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Event trends to watch in 2022

When Covid-19 stopped the world in 2020, it sent the events industry into a panic. Would brands ever be able to engage the public the way they used to? What would happen to conferences that were necessary to keep society evolving for the better?

We’ve asked ourselves questions like this for the past two years and have managed to work out some answers. The good news is that the events industry can survive in an upside-down world, but it will require change. As we look at 2022, we’ve identified some trends that will reshape the industry.

More virtual and hybrid events

For a while, virtual and hybrid events were the only way to gather safely. But as more people get vaccinated and lockdown regulations ease up, people can have in-person events (with some restrictions). You would think that this would mean virtual and hybrid events would decline, but the opposite seems to be happening. According to LinkedIn’s State of Virtual Events Report, two-thirds of marketers plan to continue hosting virtual events beyond 2022. Going virtual allows you to reach more people for less money and we already have all the technology to run engaging virtual and hybrid events.

Better buildup to virtual events

If virtual events are here to stay, we need to get better at promoting them. Most big in-person events would spend a calendar year promoting their next event. Virtual event marketers need to emulate this approach. A handful of strategically spaced-out emails won’t be enough to generate hype for virtual events going forward. You need to market your event on TV, billboards and all over the web. Remember, you’re trying to convince people that your event is worth their time – a multichannel strategy is the best way to get that message across.

A big push for sustainability

A study by Nature revealed that switching from in-person to virtual conferencing could reduce our carbon footprint by 94% and energy use by 90%. In-person events have a major impact on the environment – whether it’s the fuel we burn transporting people, food and equipment around or the energy we consume during the event. Today’s public is more concerned about our impact on the planet than ever before and they’re turning their attention to events. If event marketers want to continue attracting people, they’ll have to change their practices and introduce greener operations.

The metaverse

Meta’s (formerly Facebook) ambitious goal to turn social media into a whole new virtual world has massive implications for the events space. It’s too early to predict how the metaverse will work but what’s certain is that it will be a paradigm shift in terms of how people gather and interact online. How will brand owners and marketers host events in this new virtual reality? How much will it cost and will consumers respond positively? It’s something every event planner and marketer should be thinking about to stay ahead of the game.

NK Innovations are leaders at creating unforgettable brand experiences virtually and in person. Contact us to help you turn your next event into a success.

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