The Latest New Trends for Impactful Virtual Events in 2022 and Beyond

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hybrid events

By Viviane Lima and Mellisa Blakemore, Customer Support Specialists, Accelevents

Events have really evolved like crazy over the past two years. From in-person events, virtual events, and even hybrid events, there is an event type to satisfy all the different needs of event planners and their attendees.

While these events continue to change form and format, so do the trends that follow them. Here are a couple of notes about the latest crazes in event happenings.

Hybrid events aren’t going anywhere

Hybrid events combine live and virtual elements, all of which offer a host of benefits. A few of these benefits include increased reach and attendance, more accessible access to data and insights, flexibility, and a reduced environmental impact. Many organizers have chosen to host a combination of an in-person event with virtual sessions to create a hybrid experience. This allows attendees worldwide to ‘attend’ the event without having to physically be there in person while also satisfying the desire for those that can and want to attend on-site.

Hybrid events offer the ultimate in convenience when it comes to viewing and participating in events. This wave of hybrid events is a promising craze as organizers are significantly more interested in hosting this dynamic event type. According to recent research, 63% of companies with between 2,000 and 5,000 employees consider hybrid events in part of their event plans moving forward. This number is even more significant when it comes to larger companies with more than 5,000 employees, as 71% say they’re increasing their hybrid events offerings.

Data collection is a value driver for sponsors/exhibitors

Sponsors and exhibitors are also getting used to the “new normal” of hybrid events. They are participating in events to showcase their brand, receiving data available for prospective customers, and increasing profitability in the form of lead capturing. Analytics are beneficial as they can provide contact information of a brand new set of target customers for their products or services. The more data to be shared, the more likely that the company can make money during and post events.

Data for exhibitors could include a listing of visitors to their exhibitor booth, a list of attendees who requested more information about their products and services, and what documents or links hosted in the booth were clicked on by attendees. Exhibitors could also see how much time an attendee spent in their booth and whether they interacted in the chat.

Exhibitors can also interact with attendees in real-time to promote their company and create more interest from leads. Event organizers can opt to include brand visibility of their sponsors within their events through strategically placed ads. This is a highly effective way to promote company awareness before, during, and after an event.

Event technology will be at the forefront for event planners

Experts predict that the 2022 events centerpiece is smart technology and a sense of community interconnection. Forward-thinking event management platforms bringing that “nurture your community” and “choose-your-adventure” style of engagement tend to result in a huge success. Engagement features such as online networking, for example, enable attendees to have a more “real” feeling of interaction, allowing them to make connections for either professional or casual purposes.

Smaller, more frequent events will be the trend

Throughout 2021, we observed an increase in the number of smaller but more frequent events. On the customer side, they have more autonomy in choosing how they want to spend their time. Conversely, one of the benefits for organizers when hosting smaller events is the reduced amount of time to organize it compared to a larger event. These smaller events also help to prevent virtual meeting fatigue.

More frequent events also allow companies to keep in touch with their customers more often, which also means delivering the most up-to-date product offerings and features. At the same time, smaller events can also be organized with shorter notice, which can be a great advantage considering COVID-19 restrictions that are constantly changing.

More changes will be forthcoming in the event space

As we’ve seen over the past two years, change is the only constant in the event space. We can expect to see more changes coming. They will likely be in the form of more experiential experiences, such as built-in closed captioning offerings and sessions that allow the audience to participate.

The thing that will never change about an event, however, is the attendee's desire to really connect with the speakers, the audience, and the exhibitors and sponsors. And the very best event management platforms will need to keep pace with these growing demands from savvy event marketers.

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