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Trend Alert! As we come to the end of another year, companies and event planners are emerging smarter, more creative, and more motivated to face the challenges of an ever-changing event landscape. Looking ahead in to 2022, here are a few things we’re expecting to see.

Virtual & hybrid events are here to stay.

Too many people enjoy these alternatives to simply abandon them. What organizers need to remember is to fit the style of the event to the purpose of the event.

Is in-person attendance actually necessary? Can the same outcome be achieved through digital means? Does it make sense for the budget to do one vs the other? The answers to these questions and others like them will help identify the right choice for each gathering.

Year-round planning.

Related to the above, it’s increasingly a good idea to have a dedicated team attending to event planning all year round, not just in the weeks or months leading up to an event.

This is especially true if your organization hosts multiple events throughout the year. Looking at your calendar from a year’s view might give you opportunities to save through economies of scale, take advantage of off-season or shoulder-season pricing, and more.

Safety still counts.

Whether it’s another variant of COVID-19 or a new infectious threat, the safety of guests will continue to be a dominant consideration for all events. As such, outdoor venues, enhanced food-service protocols, limiting or staging attendance, and cleanliness and sanitation certifications will be sticking around for some time.

Technology integration is coming, and coming fast.

As we’ve adopted tech enhancements in both live and digital event spaces, clever marketers are seeing opportunities to capture leads, insert purchase drivers, and establish sales relationships as seamless points throughout the event. This is likely to be a high-growth initiative for many companies who are eager to recoup losses from 2020 and 2021 and want to be highly activated in their event spaces, among customers, clients, and contacts who have already show an affinity for the brand.

Corporate travel isn’t back to full speed… yet.

Until a time when the whole world is sharing the same travel standards, there are going to be shifting boundaries around corporate travel. So, teams need to be prepared with fallback plans and last-minute alternatives. Staying local and regional can help considerably, as can new technologies like virtual and augmented reality which recreate the in-person mingle factor, in a totally digital realm.

It Can’t ALL be Zoom. Let’s be real.

The novelty of Zoom has worn off for many of us. That’s why produced and/or On Demand content is changing the way virtual and hybrid events function.

But consider this: Does it have to have video at all? According to industry experts, US podcast listenership increase 10% from 2020 to 2021 to become more than 117 million active listeners. That’s a third of the entire US population and 60% of adults between the ages of 18 and 34. Why not serve up a podcast-style event as a welcome break from a screen full of squares?

About the VIBE Agency: The VIBE Agency is a Miami-based award-winning full-service production agency that specializes in the creation and orchestration of live and virtual experiences for the corporate industry.

The agency is forward-thinking and was recognized as one of the 50 top event companies by Special Events magazine in 2019 and 2020.  Most recently, Valerie Bihet, founder of the VIBE was named a Smart Women in Meetings 2021 Hall of Fame honoree by Smartmeetings, for her consistent work advancing the industry.  If it can’t be live, make it VIBE!

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