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The coming year is a big one for virtual events. Virtual event stats from the past year show that this format is only set to get bigger in 2022. Of course, the onset of Omicron is affecting the current trends. However, such changes are only in place for short time periods, and it’s better to focus on long-term trends. This is because virtual event solutions are sustainable and will remain relevant, regardless of the scenario.
While 2020 was a booming year for virtual events, with thousands of them taking place, 2021 presented a clearer picture. It showed their viability in regular times as well. A number of virtual event stats collected over that time period prove that the format is not going away anytime soon. In fact, you can expect to see more virtual events in the near future, especially due to their effectiveness and convenience. Here is a list of important numbers which show what you can expect in 2022.
All of these numbers are proof that virtual events will retain their popularity. In addition, you can expect some changes in company strategy. Organizers realized that these events present a lot of opportunities for both internal and external reasons. So, there are a number of upcoming trends you can look forward to, in both the b2b market and in b2c events.
Virtual event stats show that these will just grow over time. However, they may not be there in the exact same way you might expect. In fact, there are a number of different opportunities organizers are already exploring. Therefore, here are some of the trends you’ll see this year.
Now that companies have the tools to host their own events, they won’t just stick to annual or semiannual events. They will leverage these tools for smaller events throughout the year. Whether these are internal training activities or small-scale client interactions, virtual event technology will enable them to host easily throughout the year. This is because these do not have the same logistical and financial requirements as physical events, which make it impossible to have such packed schedules. Hosts can also invite more speakers and moderators over the course of the year, rather than all at once.
As virtual events become more accessible, companies are using them for in-house purposes as well. Whether it’s training workshops or on-boarding exercises, more organizations will carry them out virtually. So, this will lead to virtual event solutions like virtual training weeks and company get-togethers.
Major companies like Apple and Meta are experimenting with the metaverse. While it is currently most relevant to video games and other VR experiences, it will soon make its appearance in the event industry. vFairs is already making progress in this regard, with custom avatars and high interactivity for virtual attendees. Over time, as the concept gets more commonplace, hosting virtual events may well involve VR technology.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are quite prevalent these days. Of course, they were bound to make their entry into the virtual event experience as well. They are already present in the data collection and reporting procedures. They let companies gather large amounts of information and compile them in easier formats. So, this will develop further over the year, with deeper insights and more scope.
There will be a rise in on-demand content. This is because such content allows viewers to access it at their own convenience. Therefore, it is perfect for global audiences in different timezones. In addition, if companies record their live events and leave them online over a long time period, they can get more engagement and interaction. So, on-demand content will increase over the coming year. Pre-recorded content can have the same impact, especially if it;s downloadable.
All of these trends bode well for the virtual event industry. Therefore, you should get on board sooner rather than later to be part of this progress.
Many companies are going virtual with at least some part of their operations. Organizations discovered that remote work is actually doable and viable due to the lockdowns in 2020. In addition, many of them opted for virtual events, and are continuing to do so.
Meta is driving the move towards the metaverse as an industry leader. Naturally, many of its employees have remote work options. The company will take more things virtual in 2022, and has already announced that it will only participate virtually in CES 2022.
Microsoft has always been a tech-forward company. Therefore, it’s no surprise that it has its own series of virtual events as well. The Microsoft Envision series gathers business leaders from all over the world. It has these events multiple times a year, and focuses on different aspects of business and technology.
The ESA has decided to go virtual again for E3 2022. This gaming event is the most anticipated one in most gamers’ calendars. It is the top trade conference for the video game industry, so this is a major shift.
TikTok is the new kid on the block, but is already making waves. It has revolutionized how people consume content with its short-form videos. So, it comes as no surprise that it is in the forefront of going virtual. It announced that it would only participate virtually in CES 2022.
The reputed Sundance Film Festival is going hybrid this year. It will take place in the virtual space, with a few satellite screenings in seven locations. This is an example of how a significant cultural event can happen online. Numerous well-received movies will be screened there, and people will have a chance to participate from all over the world. It also explores virtual event ticketing, as it will be a paid event.
These were just some of the major companies going virtual over time. This means that there will be an increased need for virtual event and communication solutions in the immediate to near future. The abovementioned virtual event stats also indicate that the format will continue to be popular.
While virtual events will continue to remain strong in 2022, there is one aspect that will be dominant. Due to virtual fatigue and the sheer need for face-to-face communication, most people are more comfortable with the hybrid event model. Wherever it’s applicable, companies will prefer it over conventional events.
The best part is, virtual event providers already offer hybrid event solutions. So, most companies can use the same tools, just in different ways. Furthermore, virtual event solutions like event registrations, data collection, and gamification are even applicable to physical events. Therefore, hybrid events are the next big thing, but that still fares well for the virtual event industry.
Here are a few points which sum up how virtual events will only grow over the coming year.
In conclusion, virtual events aren’t going anywhere. Therefore, you should prepare for this eventuality. Hybrid and virtual events will be the norm, so you should be at the forefront of this shift.
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