Here at Flock, we see the value in physical events, and like many others in the event industry, we have missed their presence. We know that you have anticipated the rush of in-person events for long enough. The time has finally arrived to dive back into the world of face-to-face interactions, but before doing so, we need to understand that events have undergone some major changes.

If you are thinking about hosting a physical event in this new post-pandemic world, here are five top trends to keep in mind.

Top Event Trends to Look Out for in 2022

1. Data Driven Events 

Data strategies is the holy grail of event planning in 2022. Event planners will build events around data collected from physical and digital audiences to create shows and conferences that deliver better customer experiences.

Using attendee data can bring us closer to an ideal event in the future, from optimising the layout plan to speaker recommendations and content planning.

2. Eco-Friendliness 

Across the globe we are witnessing many companies’ massive shift towards sustainability, while businesses in the event industry are no exception. Many companies within the eventing industry are choosing to commit to more sustainable business practices.

Event professionals are working towards creating a circular economy by incorporating items into their events that can be reused or recycled after the event.

Planners are also keeping travelling to a minimum, because recent studies indicate that travel is responsible for 85% of an Event’s carbon footprint. Companies are reducing the environmental impact of event travel through hosting smaller in-person events, more frequently in many diffirent locations. They are also booking corporate events closer to home, and incorporating hybrid events. 

3. Emotional authenticity

Event planners are no stranger to the old saying, “go big or go home,” and while there is still a place for large scale, tentpole events, audiences are now demanding something different. After two years of attending virtual events from the comfort of their own homes, attendees are left with a craving for the unfiltered, honest version of just about anything. 

Experts agree that micro-events are more valuable than putting a bunch of people in a room to listen to a speaker that they could have listened to on a podcast. Intimate events like workshops, and other participatory activities act as an authentic catalyst for marketers to engage with their audience and connect with them emotionally. 

4. Sophisticated Food and Beverage Options

The food and beverage landscape has been evolving for decades, and the age old question, “chicken, steak or fish,” is simply not relevant anymore. Providing options for a range of dietary requirements has become a necessity. This has, however, posed specific challenges for those designing the food and beverage experience at physical events.

On-site attendees have become more demanding in many ways, and the complexity of delivering on these demands is real, but rewarding. Paying attention to what attendees want will create an inclusive environment, where guests will get a sense of belonging and closeness. On the other hand, ignoring these demands can be detrimental, as it will leave your guests feeling excluded from being catered to. 

While event food and beverage options will be served with dietary requirements and preferences in mind, we are also going to see attendees being served tastier, more mouthwatering meals that will communicate a sense of security in how the food was prepared. 

5. Hybrid experiences

Over the last two years, we have experienced extreme advances in event technology. Moving forward, each in-person event will likely have an online component to it, leading to the blinding of hybrid event experiences. In 2022 we will see more audience members move freely between in-person or virtual engagement using devices, regardless of their physical location.

Ultimately, hosting hybrid events will become less about catering for two different audiences and more about integrating two separate technologies.

Key Takeaways

2022 is the year of creating experiences to help us feel closer than ever before. So, let’s test, explore, and stretch these new event trends to the limits. 

The future is very unpredictable, but one thing is certain: event planners are more innovative than ever and they are ready to take event planning to the next level.

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