A Re-Cap of 2021 Trends and What to Expect in 2022
Here we are, at the end of the year already how time flies. At the end of the year, I like to take some time and reflect back on great memories, family milestones, and of course, the events I not only planned but also attended. 2021 brought another year of uncertainty which changed the event scene significantly. Due to the pandemic, many events were forced to be canceled or postponed until future years. But among all the uncertainty and cancellations, event planners were forced to adapt and change their regular practices. So, let’s talk about some of the new trends I saw in 2021 and take a further glimpse into 2022!
I know I’ve mentioned online events for what feels like a hundred times over the past year, but aside from converting events to online delivery, some great perks came out of this trend. Online events have the potential to actually drive the number of attendees as it allows for more schedule flexibility, fewer travel costs, and much more! Not only that, in some cases, it may be easier to secure keynote speakers that have busy schedules or time constraints, as the speech or session can be delivered from wherever they are on the go!
Yes, online events did have their downfalls, including:
- Attendance rates
- Engagement rates
- Pricing issues
Although these downfalls caused much grief over the year, keep reading, and I will share some insight as to why it’s essential we don’t forget about online events and how they will be important in the coming years.
To learn how you can increase engagement during your next online event, check out my blog!
Events are Great PR
Using events hosted by your organization is excellent PR! We’ve known this for some time, but lately, we have seen this trend ramping up! I bet if you take 30 seconds, you can name off at least 5-6 events hosted by organizations you know and love! Here are a few examples:
What’s important to note between the two examples I listed above is that these events can either be paid or free tickets. In 2020, Microsoft sold about 6,000 tickets. The organization made it a free event that had almost 200,000 attendees in the following year, which is a 3000+% increase! When big tech companies such as Microsoft are using events for PR, there is something to note.
Of course, one of the major trends from 2021 is event technology. This goes hand-in-hand with the uptake in virtual events. One of the significant takeaways from being forced into virtual delivery is that many event planners were not happy with the tools that were available on the market. It became apparent that technology was lacking, and in turn, huge investments have been made, and many start-up companies have popped up with new and improved ways of hosting virtual events. Although we may be moving closer towards in-person events, it is safe to say we will not be straying away from a virtual delivery (I’ll touch on this a bit more, so keep reading).
Moving into 2022
As it’s great to recap and reflect on the previous year’s trends, it’s important to look ahead. So, what does the future hold in the world of events? Of course, the biggest trend to note is that many events, especially trade shows, will be taking a hybrid approach. But why is this when in-person events are great, and virtual events pose many challenges?
- Hybrid events provide flexibility – with busy schedules, travel is not always an easy option, and to mark three days off your calendar to attend an event can be impossible! Hybrid events will allow those who can make it in person to attend and those with busier schedules to attend virtually to the sessions they can make it to!
- Hybrid events can bring in more revenue – unable to make it to the event, not a problem. Attendees can join online, which opens up a whole new revenue stream!
- Hybrid events encourage international traffic – flying across the world may not be an option. Perhaps an interested individual wants to see if the event will provide enough value before committing to the cost and time. A hybrid approach allows people from all across the world to tune in.
So what can you do to prepare for the upcoming year?
- Test different virtual platforms. Which one works best for your organization? Will the cost fit your budget? Will you see ROI based on the number of additional attendees joining online?
- Have a team with the required skills to run the virtual side and a separate team to run the in-person side.
- Test, test, test! I cannot emphasize this enough, but test everything before going live with the event. This will help reduce any avoidable technology errors that may arise.
Hosting an event that is in-person and virtual takes a tremendous amount of planning and resources. However, Planit Events Inc. is well-rehearsed and can offer you the advice, recommendations, or even plan the entirety of your event to ensure that it runs as smoothly as possible and your guests are ecstatic. Contact us to learn more, or check out our Corporate Event Planning and Trade Show page!