Event Industry Trends for 2022
The events industry size (Allied Market Research, 2021) is expected to reach $1,552.9 billion by 2028, registering a CAGR of 11.2% from 2021 to 2028. The event industry is ever-changing due to many different factors. Over the course of last year, several aspects of the events industry were halted but others were subsequently accelerated, mainly in the event technology sector. Virtual and hybrid events emerged, significantly affecting the events industry. As we get ready to welcome 2022, our team at Deal Room Events is anticipating the advances in the events industry. We expect major shifts in our industry to continue for years to come.
Below, let us take a look at some of the advancements we anticipate for 2022:
1.) Live Events are returning
By the end of 2021, the event industry expects a return to in-person business and leisure events with vaccinations in place. In a survey conducted by The Dallas Morning News (DiFurio, 2021), 78% of respondents are confident to return to in-person events. As event organizers continue to ensure all safety protocols, event attendees will feel more positive about returning to live events.
2.) Virtual Events are staying
According to an article by Bloomberg (Bloomberg, 2021), 94% of event organizers are planning a virtual event in 2022. This is because event organizers are noticing a greater ROI and engagement from virtual events. Plus, 84% of attendees mentioned they would like to have the option of attending an event remotely. As a result of these statistics, we believe that virtual and hybrid events are the future.
3.) Safety: top priority
“Safety is the new luxury” (Shoenthal, 2021). After a year of multiple restrictions and constant suggestions to avoid crowds, every event organizer must prioritize making people feel safe when they gather in large groups. Establishing trust will be an important component of event marketing; constant and clear communication about safety protocols must be highlighted. Designing safe events with digital and/or touchless communication could be a key tactic to event marketing.
4.) Wedding-related events booms
After a year of restrictions and canceled events, wedding-related events have surged resulting in sold-out venues. Even though wedding-related events have not quite returned, experts predict that they are rapidly picking up. The Wedding Report predicts that in 2022 wedding-related events will reach the highest level since the 1980s. Additionally, the New York Times (Smialek, 2021) states that 2.5 million weddings in the United States are forecasted to be held in 2022.
5.) Micro Events
As reported by Statista, the average attendance for a meeting or a conference in 2018, was 4,932 (Guttmann, 2021). In 2021, the number dropped exponentially to 1,356 (Statista, 2021) and micro-events became the most sought-after events (Collins, 2021). Micro events are live activities that take place online and last for about an hour. As huge gatherings and events are still advised against, event organizers turn to build experiences in micro-events settings. Even though micro-events are small and simple, some event organizers believe it creates a richer and more intimate experience for participants.
6.) Personalized In-Person events
As virtual and hybrid events emerge, in-person events experiences need to evolve. Thus, personalized in-person events will become more vital. From registration to post-event activities (Duchene, 2021), event organizers must now think of ways to personalize the audience experience to create loyal participants. Plus, personalized content is key when you want to stand out from a large group of recent competitors. Thus, as we welcome the rise of in-person events in 2022, we will see a rise in personalized audience experience.
7.) Increased pressure on attendance rate
While live events start to return, many may still prefer to attend a virtual or hybrid event. Hence, it is important to find out how to encourage participants to attend your live events. According to an interview by Forbes (Duchene, 2021), public events typically have a 35% attendance rate but exclusive events have a substantially higher attendance rate, sometimes above 75%. Many event organizers forget the basic question “Why should people attend my event? What do they hope to gain?” With these questions at the back of your mind, the program will be catered to those needs, attracting more attendees.
8.) Technology-enhanced interaction
In a world where technology is continuously and rapidly advancing, we need to learn ways into leveraging these to generate a more memorable experience per event. Through the use of tools and features like gamification, polls, and breakout rooms, audience engagement can be increased. Keeping in mind the rise of hybrid events, the use of digital technology can encourage both in-person and virtual attendees to build meaningful connections and foster strong networks.
In conclusion, as long as people follow safety procedures and continue to get vaccinated, corporate and leisure in-person events will return sooner or later. The crowd is ready to start going back to an in-person interaction without restrictions. Designing creative experiences is vital to establish a "fear of missing out" element and get your online audience excited to look forward to attending next event.
Our team at Deal Room is excited to see how elements from this transient virtual shift will be incorporated into future events.
DiFurio, D. (2021, March 22). Will in-person events and gatherings be back before 2022? the events industry thinks so. Dallas News. Retrieved November 17, 2021, from https://www.dallasnews.com/business/economy/2021/03/22/will-in-person-events-and-gatherings-be-back-before-2022-the-events-industry-thinks-so/.
Allied Market Research. (2021). Events industry size, share & trends: Analysis forecast, 2021-2028. Allied Market Research. Retrieved November 17, 2021, from https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/events-industry-market.
Bloomberg. (2021). The State of Virtual Events 2022. Bloomberg.com. Retrieved November 17, 2021, from https://www.bloomberg.com/press-releases/2021-11-04/the-state-of-virtual-events-2022-kaltura-publishes-virtual-events-report-for-marketers-and-event-organizers-in-2022-beyond
Collins, O. (2021). Are micro events what we need in the events industry? . Gather Capture. Retrieved November 17, 2021, from https://gathercapture.com/latest/the-rise-of-micro-events-in-a-post-covid-world.
Duchene, P. (2021, March 16). The future of events through the eyes of industry professionals. Forbes. Retrieved November 17, 2021, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/patriciaduchene/2021/03/16/the-future-of-events-through-the-eyes-of-industry-professionals/?sh=f3d6c8f14ca9.
Guttmann, A. (2021, June 9). Number of visitors at conventions and exhibitions in the U.S. 2019. Statista. Retrieved November 17, 2021, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/257227/number-of-visitors-at-conventions-and-exhibitions-in-the-us/.
Shoenthal, A. (2021, May 11). What's next for live events? Three event planners' predictions for the future of their industry. Forbes. Retrieved November 17, 2021, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/amyschoenberger/2021/05/11/whats-next-for-live-events-three-event-planners-predictions-for-the-future-of-their-industry/?sh=355dbc6d7d2c.
Smialek, J. (2021, August 13). The wedding business is booming, a short-term jolt to the economy. The New York Times. Retrieved November 17, 2021, from https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/13/business/economy/coronavirus-weddings-economy-.html.
Statista. (2021, August 13). Virtual vs. regular meetings: Attendance and fee worldwide 2020. Statista. Retrieved November 17, 2021, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/1257505/regular-vs-virtual-association-meetings-attendance-fee-worldwide/.