The technology is constantly incorporating advanced technologies in the events and exhibition industry. It is evolving at a staggering pace taking the customer experience to a significant level. Nowadays, you can engage the customers using Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality. Here we examine some of the exhibition trends for 2022. So stay tuned and let's get started!
1- Integration of virtual reality
We all know that virtual trends have been rising over the last few years, while augmented reality (AR) is becoming a popular exhibition trend. This comes as a result of the fact that AR experiences are a more affordable and accessible alternative for many event professionals.
AR is superimposing a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world.
It is a game-changer within marketing and sales strategy (scope), one that allows brands to give their customers unique, personalized & interactive experiences with the convenience of tapping into their mobile devices. This trend is rapidly being used by marketers to create innovatively advertising experiences that combine 'real' and virtual interactive elements
You can now create networking opportunities, entertain an audience, engage with virtual or in-person event attendees, and even create interactive maps for events and venue tours using AR event planning tools. Furthermore, augmented reality technology has become so advanced and readily available that its apps can be used on most smartphones.
Experience AR here
So, the increased use of technology on exhibition stands continues to be a trend
A lot of businesses are embracing virtual reality and artificial intelligence in a drive to attract visitors. That's why we recommend you add AR and VR to your marketing plan.
VR (Virtual Reality) is a computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with.
Experience VR here
Try to create a virtual tour of your venue to appeal to planners and event professionals.
Work with virtual tours to be able to help travelers and event attendees feel like less of a stranger in a strange land. This way you are going to allow attendees to tour the event space ahead of time, find their way to a variety of event breakout sessions or locate specific vendors at large expos.
Work upon the five senses
Don't limit your exhibition booths by engaging invitees using simply sights and sounds. You can now work upon the five senses, which include: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Try using distinctive lighting design, interactive displays, touch-panel interfaces, soothing background music, and gamification to help amplify the visitors' sensory abilities. This way you will be able to connect the brand with the target audience.
Did you know that companies engaging in consumer technology are accounting for a significant chunk of the revenues? This happens primarily by offering opportunities for innovations.
2- Hybrid events - a bridge between virtual and online
We believe that hybrid events are likely to be one of the biggest trends in 2022 too. Do you know what a hybrid event is?
Hybrid events are, quite simply, a mix of live and virtual events.
This is a seamless integration of technology to facilitate participation between a live and virtual audience. Therefore, your audience can participate and engage with your event, no matter where they are. You are putting your online and live audience on the same level.
Depending on your own event format and your audience, hybrid events can take a multitude of appearances. Anyways, they all have one thing in common: putting the audience journey first, for both audiences.
You have to treat your live and online audience equally and ensure they can get the most from your event.
Did you know that they are also easier to host? Hybrid events don’t require a ton of high-end technology, like virtual reality, augmented reality, holograms or anything of the sort. A quality hybrid event can be made with accessible technology that doesn't require years of experience and expertise.
Hybrid events benefits
- Remember that with a hybrid event, you lower the barrier to entry for both demographics: those who want to attend, but can’t, and those who are unsure if your event is worth their time.
- You will be able to increase your reach and gain more attendees, not fewer. This way you are opening up many more engagement opportunities than would be possible at a strictly live event, both during and post-event.
- Your virtual audience will be actively participating from their mobile devices or desktop computer, meaning they will be able to talk, share, like, comment, and much more.
- Furthermore, we must note that 72% of corporate sponsors are interested in participating in a hybrid event because they are incredibly valuable for them. Sponsors can effectively reach both audiences. So, more attendees at your event mean a larger lead pool for them.
- Hybrid events provide an increased opportunity for sponsorship. Therefore, instead of sponsoring strictly live collateral, they can sponsor live streams, event apps, and more.
That's because hybrid events are incredibly valuable for sponsors, for a couple of reasons.
- Reason one is the increased reach. More attendees at your event mean a larger lead pool for them, which is the #1 reason for sponsorship.
- Reason two is the increased opportunities for sponsorship. Instead of sponsoring strictly live collateral, they can sponsor live streams, event apps, and more.
3- Eco-friendly, sustainable events
Nowadays, merchandisers, vendors, and suppliers are choosing to commit to more eco-friendly events. The goal is to create a carbon-neutral event by working with a circular economy, sourcing responsibly, achieving social value, and reducing the carbon footprint of an event. You can plan an event using what already exists; reducing - reusing - recycling! All you have to do is get creative and repurpose areas, items, and materials.
What's more, event professionals (such as Cre8) can also work to create a circular economy.
As mentioned before, this can be done by using items that can be reused or recycled after an event. This way, you'll be able to add social value through donations or giving free lessons and lectures to community members.
Reduce the environmental impacts of event travel
Everyone, including many planners, is working to make the environmental impacts of 2022 event travel as minimal as possible. Did you know that travel alone is responsible for 85% of an event’s carbon footprint? That's why we see them hosting smaller, more frequent events in multiple locations, booking corporate events closer to home, and incorporating virtual or hybrid events. They are purposely working more to reduce the environmental impact of event travel. A lot of professionals across the industry are making a commitment to tackle ethical issues in event planning.
We all have to incorporate or reinvigorate sustainability initiatives.
You can encourage and educate staff on sustainable initiatives and other eco-friendly hotel and venue ideas by designating a “sustainability champion” for your team. Also, providing resources, tools, and information on corporate sustainability helps a lot. Try to add renewable energy sources that can accommodate a portion of your venue operations. Make this a goal. Work on renovating and replacing venue machinery with eco-friendly and sustainable appliances when possible. And lastly, don't forget to add multiple clearly marked recycling areas around the venue.
The benefits of eco-friendly planning
Keep in mind that going green with your event not only results in a better and less-polluted planet Earth, it will also benefit your brand and event in many other ways.
Here are a few advantages of sustainable event planning:
- You will be able to cut down on waste (and cost). Sustainable event planning is about producing less waste which means that waste management also becomes easier and less complicated.
- It is easier to create positive brand awareness. You have to walk the talk and show people that you’re willing to stand by your values if you want them to trust you more. This comes as a result of the fact that you're hosting a responsible event.
- This will make you attract a larger crowd. Did you know that a lot of people are more willing to attend events that are eco-friendly? Especially those of the millennial generation. Don't forget, a sustainable event will earn you a lot of brownie points with these people who have been at the forefront of “go green” worldwide.
Here's what you can do:
First, try to set up group transportation or carpooling options and try to go hybrid with your event. This way you're giving attendees the option to participate in your event either in-person or virtually. You can use renewable sources of energy for electricity such as solar panels, biomass generators. They significantly reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.
Next, don't forget to enable energy-saving features for light, IT equipment, and other electronics. Give away eco-friendly swag as those can give you some visibility and brand awareness, while at the same time giving your attendees a lot of joy. Keep swag interesting and highlight your sustainability goals by choosing something that’s ethical and sustainable. Lastly, remember to let everyone know about the different measures you’ve taken to ensure your event is sustainable and eco-friendly.
Try to keep up with top event trends while at the same time watching them evolve! In this article we mentioned some of the 2022 event trends to keep an eye on for the remainder of the year. Nevertheless, remember that nothing is certain — especially now. With that being said, it’s more important now than ever to be nimble, aware, and ready for change at a moment’s notice.
Up next, check out Top Exhibition Stand Tips to Create a Buzz.
It will help you develop an engaging, interactive trade show exhibit. So, if you want to attract new clients and if you need help with networking efforts, take a look at these top exhibition tips that will make you increase traffic to your exhibition booth.