A Planners Guide: What can we expect from events in 2022?
For many planners, 2021 already is a complete daze. That champagne cork moment that lasted across the second half of the year, where we were back, we were busy, we had zero lead time in planning our events...!
That whole year crammed into 6 frantic months and as good as it was...and it was GOOD to be back. It hit a rather large obstacle right at the end that was Omicron. It not only gave us a little really check, but for many it sapped the growing confidence in the industry and reopened old wounds. But something feels most definitely different this time?
We have moved in a new year with a new hope and confidence. Yes a new variant was a welcome as a slap with a wet fish. It doesn't however have seemed to halt our want, our need for events across 2022. So as we move back to our offices after restrictions being thankfully short and sweet. What can we expect as event planners for 2022?
A 2 Year Hangover.
It wasn't just the short lead time last year that had us hopping around, delicately juggling logistics and reaching out to every single supplier and venue we could get through to!
The fact is, events are still on hold and continually rolling over into 2022. Something that December 2021 did not help us with. One of the key initial questions we have been having with our suppliers and venues is service and availability.
Service is an issue in the industry, let's face it we took the brunt of the pandemic and it'll take time to recover staff levels and experience. There is no quick fix, or easy answer. But communication between client, agency and supplier / venue is absolutely crucial, now more than ever. We need to be open and honest in terms of levels of expectations and in return honest about the delivery or inability to deliver in some cases.
Running parallel to that is availability. There are still a tremendous amount of events on the books. Continually rolling over and taking up key dates in the event diary. There is nothing we can do about this. We can only hope 2022 allows those events to see fruition so we can start 2023 with a broader calendar to work with. But what we can do is speak with venues and suppliers about those hot spots. We can then speak with clients and work on plans either around first choice dates and maybe it introduces the chance to showcase new venues and destinations?
One things is for sure, the better and earlier the conversations are, the better we can plan. There will be still a mix of off the cuff, short turnaround lead time events as the world opens up again. But for those crucial must have events, make sure you know calendar hot spots to avoid disappointment and frustration.
We are ALL more likely to play this year!
That champagne cork release, where we finally got to play again. It was fantastic to be able to bring people back together again last year. The desire to reconnect and re-establish company culture is still there. As busy as many agencies were last year, we have to understand that for many, they still haven't gone back to the office. If they have, then it's still very early days in which some companies may not feel or their staff feel ready for that together moment.
So 2022 will certainly bring that back in abundance. We have all ready seen here at We Are MEAT a huge surge in bookings for hospitality events. Of which we are finding availability already at a premium. So if you are keen to go to that big event, or you have dates and preferred venues in mind for that company off site / team build. You really need to start the conversation now to ensure you get what you have planned for.
Event Trends in 2022
Incentives and team building, getting people back together is still going to be a huge trend in 2022. But with the world seeming (hopefully) moving forward again, we are seeing more demand again in meetings, forums and kick off type events. After a 2 year hiatus or plugging the gap through digital means. Companies are fixed on not only bringing people together, but where there business is going, setting goals and targets once again.
Digital is here to stay and will serve many companies and industries well until the uncertainty clears and confidence is fully back in the market. It will also be front and centre for those looking at their carbon footprint for future events. Although we are very keen to see the statistics on what footprint is left via digital events. Companies must made aware that a digital event still carries a footprint. But I think we can all see the benefits of keeping digital in your event planning and budget from now on. Digital has come a long way in 2 years and can be a useful tool integrated in with your other live projects.
The big talking point is Hybrid. Seemingly as much confusion and opinion as there is with cars! The very definition we believe needs to have more detail. Yes, we can put 15 people into a boardroom, link them via your favourite streaming app with offices across the world. You can have your company global meeting without so many logistics. So is that really a hybrid event? Well, yes but in fairness by that very definition many business have therefore been running hybrid events for years. For us, we would like to see this sort of event just put under the usual meeting definition. Do we need to justify if it was live or hybrid?
With hybrid, there are some amazing experiences being achieved. There are opportunities to really push and explore branding, product and strategies to a mass audience via Hybrid. When speaking with clients, we challenge their perception of a hybrid event. If you are looking at planning a product or brand showcase, educational seminar or forum. This is where hybrid can really take your event to a whole new level. Why settle for 40 people in a room when you can in effect sell tickets or add sponsors to open up your market an audience for these events.
We attended the C&IT Agency Forum in London recently. It was fascinating to see opinions on hybrid and some of the great event experiences that are happening trough Hybrid. But you need to understand the balance between live and hybrid. For many, attending a live event again is so welcome. If you then make those delegates jump on a digital meeting or presentation it can be detrimental to your event. Understanding hybrid events and utilising them effectively will be the key to how great of an impact they make to the industry. Before planning, it is well worth your while having a discussion on what is a hybrid event, will this platform be right for this event and how can we make the most from a hybrid event.
To find out more on how We Are MEaT can effectively help you with your events, email; email@example.com