The event industry has evolved and undergone massive changes since the pandemic. We have witnessed a major shift in business trends, societal attitudes, and the way in which events are conducted. In this blog, we will be discussing 2022 event industry trends and how they are likely to leave a permanent impact on the post pandemic world.  

In order to deliver a seamless event experience during the pandemic, event planners and marketers had to adopt virtual and hybrid event formats. As per the GBTA study, in 2020, there was a 290% spike in virtual events hosted all around the globe as compared to in 2019. Let us dive deeper into the major trends that eventually followed. 

      1. Return of in-person events  

According to the 2022 Global Meetings and Events Forecast, by American Express Meetings & Events, it is said that in-person events will be returning full-fledged in 2022. Nearly 67% of attendees believe that in-person gatherings will return to just how it was in the pre-pandemic era in the coming one or two years.  

Due to this prediction of in-person events returning in full swing, some event venues already have limited availability due to pre-bookings. This trend may also lead to higher demand of staff, vendors, sponsors, and various other services. Apparently, the employment opportunities may increase manyfold.  

Pro tip: It is always wise to book event venues and related services months before the actual event, if one is planning to host hybrid or in-person event.  

      2. Event apps 

An event app can be utilized to provide real-time information and other event-related insights to attendees. It is the perfect tool to provide hands-on data, keep track of analytics, facilitate interaction among participants, and increase engagement. Additionally, it is the best way to have a direct platform to interact with the whole event ecosystem. Event apps also establish a connection between supply and demand, creating a long-lasting value. 

Pro tip: Community™ by Eventcombo, offers a platform to event attendees be it employees, students, members, followers, etc for enjoying unique content and meaningful connections. On the other hand, event planners can send updates, create events, and curate experiences for the event community with a simple click. 

      3. Delivering high quality content 

Today, due to significant technological advancements and innovations, information is readily available to everyone and, therefore, attendees crave quality content in events as well. Events are bouncing back to in-person formats rapidly, making the importance of delivering unique content that brings value to attendees high. In 2022, event planners will focus on providing quality experiences to their participants by inviting renowned keynote speakers and introducing engaging games and activities, like Q&A, polls, etc. to keep attendees hooked throughout the event.   

      4. Health and COVID safety protocols 

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, health, and safety measures have become top priority for everyone. In-person events are certainly resuming but some people are still hesitant to participate and be present physically in a gathering. According to a report, nearly 48% of event planners opine taking care of local health guidelines and protocols is the most important aspect when selecting an event venue. The event organizer’s main concern in 2022 would be how to safely return to in-person events, taking one step at a time.  

In order to secure the event venue, many technological solutions are being implemented such as 

  1. Installation of thermal scanning devices 
  2. Installation of sanitizer stations 
  3. Digital signing
  4. Contactless registration and ticketing services
  5. Limited tickets for better crowd management
  6. Free of cost rapid and PCR testing booths right outside the event venues 

      5. Data collection and analytics 

Data collection and analytics enable event organizers to fulfil the rapidly changing consumer demands and expectations. If we talk about the most prominent virtual and hybrid event trends of 2022 around analytics, it includes tracking clicks, how long an attendee is present in a session, and following their engagement activities with other participants. All of this information provides crucial insights that impact the success of the event. Real-time data collection is one of the most important tools to bridge the gap between how should an event be vs what it actually is. Virtual and hybrid event tech platforms offer real-time access to user behavior, during and after an event.  

      6. Smaller, more intimate events  

Smaller and more intimate gatherings will play a bigger role in the event industry. Smaller gatherings have a special vibe, it gives attendees a chance to network properly with almost everyone present. Unlike trade shows, which are massive in scale, smaller events give better one-on-one connection opportunities with fellow attendees, vendors, and sponsors. They are also more economical to manage, whereas big events are huge in size and, there, it's not always very convenient to make lasting connections with everyone present.   

As the event sector is recovering from the impact of the pandemic, tradeshows, corporate meetings, and conferences will continue to evolve and adapt with technology. No matter what the format is, events that offer flexibility, safety, and value to their attendees will rule the market. If you are planning your next event, it's important to take time, conduct thorough research, and embrace the right event technology or tools to make your event a big hit.