What Will Events Look Like in 2022

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Back in 2020, the events industry almost came to a complete halt. Many events-based businesses had stopped welcoming people through the doors and conference centres, events organisers and suppliers had to stop most of their trade too. This took a massive hit on events, however, thanks to technology, many businesses started to take their events online through virtual calls, interactive activities, and even virtual reality events!

Now that the world is getting a bit more ‘normal’, we wanted to explore what events could look like in 2022. Are virtual events the future or will in-person events take precedence again.

In-Person Events

Our next in-person event is taking place from the 11th – 14th May 2022 in Washington D.C. There is lots planned for the event and tickets are on sale now. Find out more and book your ticket here.

In-person events are back! Many businesses around the world have been given the go ahead to start welcoming guests to their events once again. In-person events offer an unrivalled experience in regards to engagement. Many hosts, such as trade shows view in-person events as a crucial element to their business model. Being able to have face-to-face conversations with people, allow attendees to sample products, build trust and is ultimately more likely to lead to success than attempting this virtually.

Our in-person events are an important part of our network’s success. We like our members to meet each other and develop organic professional relationships. In this regard, our face-face events are hugely important to us, and we are glad that we are able to host these again!

Virtual Events

Our next Virtual Event, ‘Succeeding Virtually – The IR Method’ is taking place from the 14th – 25th February 2022. Find out what’s going on at the event and book your place on the sessions here.

When people think of virtual events, they automatically associate them as a ‘temporary’ fix to issues which in-person events caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, however, online events have been a part of the industry for many years and it has been pretty undervalued!

The COVID-19 pandemic, if anything, opened many businesses eyes to the idea that virtual events have a place alongside in-person events. In-person events are great but just like ours, there is a limited availability and dependent on the location, it can be difficult for some members to ever meet at an event. Virtual events allow more remote members the opportunity to network and get more involved and it can help in being a lot less limited regarding attendee numbers, timescales and topics. As the events are virtual, they can be more fluid.

We believe that virtual events will continue to be a big part of the industry throughout 2022 and we don’t see this changing anytime soon.

Hybrid Events

Just like a car, we had petrol (In-Person Events), Electric (Virtual Events) and now we have hybrid! Now that’s not strictly true as hybrid event styles have also been around to some extent, but they have increased massively in popularity over the past few years.

Now that in-person events are taking place again, more businesses are looking into ways to utilise both live and virtual events to make them more accessible. A hybrid event is essentially a live event with a virtual component added to it, allowing people to attend events but engage with people who are attending virtually, making the event engaging for everyone, no matter where they are. Dependent on the type of event, this isn’t always possible, but it could be a good thing to consider if you have people attending your events from all over the world. It really opens your events and takes advantage of new technology. Some events companies may even be looking into how virtual reality can play a role in future hybrid events!

The future

In-person events will continue to make their comeback throughout 2022, however, technology is going to be a huge part of the industry for the foreseeable future. It’s highly likely that as event tech advances, we could expect to see even more innovative event styles that take advantage of both live and virtual based events.

With the metaverse likely to become a huge game-changer across many industries, we could see this along with other forms of virtual reality and artificial intelligence supporting face-to-face events in the future!

Overall, for all of its detriment, the pandemic has helped many businesses worldwide open up to the idea of utilising technology and move away from purely traditional forms of engagement and interaction, this will continue throughout this year. We enjoy taking advantage of both event methods and find them both helpful for engaging with our members and offering important networking opportunities that make IR Global so great.