New Year = New Optimism (Yes Optimism!)
New Year = New Optimism (Yes Optimism!) for Live & Virtual Events
Covid complicated almost everyone’s holiday plans, however we are looking forward to the year ahead. Dare we say, even optimistic?! We can already see exciting emerging trends for 2022.
Whether you come from the corporate, non-profit, association or agency space, here are three event and experiential industry evolutions you can expect in this new year for Virtual Client Events & Customer Experiences…
1. EVOLUTION OF VIRTUAL TO HYBRID TO LIVE
Virtual is here to stay in 2022 but as the year unfolds, expect fewer all-virtual experiences and more hybrid events, meaning a mix of online and in-person elements.
The challenge is expectations are higher than ever when it comes to virtual and hybrid events. Value, integration, interactivity and engagement will be key to any successful event but most importantly to the virtual component of a hybrid event.
“Hybrid is effective but expensive – almost double the cost and double the work if you want to do it well – so plan carefully,” advised Bibi Poon, Group Director, Conferences & Events at Proof Experiences.
Eventually, more “all-live” events will be planned as we leave Covid in the rear-view mirror – hooray!
Clients and suppliers must be prepared to strategically decide which events are best suited to hybrid versus all-live or all-virtual. Our advice is to ride the waves of Covid and balance the final format decision with the value, investment, and overall return. Lots of choice and opportunity in 2022.
2. BUILD EXCITEMENT – INVEST IN YOUR PEOPLE
Covid has been tough and trying on everyone. Expect in 2022 to spend more time getting closer to and supporting your team. This includes your colleagues, your clients and your customers.
Your internal team especially will need those physical and mental supports (and fun activities) so they can transmit that energy and excitement to your clients and customers.
Your clients and customers will need an extra level of support, understanding and hand-holding as we all continue to adapt to the waves of Covid for the foreseeable future and make smart, strategic event and experiential decisions along the way.
3. WELLNESS AND THE HUMAN CONNECTION
Everyone in Canada is excited to see the return of live conferences in 2022. However, don’t expect everything to be the same as pre-pandemic.
Expect to experience a massive “reset”. This will include rethinking how we meet safely – from health protocols to personal comforts to potential liability and cost implications.
Conferences and events decision-makers will have to seriously grapple with why we are meeting.
Yes, we all crave the lost human connection. Yes, we are all super-keen to meet in-person again. But as live comes back, every event will need to be clear on why they are meeting and why this activity is worth the time, resources, investment, travel considerations, etc.
Plan to double down on smaller, more customized intimate experiences that safely connect people. And, double down on those meaningful and memorable experiences. We can’t wait.
Bottom line: Expect a new level of anticipation, optimism and appreciation for live conferences and event experiences in 2022. We have all been waiting a long time for this and no one is going to take the return of shared experiences for granted.
“Just feeling normal again will be exciting!” concluded Poon.
Mary Beth Denomy is the Chair and Founder of Proof Experiences.
Chair & Founder
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