The event industry is one of the most rapidly evolving spaces in today’s already fast-paced world. It takes an experienced company like OVATION to stay on top of what’s trending. We are constantly researching the newest elements of design, creative, technology, and audience experience to provide the most unique and mind-blowing event services to our clients. We’ve put together a list of some of the hottest trends of 2022 that keep attendees enthralled and guarantee your event is a success.
2022 Trends that are Winning Over Event Audiences
- Hybrid Events – The newest event trend is twice the experience.
- Flexibility and Safety – The power to pivot at a moment’s notice.
- Micro Events – Let’s get personal.
- Storytelling – Increase your emotional return on investment.
- Event Technology – Bring your audience with you to the future.
The Hybrid Event Experience is Here to Stay
The hybrid event isn’t new, but it exploded in popularity because of the need for a dual audience approach as the world slowly opened up. Although the initial appeal was the practicality of reaching audiences who couldn’t attend in person, the hybrid event has evolved to offer a wide array of social and financial advantages. According to GitHub Director of Corporate Events Karen Hartline “I think every in-person event has to have an online component to it going forward.”
The virtual component of a dual approach allows an event to reach people across the globe, creating a community for the audience and flexibility for you if the sudden need to go fully virtual arises. Companies are also discovering huge cost savings on travel, accommodations, and other in-person expenses. And event industry leaders like OVATION have developed monetization strategies that let the benefits of a hybrid event live on after execution. Now all the hard work and incredible content that went into your event can be accessed anytime for inspiration and planning or monetized for training, analytics, and more.
It takes months of planning to pull off an epic hybrid event. The beauty and challenge of a hybrid event is that you are catering to two audiences simultaneously. Luckily OVATION was orchestrating hybrid events long before virtual became the norm, so they have the experience and passion to perfectly execute the dual audience approach.
Twice the audience can mean twice the challenges. Consider these factors of a hybrid event:
- Enrollment at the venue + virtual sign in
- Lights, sounds, and A/V + seamless streaming and engaging virtual spaces
- Content that can engage on stage + through a screen
- Troubleshooting teams on-site + IT solutions to help virtual audiences
- Making attendees feel seen and part of a community through a screen
- Timing, timing, timing
OVATION uses its proprietary technology and 10+ years of hybrid event planning and execution experience to engage and inspire every attendee, a difficult feat in the dual audience event space. As an experienced and hyper detail-oriented event production company, OVATION will plan for every possible scenario and have a solution prepared ahead of time. They’ll manage the entire hybrid event planning and execution process so you can focus on wowing the audience with your message. An event that bridges the digital and physical worlds is not one-size-fits-all, but with the right partner, they offer infinite possibilities for the most amazing events imaginable.
Flexibility & Safety In The Post Apocalypse
According to the Agency EA Report “THE 2022 STATE OF EXPERIENTIAL RESEARCH STUDY FINDINGS”, 81% of B2B and B2C companies are planning in-person events for 2022. What you may find surprising is that 76% of companies were also planning that in July of 2021, before the Omnicron variant swept the US and changed a lot of plans. Because large in-person events can take months to plan, event planners will need contingency plans for reducing the number of attendees, switching to outdoors-only venues, or choosing to plan hybrid events that can be adapted to fully virtual if necessary. Flexibility will be a non-negotiable factor in event planning for the foreseeable future. Safety measures like contactless QR code registration and sign-in, vaccination status apps, onsite rapid testing, and contact tracing are critical components of an in-person event strategy. But planning for the unexpected is the most important thing you can do. OVATION has the expertise and attention to detail to prepare for the unexpected. But they’re also flexible enough to pivot when the unforeseen inevitably occurs, leveraging their strategic partnerships and superior technology to produce incredible results in days, or even hours.
Micro Events Offers A Unique Connection To The Audience
The micro event, which typically involves 10 to 100 live attendees, feels more like a throwback to the distant past when compared to futuristic virtual and hybrid events. And that may be the whole point, as people come out of the pandemic searching for community and connection. Besides meeting lingering pandemic-era capacity requirements and easing audiences back into live events comfortably and safely, a micro event can be a special experience tailored to your audience, which makes it more impactful and memorable. They’re also a geographical reality of the pandemic. Mark Cooper, CEO of the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC), explains the appeal as companies settle into the new reality of a dispersed, remote audience:
“The micro-event is a format that we anticipate will be more in demand, especially as organizations decentralize from a single location where they would have had one large conference.”
Micro events are reported to produce a greater ROI because you can typically deliver your main selling point directly to an individual or small group in these more intimate events. Increased engagement, authenticity and community are all reported benefits of the micro event trend. Micro events are also a natural cost-saving alternative to massive macro events. Having an experienced event production partner like OVATION becomes even more critical when producing events on a smaller scale because smaller budgets leave less room for error and smaller spaces leave no room for unplanned problems.
Fully Engage Your Audience Using Storytelling
People are excited to feel a human connection like never before. You want your attendees to be able to relate as authentically as possible to the main message you are trying to promote at your event. Personal stories from real people who went through real-life experiences are the best way to emotionally connect your audience to your event objective. Have you heard of Ted Talks? Of course, you have!
Everyone loves a good story, especially when they can relate to it in some way. This will capture the audience’s attention much more than a presentation full of facts and stats. Storytelling is not only more interesting, but it is impactful and memorable. When individuals get to hear how one person had a life-changing experience, it makes them crave the experience as well. Using emotions to engage your audience will be immensely beneficial and help you avoid detachment within the audience.
What makes the audience connect with storytelling:
- Shared experiences
- Emotional connection
- Relatability to the story or the speaker
- Creative visuals to enhance the storytelling
Technology Leads The Way In 2022 & Beyond
If the pandemic and the warp speed shift into virtual event spaces taught us anything, it’s that technology is the future of the event industry. Even as we return to in-person and hybrid events, technology will remain the key factor going forward that sets truly spectacular events apart from the crowd. With more interactive and immersive video capabilities, content management, and bringing virtual and in-person audiences together in real-time, the event industry is pushing the limits on incredible experiences through technological advances.
Change is never linear. You always need to expect the unexpected and think ahead if you want to be successful in events. OVATION doesn’t just stop at providing incredible production technology but has also developed industry-leading tools to create the most seamless production experience the event world has ever seen.
Here at OVATION, we are open-minded and understand the world around us and how quickly it’s evolving. Our team is both experienced and intuitive, which helps us produce the best version of every new event trend. OVATION brings together meaningful connections that advance your purpose and stunning visuals, storytelling, and production to captivate and inspire your audience. Let’s write the future of the event industry together!