There’s a sense of optimism in the events industry right now. After a period of turbulence, 2022 could be an exciting year.
But the pandemic has changed the events landscape for good. Read on to find out what we think will be key in 2022…
In-person is back
After COVID-19 turned almost all events virtual, in-person is rapidly gaining ground again. An AmEx survey found that, globally, 81% of events in 2022 were planned to have an in-person element. The rise of remote working has increased the demand for in-person events; it’s a perfect reason to bring teams back together.
Hybrid is evolving The great hybrid debate
Hybrid events can expand reach, improve accessibility and provide a built-in contingency plan. But it can be difficult trying to combine both formats: 38% of event organisers say that it takes more preparation time to host a hybrid event compared to hosting a dedicated in-person or virtual event. This means that hybrid events, while useful, are often more complicated and more expensive than their counterparts. We explore hybrid events further in our blog “The pros and cons of hybrid events”.
Look out for developments such as asynchronous events, where the in-person and virtual elements run at separate times. This allows attendees to discover content after the event is over, and individuals can benefit from the event even if they couldn’t make it.
Virtual and augmented reality in events has arrived
It may feel like VR and AR have been “around the corner” for a long time now, but it seems that they have finally arrived in 2023! While we won’t be attending events in the metaverse via headsets or bodysuits any time soon, guests might be offered headsets at trade stands to view demonstrations of the goods on offer, or shown 3D images of large products when a QR code is scanned.
How important is relevance for your event?
Attendees expect an event which is super targeted to their specific needs and expectations. The industry is calling event planners “designers of time”, as they are coming under pressure to deliver results and use time effectively. Greg Bogue, chief experience architect at Maritz Global Events, urges a different approach that considers the best way to accomplish overarching goals and prioritises event agendas for things we can only do when in person.
Sustainability is paramount
The Amex GBT survey found that 80% of organisations take sustainability into account when planning events, including minimising paper usage and introducing energy-efficient and waste-reduction measures.
As the UN’s Miguel Naranjo says: “The events industry has an enormous opportunity to ‘build back better’ as we seem to finally emerge from the pandemic. Only through a renewed focus on sustainability will the industry ensure its continuity and demonstrate that it is doing its part in facing the biggest challenge of all: climate change.”