We all know the meetings and events industry was hit hard by the pandemic. Therefore, many planning pros spent countless hours learning and navigating a new approach to meetings. Most groups shifted to hosting virtual meetings to a greater or lesser degree and learned it is a valuable way to connect, share information, and educate attendees.
Undoubtedly, as we venture out to do In-Person meetings and events once again, many things have changed permanently.
Let’s look back at how 2021 was affected and look forward to what meetings and events are predicted to look like in Meetings Moving Forward 2022:
The Impact of COVID-19
In March of 2020, in-person meetings slowly became non-existent. Many meeting and event professionals were canceling their events or quickly pivoting everything they had planned to go virtual. As of November 2020, 52% of event professionals had lost income as a result of the pandemic, while 11% have been furloughed and 10% have been laid off (EventMB, 2020). The impact of COVID-19 forced an extraordinary level of change in our industry, to say the least.
As 2021 approached, many people saw the benefits of a virtual meeting. On the other hand, others experienced “zoom fatigue.” Attendees were craving the networking experience and connection an in-person meeting brings. Finally, after many months, in-person meetings slowly returned with new COVID-19 restrictions and safety protocols.
Now, here we are, approaching 2022 with a mix of optimism and caution.
2021 Meeting and Event Trends That Stayed True
Virtual and Hybrid Meetings are Here to Stay
Virtual meetings grew in popularity as they became a necessity to keep meeting end evets alive. Due to the countless benefits many have found, virtual and hybrid meetings are here to stay. Learn more about the benefits of hosting a virtual or hybrid meeting:
Technology is a Huge Asset to the Meeting Planning Process
Technology tools are advancing. As a result, industry professionals use technology to assist with planning, registration, attendee engagement, branding, and more. This idea of using technology to assist and produce a meeting has only scratched the surface and will continue to grow. Learn beginner tech tools that can assist in your next meeting:
Creating Interactive Experiences
It is important to create experiences and activities at your meetings and events. Attendees are craving networking opportunities to feel connected with others. Whether your meeting is in-person, hybrid, or virtual, it should provide intentional experiences from pre-event to post-event. Here are some tips and tricks to engage your attendees:
Marketing is Key to Driving Registrations
Every event (in-person, hybrid, or virtual) requires pre-event marketing. It’s so important to reach your audience and build excitement for your upcoming meeting or event. Event promotions build trust with potential attendees. As a result, your potential attendees will have confidence that your event will meet their needs when they register. Check out these basic marketing tips and tricks for upcoming meetings:
What Meetings and Events Will Look Like in 2022
After we learned, developed, and re-imagined during the pandemic, what trends will emerge in 2022?
First, hybrid meetings will continue to refine to create impactful experiences for attendees whether they choose an in-person or virtual experience.
Secondly, new job positions will be coming to light as meetings and events evolve and change.
Next, expectations of pre-pandemic service levels need adjusting. For example, the hospitality industry was hit hard by the pandemic and many employees permanently left for other careers. As our meeting partners work to hire and train new staff, your patience and understanding are vital.
Lastly, consumers will be more conscientious of both the cleaning/health measures and the environmental impact practices of their meeting partners: planners, venues, caterers, transportation, etc.
Meetings and events are continually evolving with each new challenge and innovation. Furthermore, it is important to stay up to date with current trends and new skillsets needed to successfully plan a meeting.
You need a partner who can deliver results. May we suggest The LaClare Group as your partner?
For a free consultation about your next meeting or event, contact email@example.com.
Your success is our mission