Resources

Blog Post

Our Top 5 Event Industry Trends to Look Out for in 2022 & Beyond!

From decimation to determination – The event industry and related trends have taken a fair share of hits over the last few years – with losses of a little over 81% of the pre-pandemic valuation of £70bn to the UK economy. From a more global lens, the $1.5trillion rated sector is not expected to fully recover until 2023 at the very least – Allowing 2022 to be the year of revival – the year of hope.

However, we are now in the midst of a very real, phoenix-from-the-flames revival, with COVID restrictions being lifted across the board and consumer confidence on the steady rise – it seems to be time for the long-awaited rebirth of the UK event’s industry. A rebirth that has brought forth technological and operational evolutions that would have ordinarily taken years to develop and implement – ushering in a new age of UK event culture.

This is further compounded by the fact that the industry is set to experience a global compound annual growth rate of 11.2% between 2021-2028.

Will virtual go viral? Will Meta make its mark? Check out our top 5 event industry trend predictions for 2022.

Hybrid Hangouts

To the surprise of absolutely nobody in the industry, the COVID-fuelled reactionary evolution of hybridisation is set to stay in a big way. Born out of necessity at the time, managing venue capacities and moving them, at least partially online was a masterstroke – despite the sector not being TOTALLY ready for this transition.

Now we’re (fingers firmly crossed) on the other side of the pandemic, the implementation of hybrid platforms for almost all events is something we are increasingly likely to see – with 97% of respondents to a survey by Bizzabo expecting to see more hybrid events going forward.

Taking London as an example – early reports are suggesting that in-person & hybrid events have increased 231% month-by-month already this year.

When the upsides of attracting more visitors than your venues can facilitate in person, creating more revenue than you would ordinarily generate through the inclusion of virtual options – This one really does seem to be a no-brainer as an industry trend set to remain for the long-haul!

Top 5 Trends in the Events Industry 2022 - Hybrid

Make Mine a Meta

As with hybridisation – the pandemic has not only shaped this next prediction, but also expedited it significantly. This can clearly be seen through the statistics that pre-pandemic, a mere 45% of people attended a virtual event, compared to the 87% that have now – A trend that is set to see 90% of event organises to plan more virtual events in 2022.

But what is Meta? Said to be the next evolution of the ‘online space’ – taking an online event attendee from merely watching on their screen to being fully immersed in virtual reality, tailor made environments and cutting-edge offerings. This is set to include full 360-degree VR supported exploration – truly the pinnacle of entertainment technology as we know it.

But why?

The ability – as with hybridisation – to increase your event capacity by an unlimited number, generate bottomless revenue through ‘upgrades’ and having the artistic licence to create your event environment only limited to your own imagination. This really is the beginning of the next chapter of Technology & the Event Industry as we know it – watch this space.

Business-Social 

With just over 1.3million business events held in the UK annually – accruing just under £40billion in direct attendee spend, there really is no flying under the radar for this sub-sector of the events industry.

The value to the UK economy, pre-pandemic at least, was £19.9billion – the highest category in the events sector. So why expect anything less than a complete resurgence!

A recent study published by Cities Restart has estimated a whopping 43% increase in business events by 2026 – re-establishing itself as the top-dog of the industry and perhaps adopting hybrid methods along the way to further capitalise on the earning potential that this great staple of British business sorely deserves.

Top 5 Trends in the Events Industry 2022 - Business Event

Safety First

Perhaps a trend almost so obvious that complacency may lead to it being missed off many other forecasting lists! Despite this, it is still a major movement we expect to see establish itself across all in-person, live events.

A 2021 study into the safety and precaution considerations prevalent amongst industry leaders found that 55% of planners considered safety concerns as top of their list of obstacles to hosting live events in the future.

However, with the recent news that the UK will be rolling back all mandatory COVID-related precautions effective now, this will at the very least lighten the load on the event planners – effectively allowing them to still promote personal safety whilst avoiding mandated regulations deterring attendees.

Never Mess with the Original

Some of us have already ventured into the realm of live events – jumping at the chance to get back to in-person revelry, professional networking, and everything in between. This is supported through research by Identity, highlighting a significant 80% of people have said they would like to attend  events in person within 2022.

This is not without a caveat or two, however – 96% consider pre-event health & safety measures to be communicated clearly to be ‘very necessary’ and a significant 6 in 10 believe handshakes should be considered prohibited.

Despite the very understandable, almost inherent worries of the general population in regards to capacity-filled events – the general consensus is that they are ready, willing, and altogether excited – not to ‘get back to normal’ but to forge ahead into the future of both virtual and live events.

Top 5 Trends in the Events Industry 2022 - In Person

Curtain Call

Our top five trends are all interconnected, sharing commonalities and themes that can be summed up simply.

This is an industry that has experienced forced rapid technological evolution and will go on to thrive, whilst the conscientious businesses in the industry reap the rewards of public confidence – supporting their desire to return to in-person events on mass.

Let’s start 2022 off as we mean to go on. Let’s make it eventful.

Contact us