an at-home event, or visiting a venue in-person, operators should use all the tools at their disposal to create magical moments at every interaction.”

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