New Year, New Event Expectations
Hi there, folks, and welcome back to the blog! With so little time left in this year, I’m honored that you’ve chosen to spend a few minutes learning more about what I have to say. The clock is about to strike midnight on a New Year, so you know that means — it’s time to set our event-pectations! If you’re not hip to that term, I’ll clue you in: Event-pectations are our expectations for events in 2022.
Now, this wouldn’t be my first time predicting the future of events. Ever since the pandemic began to unfold all of those months ago, I’ve kept my finger on the pulse of the events industry. I’ve pivoted from live entertainer to virtual event emcee, hosted more virtual events than I could count, and even made the transition to hybrid event emcee once we were able to gather safely in-person again.
After months of evolving my business with the ebb and flow of the pandemic, I’m here to report what you can expect from the New Year of events, as told by a professional event emcee.
1. Expect Things to Remain Malleable
One of the primary words I used to refer to events throughout 2021 was flexible. If I was slated to be the professional event emcee of an upcoming conference, I knew I had to be ready for the event date or location to change at a minute’s notice. I was constantly prepared to cancel a flight, head to Show Creators Studios, and pivot to a virtual event whenever necessary.
This year, events should remain malleable. Now, that doesn’t mean that I think 2022 events will have the same fate as 2021 events. However, I do believe upcoming events will continue to be easily influenced by third-party factors, like emerging pandemic variants or shifting geopolitical concerns. So, we must remain ready to move with events rather than try to avoid them completely or try to create a plan that’s irreversibly set in stone.
2. Maintain Open Preferences
After almost two years of virtual events, it’s clear that the bulk of audiences and event attendees would prefer to gather in person once more. And trust me, professional event emcees and entertainers are just as ready to ditch the studio and hit the stage! But, before we can get too ahead of ourselves, it’s key that we maintain open preferences for events.
Yes, the majority of us would prefer in-person events. Yet, when those are not possible for whatever reason, we must remember that virtual events are just as good of a solution to share knowledge and network. Not to mention, our colleagues and peers may not all share our willingness to meet in-person. So, remain mindful of what’s happening around us, and don’t be too bummed if an event doesn’t take the exact shape that you would’ve wanted. Any event is better than no event!
3. Anticipate Varying Event Protocols
As a professional event emcee, I do a fair bit of traveling (okay, a lot of traveling) for client meetings. Though the general consensus around the country is the same as far as event protocols go, I’d be lying if I said that protocols are the exact same in every state. In reality, event protocols will vary depending on where you are geographically and the type of event you’re attending.
For instance, I’ve attended indoor events that have health checks in every single room and offer stickers that indicate whether or not you’ve had your temperature taken. I’ve also attended events that only required a negative COVID test and proof of vaccine to enter. Of course, I’ve gladly complied with each protocol, because attendees’ health and safety always comes first!
My point isn’t that one version of event protocols is stricter or better than the other. My point is that no two events will enforce the exact same event protocols. So, attendees should always review upcoming event protocols prior to attending. The best way to protect your personal safety — and your comfortability — is to check and adhere to these things ahead of time.
4. Embrace Outdoor Events When Possible
There’s a huge misconception that corporate events must be held inside fancy conference centers or ballrooms to be legit. Truthfully, some of the fanciest corporate events I attended in 2021 were held outdoors — and they were wonderful! Case in point: The Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) Top of the Table Annual Meeting 2021 in the picturesque Amelia Island, Florida!
With the beautiful ocean breeze to our backs and soft sand on the ground, I could not dream of a better spot to be the professional event emcee. I also recently attended an outdoor event in California, and when the nights became chilly, the venue placed crackling heat lamps around the grounds to cozy up and allow attendees to mingle.
Though outdoor events might not always be possible where you’re located due to the seasons, it’s definitely worth striving to produce a conference that at least has some natural components. Plus, for events that serve food and drinks, it might also be easier for attendees to remove their masks while outside in the open rather than at a shared table in the conference room indoors.
5. Respect Everyone’s Comfortability
Last but (absolutely) not least, please respect everyone’s event comfortability in 2022. You never know what other people are dealing with — whether it’s poor personal health, an immunocompromised loved one, or an entire family relying on them at home. If there’s one thing that 2021 taught us, it’s that work is not and should never be our primary priority.
Instead, our health and comfortability should always come first. Now more than ever, we cannot fault a colleague or peer for not wanting to attend an in-person event. If an event RSVP wants to fly on a plane and attend in-person, that’s great! If an event RSVP would rather stay put and dial in from home, that’s okay too! Allow everyone the respect to make their own choices in the New Year.
Navigate the New Year with a Professional Event Emcee
If there’s one we know for sure about the future of events in 2022, it’s that we really don’t know anything for certain! All we can predict is that there will be tons of ways for us to connect in the New Year, whether it be in-person, virtually, or through a hybrid event. As long as we remain malleable and mindful of others’ comfortability and protocols, we can make 2022 the best year yet.
Not sure what the New Year will hold for events? Get the inside scoop from a veteran entertainer, emcee, and keynote speaker. With more than 18 years of in-person experience and 18 months of virtual event emcee experience, I can help seamlessly bridge the gap between planning and executing a company event. Contact me today to learn more!