The last two years have posed, undeniably, some of the biggest challenges that the events industry has had to face. The onset of the pandemic in 2020 forced the entire world into a transition of conducting all matters online. This sudden change meant that there were inevitable issues along the way for everybody. The virtual format was not familiar to many, participant engagement was hard to achieve, organisers were yet to figure out what works and what does not. Despite all this, the events industry adapted, and within such short notice, entirely virtual events started taking place. With the vaccine rollout, the hybrid format settled in as well.
For the upcoming year of 2022, the important values we are focusing on are Flexibility and Adaptability. The situation with the new variants is just as uncertain. However, the events industry has learned many lessons that can be applied in the upcoming year. We take a look at the predicted Event Industry Trends for 2022 and what will be expected of event platforms in order to achieve the best event experience for all.
1. Hybrid is here to stay
The hybrid format is the embodiment of the idea of flexibility and has proven that it can be extremely valuable. Combining the best elements of virtual and in-person attendance allows event organizers to achieve their vision of inclusivity and engagement. Physical boundaries have become an almost negligible issue, and with technology constantly improving, events can achieve incredible target reach. Hybrid events allow organizers and sponsors access to valuable data, such as participant engagement, ROI analytics, and networking mapping. Important to consider is that every event will require a different approach to the hybrid format. Event planners and platforms will have to work closely together to determine which platform features respond best to the client’s needs.
2. Ensuring participant engagement becomes the most important goal
Participant involvement is one of the biggest challenges for planners, regardless of the event format. Organizers need to ensure that virtual attendees have an experience analogous to that of the live audience. A unifying online event platform can become the key asset to achieve this.
- The vision of community is achieved when organizers can consistently interact with the attendees through streamlined news notifications, topical chats, and exciting network opportunities – all in one place. Event participants receive a personalized experience through the platform as they can create their schedules, access on-demand content, and determine which features work best for their own needs.
- Prolonged community engagement can best be attained with interaction before, during, and after an event. The most centralized way to do that is through the online event platform. Push notifications facilitate communication and re-engagement with the attendees.
3. Smaller, more personalized events: the emergence of Micro Events
Organisers have established that to achieve a sense of community, their events need to be as meaningful as possible. A big, once-a-year event could lead to a lack of engagement throughout the rest of the year. This is why organisers are looking into creating smaller, but more frequent events with a more focused topic. The ever-changing pandemic environment means that events may have to go mostly, if not entirely online, once again. This means that creating a customized and meaningful experience for participants is crucial. Features such as one-on-one meetings, poster sessions, and unique individual components like virtual business cards can all drastically enhance the attendees’ time at an event. Finally, from a logistical point of view, micro-events will be a lot easier to organise. They are also a sustainable solution because they involve less travel and physical bookings.
Although this year will surely be just as challenging as the last two, we are excited to see where the circumstances will take us. Conference Compass is constantly working on developing features and creating new ones to respond to the fluctuating challenges posed by the global pandemic and the needs of our clients. We are sure that this will be a great year for events! Everybody in the industry has learned a lot these last years, and we will go into 2022 with the necessary tools and skills to respond to whatever comes our way.
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