Continued uncertainty is the trend that has overshadowed all of the trends we identified in our 2022 Event Trends report. It’s not going anywhere. Many questions remain about the future of the event industry, even if or when we move from a pandemic to an epidemic stage. We don’t have a crystal ball, so we are limited to asking event industry leaders and business leaders for their thoughts and, more importantly, their approach to business planning in 2022 and beyond.
No one leader has all the answers. Only a broad perspective and multiple perspectives will allow us to have a balanced view towards 2022. We explored the most important factors that will influence the future shape of the event industry in preparation for the virtual summit.
EFFECTS FROM THE PANDEMIC: NEW PROJECTS AND WORK STRUCTURES
Michael Dominguez (President & CEO of Associated Luxury Hotels International) has spent much of the Covid pandemic researching and sharing information on the virus and its effects on the event industry. He has been a great resource for clients and colleagues. He has seen how the workforce has changed over time and affects teams and company structures. Michael also discovered new business opportunities during the Covid pandemic.
SXSW: A CASE STUDY OF SUCCESSFUL EVENT EXPERIENCES HYBRID HYBRID
Hugh Forrest (Chairman of the Programming Office at South by Southwest) played an integral role in nearly every SXSW festival. Extreme departures from the norm were the last-minute cancellations of the 2020 edition and the virtual 2021 edition. On March 11, the 2022 edition will open its doors in Austin. It will offer an enhanced online experience and an in-person experience. Hugh will discuss the SXSW team’s efforts to bring together the best online and in-person experiences.
EVENT AGENCIES – THE AGILE MODELS FOR BUSINESS OF TOMORROW
Three of the most prominent event agencies worldwide will be sharing their insights about how they have developed new business models that are agile and flexible. Fiona Bruder (President at GPJ), Oscar Cerezales (Chair Strategy Officer at MCI Group) and Steve O’Malley (Enterprise Vice President & COO of Maritz Global Events) will share details about the business, their people, and the technology that propels them forward.
ASSOCIATIONS: NEW PARADIGMS FOR MEMBER AND NON MEMBER ENGAGEMENT
Sherrif Karamat (President and CEO of the PCMA) and Senthil Gopinath (CEO at ICCA) will discuss members’ current needs and wants in the event industry. We will be looking at the changing needs of members and the value proposition that events must deliver to ensure their continued success beyond 2022.
TRADE SHOWS: INNOVATIONS AND ADAPTATIONS
Renowned trade show organizers Carina Baur, CEO of IMEX Group and David Audrain, CEO at SISO, will share their experiences organizing successful trade shows during this pandemic. They will talk about what has changed in terms of technology and organizing and how these impacts show organizers.
EVENT MARKETING – VALUE-BASED INTERESTS AND STRATEGIES
David Allison, the creator of The Valuegraphics Project, shares concrete examples and insight on using the values-based market to increase registrations. This area is extremely valuable for event organizers when increasing registration numbers can be more difficult.
HYBRID AND REMOTE WORK – BUSINESS MEETINGS AND VENUES TRANSFORMED
The pandemic has seen dramatic changes in the workplace, with remote work being explored across the globe. Anh Nguyen (Head of Community Engagement at twine) and Caleb Parker (Founder of Bold) are experts who have studied this trend and can now see its effects on their business. Both will share their perspectives on event tech and coworking spaces to share insights about how new workplace models impact the event industry.
EVENT COMMUNITIES 2022 IS THE YEAR FOR 365-DAY ENGAGEMENT
Online communities are now in their future. It is time to redefine events as milestones on the “always-on” attendee journey. Nolan Ether will be sharing everything, from concepts to practical advice about community management and tips and tricks on how to use tech, as the Content Marketing Leader at Socio.
CONTINUED UNCERTAINTY – AGILE EVENT PLANNING
Jennifer Kellogg (Vice President of Operations at MeetingPlay) will discuss the importance of agile event planners. She will also provide a step-by-step guide on working with event tech providers to maximize flexibility. Jennifer will discuss how to create adaptable teams, communicate proactively rather than reactively, and negotiate future-ready event contracts.
EVENT ENGAGEMENT – LEVELING UP EVENT EXPERIENCES ABROAD FORMATS
Engagement is not new. However, virtual and hybrid events require new solutions and improvements. No matter how technological advances may be made, the desire to experience new things is constant. Devin Cleary, Vice President, Global Events at Bizzabo, will share his experience formula, which taps into that virtual drive regardless of the event format.
EVENT STRATEGIES – ADAPTING TO AUDIENCE NEEDS
Many organizations are shifting their focus from hosting large events annually to hosting smaller events throughout the year. This requires an event strategy that is flexible and adaptable to the needs of their audience. Notified President Ben Chodor will give event planners practical advice and tactical tips during times of uncertainty.