A new research report by Splash, an event marketing technology company, reveals how event professionals, event attendees, and companies are adapting to disruptions caused by the ongoing pandemic, navigating new challenges, and preparing for a changed meetings and events industry in 2022.
Based on a survey of 253 event professionals and 3,133 event attendees in the U.S., the Splash 2022 Outlook Report explores evolving trends in event strategies, event technology, budgets, and attendee attitudes. It also reveals changes in the overall events landscape, including the staying power of virtual and hybrid events and the opportunity most companies have to upgrade their event technology in 2022.
“The year ahead looks promising despite all the challenges caused by a two-year pandemic,” said Eric Holmen, chief executive officer of Splash. “Our latest report indicates more enthusiasm than ever for taking advantage of business events, as more people plan to attend in-person, virtual, or hybrid events in 2022. If companies want to host more effective, impactful events, they must invest in the right technology to deliver streamlined event marketing and execution.”
Getting Back to Business: An Outlook on Events in 2022 provides insight on how companies and event professionals have adapted to changes in the meetings and events industry over the past year and the tools they adopted to develop a successful event strategy. Other key findings include:
- An in-person rebound is coming: 50% of companies plan to host more in-person events in 2022.
- Virtual events are here to stay: 92% of companies continued hosting virtual events even when in-person events resumed, and 46% plan to host more virtual events in 2022 than they did in 2021.
- Hybrid events are part of the new normal: 79% of companies expect to host hybrid events in 2022.
- It’s time to invest in technology: 67% of companies use the same event technology as before COVID-19 and 59% plan to increase their investment in 2022.
- A budget bounce: 38% of companies increased their event marketing budgets compared to only 28% in 2020.
The report concludes that as the events landscape evolves, companies must embrace new technology and solutions to create memorable experiences for attendees and achieve measurable business results. More than two-thirds of companies are still using the same event marketing tools they had in place pre-pandemic, yet in an environment defined by virtual and hybrid events, those tools are no longer sufficient. Whether planning small, large, virtual, or in-person events, investing in the right technology will be critical for improving event ROI, lead generation opportunities, and sales pipeline success.