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2021: Event Trends to Carry Forward

If you have spent the last 20 months waiting for things to ‘get back to the way they were,’ I have some bad news for you. The events industry will not get back to the way it was. In my opinion, the industry will grow bigger and become better than ever as we build back from a historic shift in our business. However, if you’ve not been putting thought, strategy, and execution into the way your approach to business will change, I encourage you to start now. COVID-19 may have been the impetus for this, but innovation, adaptability, and partnerships will more than make up for the business that was hurt in 2020 and 2021, can carry us forward in 2022 and beyond.

The culture at Streamline Event Agency exists to constantly innovate and be creatively ahead of our client’s wishes. So, by April 2020, we were already looking forward and solving the problems that our clients hadn’t yet seen coming. We were fortunate to get way ahead of the Virtual/Hybrid solution with our own proprietary Platform, JoinIn, and it greatly shored up our 2020 and exploded in growth and scale in 2021.

I believe hybrid is here to stay, in one way or another. We are working daily on ways to make the at-home audience feel just as engaged and incentivized as the in-person audience. While most of us in the industry are extroverted people who LOVE gathering in person (see the very successful IMex2021), many became very used to working from home and networking digitally, and the cost savings can be immense!

It is also important to consider the age and experience of the younger work force beginning to thrive in our industry. They absorb learning and content much differently than the generation before them, so that impacts the way we approach the production elements of large-scale meetings. In addition to recommending adding hybrid, we are creating assets that re-enforce content by using the creative arts, technology, gamification, and AR/VR to meet the workforce where they are.

Lastly-empathy, mindfulness, and intentionality are common themes that I’ve heard and read from respected colleagues. Each of us has been through a battle and we are a dynamically connected community. We need to remember there’s an individual story on the other end of the phone/Zoom or in person meeting. We have a chance to connect deeper than ever out of this shared experience.

Streamline is fortunate to have strategic relationships with great thought leaders in the industry. I recently spoke with some of our trusted colleagues – who I also believe to be futurists, like myself – about what they expect to see in the future of the industry. Here’s what they had to say: 

What do you feel are a couple of permanent changes that the events industry will carry forward out of the pandemic?

Tom Hubler – CSI-DMC: “We have seen new kind of b