cross scroll-btn +-cirlcle arrow-left arrow-right + arrow-copy-13 arrow arrow_blue arrow_footer arrow_nav arrow_teamlightbox close close_circle contact-us dot-highlight dot-non-highlight dropdown-arrow facebook-copy favorites google grid-view hash-line icon instagram linked-in linkedin-copy list-view location login news pdf people phone play print search-icon search-icon2 share-icon twitter-copy website X x_box youtube point-icon facebook mail twitter

What's Next for Events in 2022?

What's Next for 2022 Blog

As we gear up for events in 2022, some of the most common questions we're being asked include: What are you seeing other people do? Are hybrid event options still being offered? Is social distancing still a factor? What have attendee counts been onsite the past few months?

These are all great questions and the LAI Live team has partnered with meeting planners and event professionals to answer them. Here are some key learnings from our experiences helping groups adapt their event design and execution to new safety guidelines and restrictions.

Groups Choosing Live Over Hybrid: The majority of groups planning 2022 events have decided to eliminate the full hybrid experience and prioritize the live, in-person experience instead. Most are still streaming out general sessions and bringing back the classic polycom for breakouts, but the focus is turning back to those attending in-person. Not only does this allow meeting planners to invest resources in more personalized experiences for in-person attendees, it also greatly reduces the cost of event platforms, event platform management, and two-way streaming.
Empty VenueRegistration and Check-In Vary From One Event to the Next: The lack of a consistent standard to event registration has been among the leading topics in the industry. Every event has its own rules for its attendees. 
Some are requiring people to show proof of vaccine via Clear and other apps on the day of the event. A few require proof during the registration process. Some require masks and others don't. And many don't have requirements at all. This decision has to be made based on the comfort level of each organization. Regarding attendance, in many instances, we've seen an uptick compared to our initial expectations, but numbers tend to be in flux and dependent on the current environment. For example, we recently worked an event expecting 300 people to attend, yet more than 800 people checked in.   

New Programming Opportunities: For close to two years, the events industry has been forced to adapt to the rapidly changing world around it. It has presented an opportunity for meeting planners and event professionals to rework the pain points of events. The LAI Live team has been working with clients in reimagining their programming to meet the goals for their meetings, while working to keeping people safe and comfortable. We've designed runways that allows speaker to walk through the audience for a more personal feel, eliminating the need for a meet and greet. For another event, we implemented ancillary stages in different areas of the room and incorporated them in the programming in a way that advanced the proceedings seamlessly while also providing optimal social distancing. We're also seeing some groups doing away with the traditional keynote format and replacing it with alternative formats that allow them to bring more voices on the stage and give their members who went above and beyond in 2020 more visibility. 

Seating Pods Potentially Here to Stay: Many groups are favoring "seating pods" in their general sessions in order to create a sense of community while being mindful of social distancing. Attendees from one company tend to be more comfortable with one another, so they're clustered together while leaving distance between them and the next "pod." These can be a mix of theatre seating, small rounds, large rounds, and communal tables, or just theatre seating broken into segments.

Receptions Becoming Part of the Main of Event: Receptions are now considered one of the most important aspects of an event. We've seen people doing away with the big blow out reception, instead adding smaller ones each day of the event. All receptions are open to any attendee, but each serves a specific purpose. We have found these are highly attended and moving into 2022, organizations are putting more resources towards building out those opportunities.

While we expect events to continue to evolve into next year and beyond, one thing remains consistent: attendees are ready to be back together in person  again. 

LAI Live Can Help You Plan Your Next Meeting

Working on designing and planning an upcoming meeting? The LAI Live team can help. Contact us to get started.

Continue Reading »