5 Event Trends to Watch in 2022
As we step into 2022, there are a few event trends that we can expect to see more of. Whether you’re an event planner or just someone looking to host an event, make sure you keep these things in mind! From embracing new technologies to paying closer attention to attendees’ needs, these top trends are to watch for in the coming year.
Here are five things that you might want to flag on Google news to stay up to date with event trends and Covid restrictions in your area. The best event is a safe and healthy one.
1. Continue to drive reach and inclusivity.
There’s no question virtual events changed the industry game. Organizers who have leaned into hybrid/virtual event platforms have expanded their event communities. In 2022, event technology is poised to continue breaking down barriers by opening up shared experiences to attendees who might otherwise be left out.
The great thing about the rise of virtual and hybrid events is that it allows for more inclusive event strategies and casts a wider net for speakers and attendees. The events industry has made significant strides in prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion, but there is still room for improvement. Diversity will play a more critical role than ever before in event strategy. Event organizers are looking for new ways to build diverse speaker rosters and deliver more inclusive opportunities, such as letting attendees set a name pronunciation or share their pronouns.
2. Finding Middle Ground for Virtual Events
In 2020, event organizers were thrown into the world of virtual events with little time to plan. As a result, virtual meetings held early in the pandemic were often stripped down, with a heavy focus on content and little entertainment value. But when the pandemic showed no signs of stopping in 2021, organizers knew attendees were battling Zoom fatigue. So they increased the perceived value of the online portion of events by offering virtual attendees exclusive content and experiences. This gave way to high-tech virtual events featuring 3-D environments and digital avatars to make attendees feel immersed in the action.
3. Increase in Hybrid Events
Hybrid events not only offer increased opportunities for reach and attendance, but they also make it easier to prove ROI and ROE (Return on Event) because behavioral data collection is more accessible with virtual audiences. The more attendee data you have on hand, the more prepared you are to plan effective and successful future events.
The biggest challenge in 2022 for event organizers and marketers will be delivering comparable personalized event experiences for both in-person and virtual attendees.
We predict a rise in smaller, in-person events that use hybrid strategies to reach a wider audience. Micro events, similar to hybrid events, often cost less and pose fewer health and safety risks. With micro-events, you can offer more events throughout the year and close the attendee experience gap that arises over the year between annual events. Event content can be parlayed into on-demand resource centers that keep attendees coming back throughout the year to continue learning, connecting, and more.
4. Build added health and safety measures into your budget
As the Omicron variant spreads rapidly worldwide, event organizers will be doing more to ensure the health and safety of attendees, sponsors, and staff members. In addition to an increase in hybrid and virtual events that can more easily guarantee attendee safety, we anticipate that an increasing number of event organizers will start requiring proof of vaccination at the door or as a prerequisite for registering for in-person or hybrid events.
New health and safety measures mean new line items in your event budget. Things like administering rapid tests, collecting proof of vaccination, and requiring masks all come with extra costs. Up your budget to account for the health and safety items that will support your community. Don’t let the additional spending blindside you later in the planning process.
5. More Data Collection During And After Events
Similarly, tracking RFID badges works in a real environment, in a virtual event, tracking clicks, how long a user remains in a presentation, and even who they interact with can provide companies valuable insights into their target demographic and what they want.
Similar to the hybrid event space, the sponsorship playbook is being rewritten. Organizers have room to think outside the box and look at opportunities beyond the confines of the event itself. Event coordinators should begin to try testing pre and post-event sponsorship activations, such as quarterly or year-round content, social media, and email co-marketing campaigns.
This year’s event space may seem ever-changing with the uncertainty of the pandemic and shifting event types. However, it is the perfect time to find the silver lining in all of it and take advantage of the new event landscape. If you take some time to prepare yourself for things like inclusivity, finding your sweet spot, and ensuring health and safety are a priority, you can make this year’s events your most significant ROI yet.
Are you ready to start planning your 2022 event? Contact Manifested Events for a free consultation, and let us help you get started! We can provide expert advice on the latest trends in event planning and make sure your event is a success. We can help you plan a fantastic event that will wow your guests. Don’t wait – contact us today!