We’re now almost halfway into 2022, and while we’ve come a long way since March 2020, the event industry is still experiencing an incredible transformation from huge events with sizable guest lists and massive budgets to virtual and hybrid experiences that require some creative thinking. We talked to our Senior Director of Production and Live Events, Norm Piaskowski, to get an idea of how the pandemic has transformed the live event industry.
How are Events Different Today than they were Pre-Pandemic?
“I feel a sense of positive energy at events these days that demonstrates what many are feeling: (1) a sense of genuine delight to be back in person, spending time with those we have felt isolated from recently and (2) a sense of gratitude for the opportunity to be back to live and back to non-virtual high fives!”
How is the Event Industry Changing?
“I believe the industry HAS changed, and we are now living in that new reality- one where we truly don’t know what next year will bring. I see a sense of urgency to execute “in the moment” and renewed energy to connect with the individual, clients are more concerned with the human element of connecting on site than in the past.”
Do you think Hybrid Events will Continue to Grow?
“Whether we see hybrid events grow will depend on how we respond to future public health issues more than anything else. I do believe that hybrid events will continue to be a part of certain events and industries that did not utilize a virtual experience in the past. In the last two years, we have witnessed an increase of more than 100x the normal amount of virtual events. Even as we return to live events, hybrid will continue to be an important element to facilitate virtual attendees.”
Are you Seeing an Increase in Investments in Event Technology?
“The entertainment industry is transitioning from survival mode, which has dominated our industry for the past couple of years. We now see pent up demand for new technology growing quickly across the industry. Although the demand is higher, global supply chain disruptions have extended product lead times to lengths previously not seen in our industry and we are feeling the effects.”
More Emerging Event Industry Trends
There will continue to be major (and permanent) shifts in the industry for years to come. Here are more emerging event trends we are seeing in the industry:
Micro Events Gaining Popularity
“Micro” events are becoming more popular. After the event industry experienced over $30 billion in losses during the initial stages of the pandemic, many event professionals are struggling to find the budget to host huge events. As a result, scaled-back events are more realistic and pose a smaller financial risk for many companies.
Emphasis on Transformational Experiences
“The pandemic has introduced a new concept to our thought-matrix: Is this essential? In other words, is it worth it?” Says Teeg Stouffer, Co-founder of the American Association of Event Professionals.
Even before the pandemic, events were shifting away from a focus on content to experience. Expect to see events such as conferences followed by more engaging experiences such as performances and concerts.
Increasing Investments In Event Technology
40% of event planners are unsatisfied with the tech options available to them. The pandemic condensed years worth of change into months. The result is that technology is lagging far behind the demand – but it’s going to catch up.
Whatever You Need in Event Tech, Bluewater Is Your Trusted Provider
As you make event plans for the remainder of 2022 and beyond, Bluewater is ready to partner with you with state-of-the-art event tech. We’ve also created Parallel.live, a hybrid and virtual events platform built by events professionals. Whatever your objectives, we will help you exceed them. Reach out today to get started!