Annett Polaszewski-Plath, CEO of To interpret, shares 5 event trends to watch in 2022.
2021 has been a year full of uncertainty and disruption for event planners. But as shutdowns forced event organizers to move their events online, an overwhelming majority of event organizers and attendees have embraced new digital services and tools to better accommodate this.
Online events have never been more popular, with 73% of event organizers looking to offer hybrid or online events in 2022 according to a recent Interprefy report. But increased standards for online events mean audiences are less tolerant of error, adding pressure on event managers to create professional and elegant events.
2022 will bring with it new challenges, new trends and new innovations. For event planners, embracing five key changes will be crucial to creating successful and memorable events in the new year.
1. The future is hybrid
While a significant number of people wish to return to events on site, EventMB Reports that 71% of event planners will continue to offer virtual access to their events. Offering a best of both worlds approach, hybrid events allow organizations to reach audiences virtually and at scale while providing an on-site component with space for privacy and informal networking. The organizers have realized that there is a huge difference between hosting high-quality hybrid events and simply streaming your event online. For example, 81% of event planners consider providing networking opportunities to be crucial to creating satisfying hybrid events according to research by Markletic.
To deliver these next-level hybrid events, planners unlock event functionality by integrating different tools and platforms. But connecting them together will be important in delivering these benefits, as these tools need to work together to create smooth and enjoyable event experiences.
2. Online and offline security
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the potential emergence of new variants, more than three-quarters (78%) of event planners consider alleviating attendees’ concerns about COVID safety crucial for events hybrids, according to an Interprefy study. Even though online events give attendees the ability to attend from the safety of their homes, organizers are responsible for safeguarding a huge amount of attendee and speaker data, making cybersecurity another major concern. .
Every device, software, or user account is a potential entry point into your virtual event. To minimize the risk of hacking, train your staff in cybersecurity best practices, adopt two-factor authentication, and learn how to spot questionable online activity like suspicious emails. The next step is to only use trusted digital platforms and tools that have the proper cybersecurity protocols and accreditations. For example, companies that comply with ISO 27001 follow strict and secure frameworks when handling data and are much more reliable than those that are not.
3. Audiences will demand better event experiences
84% of event planners agree that the attendee experience remains a crucial factor in creating successful events and that technology remains essential to enable new event experiences.
Tools such as online ticketing, remote registration, seating and real-time interpretation all added to the overall experience. The more event managers respond to the needs of attendees and provide them with ways to better engage, the more valuable and memorable the event will be. Because the success of an event is not only measured by the number of people present, but also by the quality of their experiences and the fact that these people felt involved.
Participants want to be able to communicate with each other, ask questions and engage with speakers. They want to get their questions answered, actively participate (rather than just listen), and build new relationships. Providing features like real-time chat can help improve audience engagement while giving event managers crucial insights and feedback. Gamification techniques, such as challenges, point systems, or completion bars, can also turn events into interactive experiences through game mechanics.
4. Event audiences are an ocean, not a pool
Increased access to virtual events means attendees can be drawn to a large multinational audience. But to attract a wider audience, you need to be able to speak their language – literally. Removing language barriers is the most impactful factor in reaching a global audience. If your event is primarily in English but potential speakers from Germany, France and Spain wish to attend, event managers should provide real-time translation services to increase attendance.
Any concerns about budget allocation and hiring multiple interpreters for events dissipate when event managers realize that global attendees are much more likely to register if they see that content will be offered in their language. maternal. Additionally, there are many easy-to-use interpreter solutions, and one of the reasons why 80% of event managers are planning multilingual events in 2022.
5. Increase inclusiveness and diversity
According to our latest research on event trends, 65% of event managers agree that increasing event diversity and inclusion becomes imperative to running successful events. For event planners, it’s an opportunity to add depth to your event by celebrating diverse perspectives. But what can planners do to create inclusive and accessible events?
To ensure diversity, try to avoid unconscious bias in the speaker selection process, as people may be more likely to attend if they see a diverse panel of speakers. Consider forming a selection committee from a diverse group of people or selecting expert speakers based on their different backgrounds. Language and accessibility are also crucial to fostering a better atmosphere at an event. Try to use non-discriminatory language in all your communications, for example using neutral words instead of less inclusive words. Choose a space with elevators and wheelchair ramps for people with reduced mobility, while for virtual events, aim to use platforms that facilitate access for attendees with visual or hearing impairments.
To look forward
Knowing the trends that define the event management industry will allow event managers to use them and create experiences that resonate more with their audience, but it’s impossible to implement all of these changes at once.
Event managers should take a measured approach to how they change and improve their events. Among the trends outlined above, there are a few that can be implemented in the short term to make events more enjoyable, immersive, and accessible.
First, make sure your technology is fit for purpose (and works seamlessly with your other digital tools) and plan your events to maximize audience experiences and engagement. And be sure to focus on creating safe and comfortable event spaces while using interpretive technology to diversify your audience, remove barriers to entry, and increase engagement.