We’re just a few weeks away from saying goodbye to 2021 and hello to 2022. Things have definitely been interesting, especially for the event industry. The past two years have seen a major shift away from big indoor events in favor of smaller, outdoor shindigs. That being said, 2021 also brought the COVID-19 vaccine, allowing us to celebrate together again with significantly reduced safety concerns. While the world is slowly recovering, things aren’t quite back to “normal” just yet. Let’s take a look at some top event trends we can anticipate for 2022!
Hybrid and virtual events
Hybrid and virtual events are here to stay in 2022. While the vaccine has allowed most of us to safely socialize, there are still members of our communities who are at particular risk for COVID-19 symptoms. Hybrid and virtual events allow these members of our communities to safely participate in events, so no one gets left out! As the temperatures drop, you’ll undoubtedly see an increase in these types of events.
Virtual and hybrid events aren’t the only modified event styles that will remain popular; outdoor events also provide a safer way for groups to get together. Events that historically have been held indoors are now moving to the open air— this includes events like baptisms, baby showers, retirement parties, and more. Event professionals have been flexing their creative muscles while shifting more and more events to the outdoors, and it doesn’t look like this trend is going anywhere. As the weather warms up, so will the outdoor event bookings!
Continued focus on safety
While the vaccine has tempered our concerns about COVID-19, it hasn’t eliminated them. Events will still have a large focus on safety, meaning continued monitoring of government regulations and vaccine statuses of employees and guests, as needed.
Corporate event lags continue
Corporate events are still lagging behind social events due to COVID-19 safety concerns, and we can expect this to carry over into 2022. This is partly due to the fact that larger companies are subject to more stringent regulations and safety protocols when it comes to gatherings; the larger the company, the larger the guest list. Rather than risk an event being ground zero for a major COVID-19 outbreak, most large companies are opting to wait to resume large corporate events.
With the vaccine’s wide availability (and now vaccine boosters), we can expect overall event size to steadily increase. While many clients loved the micro-weddings and more intimate events of the past 2 years, we can expect to see event size starting to balance out once again. People have missed larger get-togethers and are no doubt itching to throw a big party! Safely, of course— keep buying disposable masks and hand sanitizer.
More extravagant events
As we enter the post-pandemic world, many clients can’t wait to show off. We expect an increase in pricey, extravagant events that are designed to shake the dust off of our formal wear. No sweatpants allowed!
High-tech event companies
Using tech at events is becoming the new normal. Clients are expecting event companies to have options for virtual events, digital photo booths, professional quality sound and lighting, and even professional video options.
However, client expectations for technology aren’t limited to the event itself. More and more, clients are expecting to be able to receive quotes, sign contracts, and make payments digitally. If your inventory management software can’t keep up with these client expectations, it’s time to make a change.
Technology isn’t just a trend, it’s a permanent change in the way people do business. Don’t get left behind; it’s time to invest!
Increased focus on cybersecurity
Cyber crime has seen a massive increase over the past two years. This is in large part due to a significant increase in online shopping and business activities in recent years. While there are a number of habits you can start to help protect yourself and your business, there are some easy ones you can start today.
- Get a password manager. Our regular readers know that we bring these up a lot. We are not partnered with any password manager companies, we just really believe in them. Not only do they save your passwords and automatically enter them for you when you go to a site’s login screen, they also generate complicated passwords. These generated passwords are gibberish and pretty much impossible to guess.
- Use Two Factor Authentication. This is when a site contacts you, either via text message or email, with a code to enter when you sign on. As long as your email is secure (see password managers), two factor authentication goes a long way to keeping your accounts secure.
- Stop sharing or reusing passwords— and definitely don’t share a password that you use on multiple sites. This is a big one. If one of the sites you reuse a password on is hacked, all of your accounts that use that password are vulnerable. If someone you share a password with has a computer that is compromised by a virus, your account is now compromised. This is a situation that has the potential to snowball into a disaster, but can easily be avoided. Just don’t do it.
- Only accept credit card payments through a secure, reputable payment processor. For our Goodshuffle Pro users, we’ve already vetted and selected Stripe for its security, flexibility, and easy of use. A secure payment processor ensures that both you and your client’s financial data has bank-level security throughout the transaction process, so everyone can rest easy.
2022 is just around the corner, and with it comes new experiences, challenges, and trends. The holiday season is the perfect time for event pros to plan, make updates, and get organized for the new year. We’ll be seeing increases in event sizes, but some of the trends from 2020-21 will remain, such as virtual and hybrid events. Time will tell how long these types of events will remain popular, but one thing is for sure: people can’t wait to move back towards larger events.