10 event trends to look out for in 2022

10 event trends to look out for in 2022

The event industry has been truly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic during 2020 & 2021, but what trends can we expect to see in 2022? Our editorial team looks at what to look out for in the coming 12 months.

5 Nov 2021, 15:41:44

By Simon Nichols

Trends in the event space are constantly evolving as organisers, suppliers and businesses alike strive to leverage the latest services and technologies to meet ever evolving shifts in how events are organised and run.  With the last 2 years especially this has been particularly true of events. There have however been tremendous advances to help events remain as fun and relevant as they have always been whilst keeping them safe for all participants at the same time.

2022 is gearing up to be a year of enormous change in the events space as we are already seeing both individuals and businesses organising and hosting increasing numbers of events from birthday parties to  company team building events.

We thought we would share with you some of our predictions for event trends in 2022.

1. Outdoor team building events will start trending earlier than usual

As many companies continue be cautious over company engagements, expect team building in outside environments to trend earlier in the year rather than grow as usual in the spring. Guided walking, scavenger hunts, and action sports should see business returning in the corporate event market.

With increased rates of vaccinations across the globe and improved testing, indoor team building should also perform better than in 2021, and give a boost to many sectors such as escape rooms, dance experiences, and cookery schools.

2. Increased demand for temporary meeting spaces
One of the sectors most hit by covid-19 has been the office real estate market across small to large cities. The Financial Times reported that London saw a doubling of the number of office vacancies since the start of the pandemic and office yield falling (Financial Times).

However as hybrid work continues for many businesses, we expect many companies to start looking for short term office space for team meetings and training and this will grow throughout 2022. Full day and half day office space is ideal for ad hoc meetings and weekly in-person catch ups.
3. Greater focus on employee engagement

One of the major impacts of covid-19 on the workplace was the difficulty in integrating new members of staff into the business, creating, and maintaining relationships, and retaining staff.

The US has seen the highest rate of employees leaving jobs in decades. 2022 will see a shift in many companies focusing on employee engagement and reducing staff turnover.

This will see increased demand for team building, bonding sessions, employee training, and non financal workplace benefits.
4. Virtual and hybrid experiences aren’t going away
Although more businesses are returning to the office, many companies are offering employees the opportunity to continue to work from home on a permanent basis or providing flexible working conditions.

This will mean virtual meetings, hybrid learning and virtual entertainment will continue to play an important part of the working week.

5. Graduations to be completed next year
There are many occasions and landmarks in your life that can only be celebrated once, and school and colleague graduations have been greatly impacted over the past 2 years.

As covid rates are maintained, and schools continue to open into the spring, we should see a return to graduation season in many parts of the world and a boost for limousine drivers and party bus suppliers alike.

6. Continued growth of food delivery
Covid-19 restrictions have had a huge impact on the restaurant industry especially on the group dining market. At the same time food delivery services such as Deliveroo and Just Eat have seen orders double during lockdown periods.

Consumer confidence in restaurants has bounced back during 2021 but has not been fully translated into corporate group dining. Although this confidence may grow in 2022, many companies will continue to use food delivery and catering options for workplace dining where risk assessment can be easier to control.

7. Prioritization of employee mental health
We do not yet know exactly what the full mental health impact of COVID-19 will be on individuals and employees. Working longer or more irregular hours, anxiety over the virus, remote working, bereavements or sickness, changes to daily functions such as commuting, and concerns over job security are expected to see a decline in mental health.

Creating wellness programmes whether in-person or virtual should be an upward trend in 2022 and beyond. Yoga, nutrition, and breathing classes are perfect solutions to help businesses towards their employee health targets.

8. Continuation of health and safety protocols
Expect covid related health and safety protocols to continue into 2022 and beyond. Covid passports, hand sanitation, cleaning of equipment, social distancing, and reduction in participant numbers may all be vital to ensuring not only that events can go ahead, but also that customers have confidence in your product.

Staff will need to be regularly updated on the most up-to-date health and safety protocols in your area, and anything specific related to your sector.

9. A normal wedding season?
The wedding industry was hit badly in 2019 and 2020 with estimates of between 60-80% of these special occasions being cancelled. This meant that 2021 saw a higher number of mid-week weddings, and less international weddings.

If the wedding season returns to normality - bachelor and bachelorette parties should also begin to resume at pre-pandemic levels, which will be a boost for the hospitality industry and event suppliers.
10. The return of the Christmas party
Many companies such as Google and Facebook are among the many large companies that have decided not to host a company Christmas party again this past year, due to rising levels of Covid-19 and concerns over restrictions for this festive season.

Overall hospitality bookings in many destinations are stronger in 2021 compared to 2020, there is hope that another 12 months of vaccinations and knowledge of the virus will lead to even stronger growth in 2022.

Simon Nichols

Head of Partnerships at Evendo

About Simon, he has a background in the London events and hospitality market going back over 20 years. Simon has in an in-depth knowledge of the events market and currently heads up all supplier partnerships at Evendo.

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