5 Event Trends Planners Should Follow in 2022
Modern technology and the COVID-19 pandemic, both on their own and separately, have had an undeniable impact on live events and the events industry.
But as we move into a new year, event planners want to know what to look forward to as corporate events, live events, and other events become more commonplace. If you’re excited about what the future has to hold, let’s look at five event trends to look out for in 2022.
#1 Hybrid is here to stay!
Introducing a COVID-19 vaccine and improved vaccination rates (along with those getting their booster shots for further support) have given many renewed hope as they’ve started venturing back out into the world again.
With this sense of hope and excitement, some event planners may look forward to throwing more live events again over 2022.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that event trends are going to shift entirely over to live events. While many are comfortable navigating life as it was pre-COVID, others want to play it safe. This means avoiding large groups and intimate spaces where breakthrough cases may become an issue.
It’s more than likely that hybrid events are going to become the norm amid the ongoing pandemic. With more event managers and speakers knowing how to navigate live streaming and having ample experience with in-person events, hybrid events have become easier to host.
To reach everyone in 2022, you will probably want to go hybrid!
#2 COVID-19 precautions will likely prevail in the years ahead
Continuing with the point above, COVID-19 precautions are still going to shape the live events that are made available to the public. While vaccinations have become commonplace, breakthrough COVID cases are not uncommon, especially without the right protective measures.
For event planners, this means adhering to event trends and taking modern COVID precautions. This includes ensuring:
- Attendees have ample space to avoid coming too close to each other
- Requiring proof of vaccination (as well as protective gear like masks)
Keeping doors open to limit the amount of items guests come into contact with
Even better, many event planners are going the extra mile to understand the issues communities are facing. Some are reaching out to help communities by providing them with additional COVID supplies, mental health support, and other essentials that people need during the pandemic.
If you’re a nonprofit, for example, this can be a great way to show the impact and dedication of your organization before you host an event in any community.
This inspires trust in your guests and ensures that everyone feels comfortable and safe. Those who don’t wish to attend live events can always access your live stream or attend digital and hybrid events you provide instead. Either way, COVID-19 precautions will still play a major role in 2022 event trends.
#3 Don't ignore augmented and virtual reality
Have you heard of Meta?
Facebook’s recent rebranding did more than just get people talking about the social media giant. It also got people talking about two industries they wish to get involved in: virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).
Virtual reality, as the name suggests, enlists the help of tools like VR goggles to transport users to digital environments where they can directly interact with their surroundings.
Augmented reality focuses on bringing digital aspects of real-world surroundings.
Both are being employed in apps, gaming, and even healthcare to create safe environments where individuals feel safe to explore and experience recent activities.
While both industries are still in their infancy, their promise is great, which bodes well for future event trends. According to Techjury, the total number of AR and VR users will reach approximately 95 million by 2022. Given that most of the population already has access to this technology, it only makes sense to take advantage of it for digital events.
There will probably be a learning curve, and some event planners may only use AR and VR at live events. However, as these technologies become more ingrained in our society, events can be attended from the comfort and safety of our own homes.
As of today, this holds massive appeal to many prospective event attendees.
#4 More events will start to focus on personal responsibility
2022 event trends don’t focus solely on new technology.
Now, new topics are beginning to affect the space as well. For example, new trends like sustainability and social responsibility are making their way into event spaces, sometimes paired with unique event locations, as well.
For event planners that are interested in these topics, making sure that your event design lines up with these topics is important. If you plan on hosting a sustainability event, springing for stylish but reusable event accessories is an important detail. If you host an event on social responsibility, finding a venue with cultural meaning may be the best avenue to pursue.
The world is changing, and event trends are changing with it!
#5 Providing unique experiences for attendees
Not all digital events are taking a singular path for guests.
With the power of data and AI, event managers can now create personally tailored event itineraries that go beyond just the marketing they see along the way.
For events with multiple speakers, event topics, and beyond, this means that guests can choose their experience based on what most interests them or is most relevant to them. Gone are the days where guests would have to attend digital events with a pre-determined pathway.
Now, it’s all about event trends that offer attendees ample choices to get the best possible event experience.
Events in 2022 will forever be impacted by events within the past few years
Changes in trends are to be expected in any industry.
However, the events industry has faced many obstacles in the past few years alone that have resulted in a completely new environment. From technology to COVID to social developments, event planners face a completely reshaped industry in the years to come.
If you value industry insights and seek to understand what directions your industry is taking, the five event trends above will help you see how current developments are reshaping live and digital events alike!
Author: Cyd Ross
Cyd Ross is a British writer & content strategist now based in northern California. She enjoys covering topics about events and has traveled extensively, from taking frequent trips to Europe to attending university in Taipei where she studied Mandarin and had the opportunity to begin exploring Asia.