Kickstarting 2024: A Look Inside January’s Event Planning Trends & Micebook EXPO

The Post-Holiday Slowdown: A Glimpse into January’s Event Landscape

I think we can probably agree that January can often feel like a trudge through treacle after the Christmas break, particularly in the hospitality industry. The festive season is notoriously a super-busy time for venues and hotels, yet once the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, a noticeable quiet settles in and January can often be a much quieter time when it comes to events. For me, it’s been a busy start to the year with my first webinar taking place on January 10th where I delved into the latest trends and availability and a post-Christmas party that had to be re-arranged due to train strikes. It’s clear that some companies have used January to schedule their events calendar for the year ahead; our enquiry levels increased steadily throughout the month with some clients even looking to book as far ahead as September 2025!

Anticipating Micebook EXPO: Networking and Learning Opportunities

Part of my New Year’s plan had been to attend the micebook EXPO on 29th/30th January at Convene in London. Taking place at the end of the month, it presented the ideal opportunity for me to not only come together with fellow event professionals but also to exchange ideas, share insights and learn from some of the very best suppliers in our industry. As they say themselves, micebook EXPO is ‘designed for event planners, by event planners’ – through bringing together an impressive selection of UK and international suppliers and event planners all under one roof, the two-day live event not only offers the opportunity to network face-to-face, but with inspiring content to motivate and enthuse, it’s well timed to bring our industry out of the January slump and raring to go into February and beyond! One of the key reasons I was drawn to this year’s program was the diverse range of sessions it had to offer. The agenda featured plenaries and workshops that covered a wide range of industry focused topics such as AI, Sustainability, Understanding Social Impact and Mastering Corporate and Agency Partnerships as well as the launch of their new EXPO Bazaar – a bustling marketplace featuring suppliers, music, learning, and community engagement.

Emphasizing Wellbeing in the Event Industry

This year’s program also resonated with me for its commitment to addressing the collective need for wellbeing, with a dedicated ‘Wellbeing Corner’ and content delivered in partnership with Hoar Cross Hall, EventWell and Be in Your Element. This is something that I am so passionate about and I love that our industry (particularly post pandemic), recognizes how important our wellbeing is, both in and out of the workplace.

Overcoming Setbacks: The Flu Strikes

Despite my best laid plans and my own ‘wellbeing’, I was unfortunately struck down with the flu over Christmas and the New Year which lingered and made itself far more at home than I would have liked. Sadly, I had to make the decision not to attend micebook EXPO this year due to still not feeling 100%; anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE attending face-to-face events – it’s what our industry is all about but on this occasion, the pesky, lingering bugs won.

Looking Ahead with Optimism

On the plus side, whilst January tends to bring a quieter pace for some, Park Lane Events HQ has been buzzing with activity. With a ‘new year’ surge of new event inquiries to keep us on our toes, I’m just so grateful to have a team in place that was able to hold the fort, allowing me to recover with a few lemsips! Now, fully recharged and back in action, I’m looking forward to the rest of the year and am ready to embrace all that 2024 has in store.

The Promise of Next Year’s Micebook EXPO

And as for micebook EXPO – I’ll be there next year, I promise!