What does the year bring for the event industry 2022?

Will events continue to be purely digital this year, or can the event industry go back to live events in 2022?

Currently, the shaky hand rules, both in politics and the financial markets and in the 2022 event industry. It seems that “nothing is known for sure” is the current mantra when talking about where the journey will take us in 2022. There is a definite lack of targeted and profound impetus from policymakers as to the direction of action to combat Corona in the coming weeks. The sword of Damocles hanging over the event industry is the regulation on short-time working benefits, which ends on March 31. It is therefore hardly surprising that the entire industry is making a shaky and cautious start to the year.

Two years of purely digital events - Will live events be possible again in 2022?

After an unprecedented complete fireworks display in the fall with purely digital events, calm has returned to the market. The question of how to proceed with the events currently prevails from country to country. Will only digital formats be possible in 2022 as well, or will live events also be able to celebrate the longed-for revival? Expectant appears the silence, on which the first gives the starting signal to celebrate fireworks of the return of an entire industry. Will it be a policy stimulus? Will it be a major international event like the Olympics? Who fires the starting shot?

For organizers as well as participants of business events, there are also further questions concerning the concept and the implementation of the event. Can we still go live? Are my participants coming to my event physically or are they all already used to digital?

It is clear that after two years of purely digital events, organizers will return to face-to-face events. To personal encounters and interpersonal exchange. However, it is just as clear that the digitization of the industry can no longer be reversed and that various event formats are only justified in purely digital terms. Whoever still has trees cut down for paper production in 2022 for the printing of their event program will lose the acceptance of their target group. The latter has come to appreciate far too much the convenience of digital tools such as event apps and digital platforms.

Advantages of digitization in the event industry

For event organizers, digital solutions continue to enable you to increase the reach of your events, even if a large portion of attendees attend the event live. There will still be a large number of participants who cannot, may not or do not wish to travel. However, reaching this target group remains highly important for the success of event organizers.

Controllers have learned that not every business trip and every physical presence of an employee is really necessary, why should this view change after returning to live events. And so business travel will continue to be scrutinized in terms of your output. At the same time, potential event participants do not always have the interest to travel for an event lasting one or more days in order to spend evenings alone in hotel rooms. The same event can be accompanied from the workroom and spend time with family in the evening.

Setup for a digital event or hybrid event

Another aspect is that certain participants may not be able to attend an event for scheduling reasons, but may well have time for individual presentations and workshops. Integrating and involving these participants enables the organizers to achieve a higher-quality implementation and to address the entire target group. However, such an implementation is only possible if digital participation options continue to be conceptually integrated into the event. The buzzword here is the hybrid implementation of events – the connection of digital and live participants via elements of digital and live communication.

Are hybrid events worth it?

Many event organizers calculate that hybrid implementations are twice as expensive as live or purely virtual events. However, doubling the cost is an overstatement and ignores the actual effort required to integrate digital elements as well as the increased reach to the target audience through hybridization.

Of course, more money has to be invested technically to make the production accessible to non-live participants as well as to play it out digitally via live stream or videoconferencing. At the same time, there is the possibility of recording the entire event and the resulting further marketing of content via video-on-demand.

Another aspect cited as a cost driver is the implementation of a digital platform for participants. This is countered by the fact that live participants are also informed about the program and bookable workshops. Participant lists can be used to offer further interaction options such as voting, chat and social feeds. Both can be combined with a solution like Polario. Native apps for live participants and a digital platform for remote participants, without incurring higher costs. At the same time, the two types of participants can be connected via a tool and brought into interaction and exchange, thus increasing the quality of the event for each participant.

Digitization in the event industry enables global networking of target groupsand an expansion of opportunities for event organizers. The event industry 2022 is eagerly awaiting the starting signal for another great year in which events and digitization will grow together.

And so one thing remains: Digital has come to stay. Combining live events with digitalization is the new challenge for the event organizer. The passion of plazz AG.

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