Over the past few years, significant changes have occurred in the course of events. Social issues are having a significant impact on event trends for 2022, from the pandemic’s ongoing effects on businesses to the significant change in societal attitudes toward employment.
We’re delving into some of those event trends in this blog post. The impact of The Great Resignation on events, new sustainability initiatives, in-person, hybrid, and virtual events in 2022, as well as other important industry trends for event planners are all covered in-depth.
Find out five of the most important event trends for 2022.
You don’t want to miss out on some of the top event trends for 2022, whether you’re an event planner, the boss of an event management company, a supplier, the event venue manager, or someone in between. While nothing is certain, particularly in this constantly shifting environment, staying on top of evolving event trends can help all industry professionals stay competitive.
1. There is some uncertainty surrounding the return of in-person events.
The 2022 Global Meetings and Events Forecast, which describes the meetings and event trends anticipated for the following year, was recently published by American Express Meetings & Events, a division of AMEX Global Business Travel. The forecast showed that there is strong expectation that live events will resume in 2022: “67% of respondents think that within one to two years, the frequency of in-person meetings will reach pre-pandemic levels.
The large percentage of event professionals who have raised their event budget for 2022—64% of respondents—also supports the rise of in-person events, the study found.
The main message for event planners is to adjust your budget to account for the resurgence of live events. Reserve event spaces and services early.
The availability of certain event locations for further events in 2022 is already constrained or nonexistent due to the anticipated comeback of in-person events. Event workers, venues, and other essential services will probably be in great demand. It could be more challenging to schedule the appropriate suppliers and services.
Important lessons for venues: Get ready for a hectic year.
Review the reservation and cancellation terms.
If a venue owner or operations manager wants to make sure that their calendar is completely yet correctly booked, they should check their booking and cancellation rules. Numerous venues will need to decide how much flexibility they are prepared to provide in 2022 in the event that an event must be cancelled due to COVID. All contracts for event planning should provide a detailed description of all policies, revisions, and updates.
Despite the fact that the sector is not anticipated to completely return to normal, AMEX discovered that 81% of all events in 2022 are anticipated to include some form of in-person component, meaning that venues will be in high demand. Popular event spaces should assemble a strong team of venue personnel and hire event professionals in order to be ready for a busy year. Additionally, we advise developing a backup strategy to handle possible personnel gaps.
2. Meetings and activities will be impacted by The Great Resignation.
Workers have been resigning in large numbers across a broad range of businesses in what has come to be known as The Great Resignation. The change in current workers’ expectations in light of The Great Resignation—no it’s longer just about the money—was one of the major topics covered at the International Confex 2021 conference. All throughout the world, employees have greater expectations for their jobs and are searching for employers that value employee wellbeing, mental health, and maintaining a good work-life balance.
Finding and keeping talent will have an influence on events in 2022, just as in many other businesses. One of the biggest problems event planners have is understaffing. As a result of the industry’s staffing difficulties, many planners are feeling burned out and others are even considering switching to a whole another line of work.
In a survey conducted in 2021 by the people analytics firm Visier, planners said they felt overworked, that their managers weren’t providing them with the professional or personal support they needed, and some even expressed dissatisfaction with their company’s refusal to recognize employee sacrifices. Everywhere they go, event planners are feeling the strain of a job overload; one-third of them confess to experiencing burnout.
Important lesson for planners: Prevent fatigue.
Event planners should establish the limits needed to handle their personal, professional, and individual conditions without unneeded stress. By establishing clear boundaries, scheduling expectations, and upholding them without feeling guilty or ashamed, tension and burnout may be reduced.
The main lesson for venues is to provide excellent reasons for potential workers to work with you and much better reasons for them to remain.
Venues won’t be exempt from the scrutiny as corporate responsibility is being given more attention than ever in the field of event management. Treat them properly, pay them well, give benefits, and encourage a positive workplace environment.
3. A stronger emphasis on health and safety will be evident.
The capacity to socially remove oneself at gatherings and a renewed attention on cleanliness have both emerged during the last several years. In-person gatherings have become safer thanks to touchless technology and digital event communication, and 2022 will likely demonstrate that these practices are here to stay. Event safety is becoming a need rather than a given.
The most important lesson for event planners is to always consider the risks involved. Budget and plan for safety.
According to the American Express Meeting & Events 2022 projection, 58% of respondents sought assurance in the duty-of-care components for attendee health and safety when deciding whether or not to attend in-person events. Risk assessment is now an essential part of event preparation since attendees, passengers, and presenters all have safety as their top priority. Investigate new technological advancements that could enhance the security of attendees and events.
The most important lesson for venues is to provide planners access to clean, well-kept event rooms and flexible booking regulations.
At any event, make sure there are plenty of restrooms and enough space between them. To increase safety, venues may be compelled to experiment with different seating arrangements, add outside event areas, or even rethink their capacity. Venue managers may establish requirements for event designs using a diagram check, such as the maximum number of people that a room can hold or the spacing between tables and chairs.
The most important lesson for all event professionals is to always have a backup plan.
Every event in 2022 has to have a backup plan, and this plan should include emergency services like flights out of the venue just in case there are any unforeseen health issues. There will likely be more on-site testing at events, and many in-person and hybrid events will have vaccine or testing requirements. Event organizers should make a concerted effort to routinely and clearly convey regulations and procedures to prospective guests.
4. Increasing the use of augmented and virtual reality
The previous several years have seen an increase in virtual trends. However, recent statistics indicate that augmented reality (AR) is growing in popularity as an event trend since it offers many event professionals a more accessible and cheap option.
The key lesson for event planners is to find the appropriate augmented reality (AR) experience for your planning style and to keep up with new event technology.
Product demonstrations, networking events, audience entertainment, interaction with online or in-person participants, and even the creation of interactive maps for events and venue tours are all possible using augmented reality event planning tools. In addition, augmented reality applications may now be utilized on the majority of smartphones because to advancements in and accessibility of the technology.
Takeaway for venues: Include augmented reality in your marketing strategy. To attract event planners and other industry experts, provide a virtual tour of your facility.
Travelers and event attendees may experience less culture shock by using virtual tours. Attendees may go to a range of event breakout sessions, see the event area in advance, or identify certain exhibitors during sizable expos with the help of virtual tours and interactive digital maps.
Start 5. Virtual events increase in frequency as hybrid events persist.
Both hybrid and virtual events are becoming more and more popular in the events sector. In comparison to physical events, virtual events and hybrid events—which include virtual and physical components—tend to be more ecologically friendly. They may also enable planners to connect with a larger audience.
Many event planners who have adopted virtual events have noticed an improvement in their ROI because of the decreased overhead costs. In fact, 93% of event professionals told Bizzabo that they planned to invest in virtual events in the future. 84% of planners found virtual events to be significantly more affordable than their in-person counterparts.
Review your ROI from virtual events is a key lesson for event planners. With new software, greater virtual and hybrid events may be held in 2022.
Many event professionals will need to invest in better virtual event software as they plan virtual events more regularly. Paul Cook, a renowned expert in virtual events, provides industry experts some advise for the year 2022, stating that the finest virtual events will be those that raise their production values. In other words, if the company wants to maintain a positive brand image, the homemade appearance will fast become a thing of the past.
What digital tools are available at your location to link a live audience with an online audience? Do you have virtual event technology solutions that will let participants interact with real-world participants?
If so, make that knowledge accessible to potential customers and event planners as many of them are looking for locations with hybrid event technology already present. Update your venue services list and marketing materials for 2022 to demonstrate your ability to host hybrid events.
6. Demand for eco-friendly, sustainable events is rising.
Merchandisers, suppliers, and vendors make the decision to support more environmentally friendly activities and business practices all over the world. According to Mark Bannister, the Technical and Operations Director for COP26, there is enormous support for a shift toward sustainability in the events sector as well. Bannister’s main objective is to create a carbon-neutral event by utilizing a circular economy, responsibly sourcing materials, generating social value, and lowering an event’s carbon footprint.
Principal lesson for planners: Scale back. Reuse. Recycle.
Use what is currently available while organizing an event. Utilize your creativity to repurpose spaces, things, and resources. By utilizing materials that can be recycled or reused after an event, event planners may contribute to the circular economy. They can also provide social value by making contributions or offering community members free courses and talks.
Bannister added that since travel accounts for 85% of an event’s carbon footprint, many planners are attempting to minimize the environmental effects of the 2022 event’s travel. Event planners are lessening the environmental impact of event travel by holding smaller, more frequent events in a variety of locations, booking corporate events close to home, and incorporating virtual or hybrid events. Event planning experts from all over the industry have committed to addressing ethical concerns.
Important advice for venues: Include or refocus sustainability initiatives.
Choose a sustainability champion for your team to promote sustainable practices and other eco-friendly hotel and venue ideas to staff members. Supply tools, information, and resources on corporate sustainability. Add numerous, clearly marked recycling areas throughout the venue, renovate and replace venue machinery with environmentally friendly and sustainable appliances whenever possible, and make it a point to install renewable energy sources that could power a portion of your venue operations.
Observe how popular event trends change by keeping up with them!
But keep in mind that nothing is certain—especially right now. There is no assurance that any of these 2022 event trends will materialize, and there is even less of a guarantee that they won’t be overshadowed by other trends that might arise during the year. Because of this, it’s more crucial than ever to be quick-thinking, alert, and prepared for change at any time.
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