Industry-leading experts from the International Live Events Association (ILEA) Europe chapter board have shared their predictions and trends for event industry in 2022.
Meltem Tepeler, President, TUED: Tailor-made experiences
“2022 will be the year of tailor-made and customized events and travels. Providing unique experiences will be the top trend in the travel and event industry. The demand for fully customized events to personalised tours from guests who look for private experiences linked their interests is rising across each industries.
“Experiences in Gastronomy, arts, literature, nature, history, and many other specific fields will be the subject of tailormade events and travels. The destinations should focus on creating unique experiences for the travelers as well as the event guests, while marketing themselves.”
Erica Pew, Client Services Director, Brands At Work: Audience engagement
"We’re seeing that virtual and hybrid events, while initially a short-term fix during the pandemic, are now forming a large part of our clients ongoing communication plans and event programming.
“On-demand is increasingly forming part of the omni-channel experience. It is an intuitive way for audiences to engage with content that matters most to them, in their own time. However, content needs to be memorable. Focused, humanised content, allowing attendees to build purposeful relationships and authentic, two-way interactive experiences will create the most captivating experiences.
“Done well, a 4-pillared approach with a great content strategy behind it will provide a dynamic toolkit to cascade messages to broader audiences, help companies attain wider audience reach."
Georgia Ward, Managing Director, Revive Marketing & PR: The comeback of experiential marketing
“As attendee numbers at events continue to rise, confidence slowly returns and virtual networking platforms cement their place in annual strategies, brands now have multiple opportunities to immerse their audiences and engage them through physical and digital experiences.
“According to research by HubSpot, 58% of marketers who currently leverage experiential marketing call it an effective strategy, while 48% of this group plans to increase experiential investments in 2022.
“Meetings, conferences and events, virtual or physical, provide brands with the ideal platform to test, engage and receive vital feedback, so marketers that are not considering or don’t understand how they can implement experiential marketing in 2022 are likely to lose out on market share compared to those are experimenting.”
Carlo Zoccali, Venue Director, Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre: The demand of reconnection
“Since the reopening of the meetings and events industry in summer 2021, we have seen the demand for face-to-face engagement across the industry grow and we don’t predict this will slow down, even with the latest implemented UK Government restrictions.
The appetite for the return of in-person events has enabled us the opportunity to develop and support a host of new conferences, exhibitions forums and showcases to reconnect innovative and international audiences and markets. Each of the events we have organised or hosted throughout the summer months, three of which were brand new launches to the market, have received resounding positive feedback from their attendees and partners, with the majority already selling tickets for their 2022 instalments and achieving an average exhibitor rebook rate of 70%.”
Jane Hague, Head of Business Development - Conferences & Events, ExCeL London: Work Hard, Play Harder
“One of the positive personal takeaways from our experience of the pandemic has been the renewed importance that we place on work-life balance. Across the globe people are demanding a more flexible, hybrid working week and, as a result, the role of the physical office is changing. Where we relied on people being physically present to foster the serendipitous moments so valuable to establishing workplace culture, professional development and team building, those opportunities must be re-imagined. Internal communications teams are challenged to provide a more considered and creative program of engagement ensuring collaboration and communication remain top of mind when interacting virtually. When people are together in person these need to be high-value experiences, be they company meetings, gatherings or live events.”
Cecilia Lavin, Sales Director, InEvent and Regional VP for ILEA EMEA
“There is an underlying uncertainty in the industry due to the ongoing variants of COVID which is still providing implications for events in various ways. Therefore, hybrid events are still key trend for 2022, with brands focusing increasingly on long term engagement and experiences with a strong focus on high quality production. Hybrid events provides opportunities for wider reach with an option of doing localised live events in-line with current Government restrictions as part of a ‘asynchronous delivery’, providing further flexibility for both the organiser and audience.
“We also need to ensure we focus on things that may not necessarily relate to event delivery trends, such as putting sustainability on the top of the agenda again and responding and taking action in regard to the great resignation. We need to make our industry an attractive career path and focus on the next generation of event professionals and bridge those gaps.”
Georgia Cross, PR and Campaign Manager, Cheerful Twentyfirst: Emerging event formats will remedy audience disengagement and disconnection
“Workforces are feeling a dramatic culture pinch from remote working, and live events can plug the gap. Cheerful Twentyfirst's Brand Playbook report found that 70% of audiences see team culture as the biggest challenge to employee engagement in the next 12 months. Event formats are evolving in tandem to meet the new engagement needs of a post-pandemic employee mix. Key event formats in 2022 will be models that prioritise building connection over learning, invest in forum-driven and community value and a shift from individual experiences into shared outcomes. The full report is available here.”
For more information on ILEA Europe, click here.