5 things that 2022 told us about events in 2023 

Here we are at the end of another year.

2022 brought us all some much-needed structure for our calendars and allowed us to indulge in event networking of old! Some hugs, handshakes, selfies and drinks with our event industry family. 

Its been a rollercoaster the last two years in our industry. We’ve seen more investment in our industry than ever before, bringing a rise of VC-backed goliaths, some disruptive start-ups, but most importantly, event attendance is top of the marketing strategy for 2023! 

That’s not what you’re here for, though, you want to know what we have learnt about 2023 from our 2022 events, projects and discussions. 

  1. Virtual events are still here… and it looks like they’re staying! 
    • Onsite experiences are unrivalled for networking, lead generation and experiential goals. That being said, content is the king of event marketing, USPs and ROI for attendees. 
    • If content isn’t going anywhere, nor are virtual events.
    • That being said, the rise of Meta and AR/VR (for those with serious five or more zeros at the end of their budget) has cast a new positivity for delivering experiential events online. 
  1. Information, NOT data is how your event will grow.
    • This isn’t just learning who has registered for your event! Definitely not a quick head count in your rooms. This is information and insights into your event’s ROI to your speakers, sponsors and delegates.
    • Converting data into information that can advise on future improvements and prove attendance objectives.
      2023 will see account managers leading the narrative on an event’s attendance, engagement and ROI like never before! 
  1. Let’s get back to basics with your event tech! Enhance, not create!
    • Every event organiser and supplier has been on one hell of a journey. Chasing the silver bullet functionality that would make their virtual event rival their pre-COVID numbers. 
    • Now the rooms are full of people who want to engage with content and each other. Let’s make those objectives as simple as possible but using what we know works! Live Q&A, polling and session chat. Matchmaking, messaging and meeting bookers! Simple stuff that will enhance success onsite! 
    • Take a look at your objectives and core selling points and use technology to enhance this event journey. Q&A, AI Matchmaker and session chat come to mind! 
  1. In-Person is BACK. Be Prepared!
    • Our team were at Expo! Expo! in America this past week. We quickly learnt people wanted to discuss mobile apps and live event attendee tracking. There is a key desire to replicate the data-driven experience of virtual events but in-person. 2023 should see us all replicating our data driven decisions from virtual, into our in-person events. 
    • While virtual is still being used as a secondary medium for monthly educational events, for example, we are finding that in-person tech like our mobile app and attendee tracking are what’s being requested for the annual conferences. 
  1. Engagement is everything.
    • One of the top buzzwords in all of 2022 was engagement. Every week prospects asked us how can they increase engagement between their attendees and members. Requests ranged from what we call “basic engagement,” with Q&A, polling, chat, “intermediate engagement,” like matchmaking and 1:1 meetings, and “advanced engagement” like gamification and scavenger hunt.  
    • We rolled out our first hybrid event with gamification right before the New Year, in December 2021, and it was a smashing success, with that app being one of the top 10 event apps in the App Store during the week of the event. Now, gamification is a frequently requested feature.