Gerard Arazo, Commercial Director, explains the paradigm shift in the MICE segment and the adaptation of spaces to new events
Hybrid and virtual events have become more relevant than ever during the pandemic. They have become priority formats when holding a corporate event.
In the coming years, there will be a change in the way business meeting events are organised. Gerard Arazo, Commercial Director of PGA Catalunya Resort, explains the changing trends in conference planning and how the resort is adapting to them.
1. What trends or changes have been seen in the MICE segment during COVID-19? How has PGA Catalunya Resort adapted to these trends?
In the last year, virtual and hybrid events have become a clear trend. In-person events have also been possible in very small sizes and taking into account bubble groups.
It has been challenging for corporate event venues, but demand for events has continued to exist during the pandemic, especially for product launches. At PGA Catalunya Resort here in Girona we have organized hybrid events for up to 150 people connected simultaneously at different venues.
I believe that as the restrictions are relaxed, the trend will gradually return to face-to-face events, but hybrid events will remain important.
2. So, do you think hybrid events are here to stay and are the future in the events industry?
Hybrid and virtual conferences already existed for corporate events in Barcelona and Girona, although it was not the most chosen format or the one that was given the highest priority.
In this last year we have seen that the trend has turned and, in the coming months / years, we will see how the hybrid format takes on relevance and will be a complementary way of communicating for brands, corporations, organizations and associations.
3. Can any type of event become a hybrid event?
Converting a face-to-face event into a hybrid event gives us the possibility of increasing the reach of our audience. For example, an event that used to be held in a single destination can now be held in a multi-destination way, combining face-to-face with virtual live. With the right spaces and technology, any event can be turned into a hybrid event.
4. What trends do you think will be implemented or will continue in 2021?
As the situation improves, we will also see a change in the event format. Virtual events will become hybrids and face-to-face events will be on a smaller scale.
Do I see a future for meeting spaces in Girona and the Costa Brava? Absolutely.
However, I believe the type of event will change. Nature, the outdoors and the wellbeing of the participant in the event will take on far greater importance, as will aspects such as sustainability, which will become fundamental in the organization of events.
No longer will large plenary rooms in theater format be sought to teach presentation after presentation, but meetings will be seen in nature, in outdoor spaces and in more unique places. From a masterclass in an organic garden to break the ice to yoga classes or a picnic-style reception in the middle of the forest. In other words, the events will seek to be more and more casual, more human, more sustainable. They will seek to bring well-being to their participants and provide them with a meaning and vital purpose.
5. What requirements must a space have to host these types of events that are to come?
Space, technology and equipment are key.
Luckily, Hotel Camiral at PGA Catalunya Resort has unique facilities. Thanks to the more than 500 hectares of Mediterranean forest that surrounds us, we can hold face-to-face events in the open air and respecting all security measures. In addition, our 10 meeting rooms have the latest technology and a team of experts in the organization of events and meetings who accompany the client in every step and advise them to achieve a successful meeting event.