As we have moved through the first part of the year, not only are we excited to see more in-person events happening, but we love that there are opportunities for restaurants, hotels, venues, and caterers to directly impact what events look like this year.
We’ve put together the top event trends that can help all industry professionals be in a position to get the most out of 2022.
Event trends to watch for
1. In-person events are returning and virtual is here to stay
Choosing the format for an event is not a one-fits-all solution. Events of various purposes and sizes are being held in-person and we expect to see more intimate family parties, mid-size corporate events, and even humungous tradeshows.
Here are the top benefits of in-person events both for personal and work purposes:
- Build and deepen relationships
- Have fewer distractions
- Be more at ease to have individual conversations
- Make an impression on the group
- Build memorable connections
- Have more fun
- Read and express non-verbal communication and gain context
- Be more authentic
- Have efficient and effective communication
- Get and give feedback
- Network with prospects, clients, partners, and peers
While we are thrilled that in-person events are happening, most people agree that virtual event options aren’t going anywhere. They provide convenience, inclusivity, and safety. Virtual and hybrid events do not detract from in-person events. Rather, virtual options complement in-person events and provide additional content and bring in more attendees.
2. A healthy focus
Health is at the top of everyone’s minds and we see that in event trends. Venues that provide safe in-person events are extremely desirable and in high demand. As such, transparency of COVID safety efforts can only help get those face-to-face events booked.
In addition, healthy food and beverage options are highly sought after. While the shutdown may have caused an uptick in alcohol consumption and heavy comfort foods, we now see trends of lighter and healthier choices. This spring and summer, we expect to see events offer things like low-alcohol cocktails and plant-based menu options.
3. Technology is a must
After two years of using a variety of digital solutions to their fullest potential, technology is certain to continue to grow. Specifically, in the event industry, software is being used to make things easy, improve operational issues, and counteract the impact of the event worker shortage by streamlining tasks.
We also are seeing the addition of digital equipment in physical events spaces in order to add to the experience such as production-quality video equipment, sound systems, and virtual reality technology. These additions help events succeed as well as provide unique experiences. It’s an exciting time to watch how the industry is adopting innovative tech solutions to improve and differentiate events.
4. A push for environmentally friendly events
Sustainability will continue to be an ongoing trend for our restaurants, hotels, venues, and caterers. Events will incorporate more eco-friendly efforts to entice more leads and bookings.
There are many examples we’ve seen about environmentally-friendly values transcending into the event scene including:
- Reduced paper use (such as switching to digital contracts, menus, and promotions)
- Reduced water use
- Going plastic-free
- Greener food and beverage (more plant-based and organic menu options)
- Donating leftovers
- LED lighting
- Reusable decor
- Outdoor events
- Providing usable eco-friendly swag
7. Short-term planning
People want to gather and celebrate, but they may look to book events with less lead time. We’ve experienced this firsthand where the window for planning events is narrower. People have become apprehensive to plan in-person events due to COVID. It used to be about a sixth-month window for event planning. Now, we are seeing a bulk of people book as far in advance as four months and as last minute as the week before. Especially for the small to mid-sized gatherings, we’ve seen that there are more last-minute bookings.
Many companies are leaning into having more events with a smaller list of attendees. Not only does this help with COVID exposures, but companies have realized the importance of focused objectives for events, meetings, trainings, and other gatherings.
These series of micro-events will replace essentially one single large event of the past. These smaller-scaled events will cover specific topics over a period of time. It will enable more personal engagement. While there may be fewer large-scaled events, the small ones more than make up for them.
What event trends have you noticed?
As we head towards the next quarter of the year, it’s great to keep these new event trends in mind. If you’re not a Tripleseat customer and you’re interested in learning more about Tripleseat’s event management tools and CRM features, schedule a demo at your convenience to take a closer look.