Planning Corporate Events in 2022: What Our Clients Are Looking For
There’s no denying that 2021 was a stop and start routine when it came to planning and managing events for our clients. With more lockdowns and uncertainty around rules for large gatherings, many of our client events were postponed.
When it comes to corporate event clients, rebuilding communities, motivating workforces, and engaging employees has never been more important. So now we’ve stepped into 2022, our clients are ready to plan events, conferences and team-building getaways bigger and better than ever before.
From recent enquiries and conversations with clients over the past few weeks, we’ve noted what they’re looking for this year and how their priorities have changed over the last two years when it comes to creating engagement through LIVE experiences.
Celebrating getting back to normality
Employees have largely been physically separated from their teammates for nearly two years and much of their interaction has been over Zoom or Teams. Now, clients are looking to create events that feel more like a celebration, reuniting and bringing people back together. For some these events will be the very first time they meet their co-workers after working from home since joining a business, so making them feel motivated, welcomed and ‘a part of something’ is a key objective for clients and their teams.
This desire to make 2022 corporate events more of a celebration has also meant that clients are ready and willing to spend more budget in order to say ‘thank you’ to their teams for all their hard work over the difficult period. They want to go bigger and better than ever to regain employees’ confidence.
Many of the events that took place in 2020 and 2021 were virtual or hybrid in an attempt still to facilitate connections with peers. It’s no surprise that clients and events professionals now very much desire to get back to in-person events and build back face to face meetings amongst teams and audiences.
Client objectives in 2022 include developing authentic relationships, motivating stakeholders, and nurturing conversations with potential buyers – all require us to focus on people engagement.
The Hopin 2022 Event Trends Report reports more than 40% of event organisers say engaging audiences has been their biggest challenge in 2021. Therefore, we’re delighted to get back to doing this face to face with audiences and attendees, working with Operational Directors, Marketing Managers, and HR professionals to scope an entire engagement piece using live experiences at heart.
Finding reassuring spaces
Although restrictions are lifted, employers are still considering the confidence and peace of mind of their employees. We’ve had an increase in clients looking for outdoor spaces and continue to have requests for open and outdoor venues to allow everyone to feel safe. This has meant that there has been an increase in festival style events, keeping it casual and allowing people more freedom and flexibility.
Although weather dependent, this preference for external events has also given clients a lot more flexibility with capacity and guest numbers.
We’re thrilled to see this trend continue as we plan for Tatton Park Pop-Up Festival 2022. Born in last year’s summer lockdown and since listed as ‘The Best Outdoor Festival in Cheshire’, we’ve launched another series of unique outdoor live events at Tatton Park, welcoming families, friends and corporate groups.
Getting back to business
The study reported by Venue Performance, and shared by Conference News showed that although there was a slump in bookings and enquiries when Plan B was announced, the events industry has seen a massive 380% increase in booking enquiries since August 2021 and continue to rise.
We’re now busier than ever, planning and executing events that were postponed from 2020 and 2021. Businesses are starting to feel more confident re-planning their events, and teams require a helping hand when it comes to organising their big events and conferences.
Many clients have been holding off to ensure they have the event they had always planned on having. There is a desire to avoid compromise and a need to make up for lost time, so we’re working with clients to make sure every single detail of their event is carefully planned, strategically thought-out, perfectly executed, with key objectives met.
Similar trends are applied to our charity clients too. Charitable events are a way to raise awareness and build longevity as well as fundraise, and clients are wanting to be more creative and engaging as a way to stand out from the crowd.
Reimagining corporate culture
The last few years have proved to us just how vital company culture is for both businesses and employees. We’ve seen that the clients that are most eager to get back to large corporate events are those that want to have a strong company culture at the core of their business.
We tend to find these businesses usually have a younger demographic, with a workforce made up predominantly of millennials and Gen X. Businesses who have already reunited or haven’t stopped working side by side have been the ones most likely to plan events in 2022.
Rather than just one large spectacle, clients also want to engage teams across a series of events throughout the year, some requesting this through a mix of live and hybrid experiences. The 2022 Event Trends Report also picks up on this ongoing team engagement as a key trend for the year. Patrick Smith, CMO at Cvent, writes ‘People put a lot of time into preparing for their events; with this new digital landscape, planners and marketers have a great way to extend the conversation beyond a single event.’
So far, 2022 has proved that event organisers are more than excited to get back to work and confidence in booking events is definitely growing. Clients want to help their employees feel like things are getting back to normal and show them their appreciation for everything they’ve done during the pandemic, and we can’t wait to help them make their imagination a reality.
To find out more on how we can support with your corporate celebration, team engagement event or annual company conference, get in touch with our team.