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Eventing Trends We've Seen In 2022

Updated: May 4, 2022

Photo by Noiseporn on Unsplash

1. Hybrid Is Here To Stay

According to the State of the Event Industry report, only 14% of respondents reported that they would not feel comfortable attending a live event when surveyed in Q3 of 2021. Event planners are taking full advantage, with 78% currently planning in-person events for 2022.

Don’t get too excited, though. Hybrid events are past their awkward phase and aren’t going away. In spite of the return to in-person experiences, two-thirds of organisers say they will be planning a hybrid event and 64% will continue to use virtual aspects at their live events to maintain these benefits.

Why hybrid?

  • Better event data: Events forced to move online in the last 18 months have been able to harness data to understand how their content was being consumed in more detail than ever before—and stakeholders got used to the results this knowledge generated.

  • Greater reach: Giving attendees the option to attend in person or online means a lot more people can get involved. With venue capacity plus an almost limitless online capacity, events can have a greater reach than ever before.

  • Flexibility: When an event is set up for hybrid, it becomes disaster-proof. In the case of any sort of issue with the venue or changing health guidelines, organisers are in a better position to get on with the show—even if it needs to pivot to 100% virtual at the last minute.

2. Highlighting Societal Issues

The intensifying climate crises has lead to consumers giving careful consideration to the ethics of their purchasing decisions over the past two years. The younger generation is especially concerned - 94% of them expect companies to go public about their positions on important social issues. 50% of CEOs say they intentionally emphasised efforts toward environmental, social, and governance issues in 2021. This may be because high-growth brands and established equity metrics tend to correlate, and 57% of consumers reported being more loyal to brands dedicated to addressing social inequities.

The detailing of action steps an event is making toward sustainability, such as RSA Conference’s RSAC Gives Back page, are becoming commonplace on event websites. statements predicts seeing this trend continue to develop in the event industry, as sustainability and DEI persist as focal points for event planners.

3. Health and Safety Protocols

Covid-19 has put sanitary and health measures at the front of the public’s mind. Attendee safety is reported as the biggest obstacle to event planning, while 48% of event designers say commitment to following local health guidelines is the most important concern when it comes to venue selection.

The return of live events means organisers have and will continue to show up for these challenges by checking vaccination status of attendees or requiring negative Covid-19 tests to enter venues.

One organisation that sprung up to take on this work is Curative Health, which provides free rapid and PCR testing at kiosks set up outside venues in large cities around the US. Another company, EventScan, offers unique thermal scanning stations for speedy temperature-taking, and consulting services for venues trying to adhere to local health guidelines.

Lower-budget events may opt to train their own team for these challenges using courses that have popped up for this purpose, such as The Event Leadership Institute’s Pandemic Meeting & Event Design. Regardless of how it is accomplished, these new concerns and how organisers manage them will make or break events this coming year.

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