Events in 2022: Ballooning costs, cancellations and staff shortages
You know what they say about best-laid plans, right?
Many organizers were committed to returning to in-person events in 2022. But as the calendar turned to 2022, it brought with it a flurry of event postponements, cancellations and uncertainties. For some events, it has created conflicts with existing shows. For many more, they’re holding out hope for summer.
Producers, technical suppliers, and agencies like ours have had to adjust our forecasts.
These changes, while understandable, are still painful.
The event industry has lost a large proportion of specialized staff since the onset of the pandemic. Moving more B2B and B2C events to the summer months creates more questions about capacity planning and staffing when talent is at a premium. Especially as these events come into conflict with the traditional summer event schedule dominated by festival season.
For organizers, calendar changes mean budgets will have to accommodate.
Not only will staff be at a premium– but participant’s attention, time, capacity and expectations. These factors exponentially increase the cost of running an in-person event in 2022 (and 2023, and so on). The longer the delay, the higher the expectations, the higher the cost to deliver.
Will these constraints encourage more organizers dead-set on an in-person event to begin thinking hard (and constructively) about a fully digital option? Maybe the metaverse looks more attractive than ever?
Meanwhile, your participants, stakeholders and sponsors are waiting.
2022 is already opening to be a year of continued changes, surprises and adjustments. As always, you can look forward to the latest developments and insights in each edition of The Lookout! Thank you for subscribing.
Here’s what I’ve been catching up on this week:
The events industry:
- First Big Event-Tech Deal of 2022: Aventri-MeetingPlay [Meetings Net] Its too early to predict what will be the theme of Eventtech in 2022. But here is the first big announcement of the year – a merger between juggernauts Aventri and MeetingPlay. The new firm will provide end-to-end solutions for meetings and events, as the space becomes more dominated by a fewer number of larger and larger players. [for more on this: Q&A: MeetingPlay and Aventri Merger Plans | BizBash]
- New data released by Splash today reveals what’s ahead for events in 2022 [Event Industry News] New survey or industry professionals and event stakeholders suggest the in-person rebound is coming. But technology will remain more important than ever. Curious figures somewhat conflict with what we’ve been hearing locally, but the optimistic tone is reason to remain hopeful that bright skies are ahead.
- UK lifts Covid restrictions [ABC] Despite still large numbers of infections, the UK government announces the omicron wave “has peaked” and moves to remove restrictions on Covid passports and facemasks. Covid passports will no longer be needed in England to enter events venues after January 27th.
- France votes to ban unvaccinated from event venues [Exhibition World] France takes a different approach to the UK as this week the country issues new restrictions on unvaccinated persons from event venues. Elsewhere, events remain banned in the Netherlands. B2B events continue to be allowed in Germany, yet many organizers have postponed.
- Event Leaders in the US Urge Immediate Action by Congress To Drive Recovery [Corporate Event News] The US Events industry bands together to argue for a raft of measures to support the industry’s recovery. Outside of the US, government support has helped to alleviate some of the disruptions to the industry brought on by the pandemic. Travel restrictions in the US for European visitors lifted late last year have failed to bring the wide return of business travel.
How to do it:
- A Guide to Safety and Liability for Virtual, Yes, Virtual Events [Event Manager Blog] Its not just physical events that require safety insurance these days. When you’re dealing with attendee and participant data, it’s important that you have your liability covered and protected. EventMB digs into all the details – and ethical complications – in this comprehensive article.
- How to Produce a Virtual Conference With Over 100 Heads of State [BizBash] Excellent case study on how Freeman produced the recent Summit for Democracy. Security concerns? Check. Big personalities? Check. Content that arrives from the client at the last minute? Unfortunately, yes. Possible to pull off a flawless digital event produced in just 6 weeks? Definitely. Great story and a compelling argument for more fully virtual productions!
- XR-Studio – für wen ist es sinnvoll? [Event Partner] XR studios are hyped as the next innovation for live experiences. But they come with a big cost and considerable technology requirements. This piece explores the best use cases for XR studios, and how to build one when you’re set on adding it to your production setup.
- How event marketers can use hologram technology for live and hybrid experiences [Martech] If 2022 can be defined by anything thus far, is the need to be resilient and to level up. If you haven’t incorporated it yet, one area to explore in 2022 might be hologram technology. If you can’t have your high profile keynote physically on stage, rather than confining them to a screen– a hologram can present a life size, three dimensional image of your presenter on your physical stage. An unforgettable experience for your attendees if they’ve never had the pleasure before. Heres how you can get started.
- Boost your Live Event Marketing with NFTs [Vok Dams] You will have likely heard the acronym NFT if you’ve spent any time on the internet in the last year. But how does it apply to events? Agency Vok Dams has issued a white paper on how to boost marketing efforts for live communication with these digital tokens. Applicable use cases? Access cards and ticketing, award ceremonies and more.
Don’t Miss it:
- What Will Sustainable Events Look Like in 2022? 7 Event Pros Share Their Efforts to Keep Gatherings Green Amid COVID-19 [BizBash] How to make your event environmentally friendly during the pandemic? Being safe and sustainable can go hand in hand.
- Land Acknowledgements Are a Thing – Do We Need Climate Acknowledgements? [Event MB] It’s not enough to be “green” when it comes to our events. The event industry can do more when it comes to recognizing the impact of our events. How you communicate it matters.
- Post-pandemic trade shows need to be smaller and targeted [Financial Times] Trade shows, it’s time for a new year’s “glow up” according to this opinion piece. The world is more hybrid than ever, its time to focus, target, and maybe shed a few kilos (or square meters).
- Meetings in the Metaverse [Forbes] The metaverse is going to make an even bigger impact in 2022 on the events industry. If you’re not sure where to start, this piece is a great place to begin. It’s especially relevant given the new developments from Facebook in the last week [for more, see Facebook patents reveal how it intends to cash in on metaverse].
- Creating an Individualized Experience at Germany’s Expo 2020 Pavilion [Event Partner] The creative director of Germany’s Expo 2020 Pavillion in Dubai shares how an innovative digital assistance system, IAMU, creates a bespoke experience for each visitor. The guide helps attendees navigate the pavilion and tailors each of the fifty media exhibits to their personal tastes and preferences. The result has been an incredible success for the Germany 2020 team, and suggests new avenues to enhance visitor experiences at exhibitions of all types.
That’s all for this edition of The Lookout! If you’re looking for some more great content, don’t miss the PIRATEx Event Resources Hub. If you’d like to be featured there, just reach out!
In the meantime, let’s stay connected if we’re not already on Linkedin or follow the PIRATEx team on Twitter. If there’s anything you would like to read about when it comes to online, or digital events, let me know! I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions.
If you know someone who might be interested in reading The Lookout, please share it with them!
Until next Friday!
The Lookout Newsletter #53
PIRATEx Managing Director