Event industry forecast for 2022: The meta list of predictions!

published on December 16, 2021
Industry News and Leaders

It’s been a tumultuous two years for the events industry. We are all looking for a beacon of hope to assure us that events will be back to pre-pandemic levels in 2022. But — spoiler alert — this article is not your beacon. That said, we are encouraging cautious optimism.  

To make an accurate forecast for the future, we reviewed the predictions from some of the biggest media sources in the industry, and then distilled the insights for you. No crystal balls or tarot cards were used in this process. (Not that there’s anything wrong with crystal balls or tarot cards.)

Without further ado, here is what to watch out for in 2022.  

Corporate meetings are back

Signs point to a continued, slow recovery for events, and experts at Northstar Meetings Group see reasons for optimism. One of the main sub-sectors of the events industry expected to perform strongly is corporate meetings. But we must be careful to not paint all groups with the same brush. “We can’t just say ‘group’ anymore,” says Jan Freitag, senior vice president of lodging insights for STR. “We have to look at small corporate groups versus large association groups and acknowledge that the former has begun.”

Read more from Northstar Meetings Group.

We need to leverage lessons from the past two years

AMEX has an insightful blog, and their annual trends report tends to be on target. This year — which is the 11th annual Global Meetings and Events Forecast — is no exception. The dominant message from their survey respondents is that meeting professionals do not want or expect to go back to the way things were once the pandemic is over. Even professionals want to leverage the lessons learned during 2020 and 2021 to increase the effectiveness of the pent-up demand for face-to-face meetings. We couldn’t agree more.  

Access the 2022 Global Meetings and Events Forecast by filling out a form.

Technology is more important than ever

The team at Cvent recently published an article about the complexities of event technology, and how it will impact events in 2022. Even as more events return to an in-person format, the value of virtual and hybrid events continues to be critical. Decisions about event marketing technology, event platform capabilities, integrations with corporate systems, and technology stack have never been more influential. Contingency planning is strongly recommended.

See the full 2022 Event Marketing Technology article.

Sustainability continues to be a priority for venues and hotels

Bizbash has created a list of trends relating not only to events, but to hotels, technology, and venues. One of the most interesting takeaways is the notion of sustainability. “According to the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, the hotel industry needs to reduce its carbon emissions per room by 90 percent by 2050 in order to keep the industry within UN goals for reduced emissions,” explains Marianne Balfe, Highgate’s vice president of sustainability. “The utilization of renewable energy is a simple and impactful step that the entire industry can and should be taking to reduce our collection effect on the planet."

Read more about What's New in Event Venues: 2022 Trends.

Create something worth travelling for

On the other side of the pond, Eventsforce (based in London) asked several event professionals about what to expect for 2022. Understandably, many were hesitant to say that 2022 will be an amazing year for events — rather that it will be like 2021. One thing worth doing, however, is to focus on creating incredible experiences now instead of wringing our hands about what the future holds.

See the Eventsforce Biggest Event Trends for 2022.



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