Our 2022 Trends
As we look ahead to the New Year with renewed optimism, we assess the trends we think will dominate the industry in 2022 and beyond.
SUSTAINABILITY IS KEY
With Cop26 in Glasgow promising to commit to real action and accelerated progress to tackle climate change, 2022 will see sustainability as something that is no longer a consideration but a MUST when taking on an experiential activation.
More and more consumers are purchasing based on a brands ethical attitude and this year more than ever there needs to be a shared ideal between consumers, brands and agencies that has sustainability at its heart. A sustainable strategy needs to be included from the development phase right through to live implementation from energy-efficient logistics to no single-use plastic and the ethical disposal of items. This can all be underpinned with a clear call to action around sustainability to consumers – which will only make campaigns stronger.
Brands not making sustainability a must risk being left behind in 2021 with social distancing (we hope)!
Madeleine Fairley- Account Director
HYBRID EXPERIENCES ARE HERE TO STAY
Whilst virtual experiences became the norm in 2020, the industry was excited to welcome back live in 2021. This has led to the rise of hybrid events and experiences. Nearly 2 years on from the beginning of lockdown, we have been able to see how the hybrid model has changed the event industry and why it’s here to stay.
One of the main positives of being able to offer a hybrid experience is increasing reach and attendance. We no longer need to worry about capacities or where attendees are coming from, making it easier than ever before to reach audiences globally. Having virtual attendees also gives us the chance to capture data much more easily and creates huge retargeting opportunities.
Elma Sakoilska – Account Manager
WELLNESS AT HOME
10,000 steps a day, morning yoga session, a HITT class in the living room. So many of us have adapted to new ways of looking after our physical and mental wellbeing after the numerous lockdowns we have had to endure as a result of the pandemic.
What started out as a ‘Rona ritual’ has quickly turned into a key part of our daily routine, which in part has forced us to start thinking about our health a lot more.
With consumers spending far more time at home, fitness & wellness brands have had to rely on their digital and online presence to spread their message – but with every brand now having to do the same, how do they push themselves without being pushy?
Brands such as Sweaty Betty and Fitness First have opted for geotargeted and personalised email marketing meaning they’re hitting the right people in the right area. Food supplement brand Hey Nutrition created a polite and simple reminder to keep their subscription renewals flooding in. Competition for consumers’ attention is at its highest so it’s important for brands to hit the right note to keep their following.
Victoria Wharton- Account Director
NO TOUCH EXPERIENCES
In a post-pandemic world, the traditional strengths of experiential – of being able to touch, experience and engage with a brand through physical touchpoints – will need to be balanced with the acquired consumer behaviours developed over the past 2 years.
With heightened H&S expectations, coupled with the learned behaviours from the pandemic, ‘no-touch’ experiential can be important tools for brands looking to re-connect with consumers. People are more comfortable now more than ever with secure, ‘self-service’ experiences, and complimentary, digital elements should be considered when planning an activation – whether this is self-guided digital conference stand or inviting shoppers to scan a QR code to enter a competition, brands should look at how best to use these technologies to connect with their audience.
Indeed, we have previously looked at how retail brands have been adopting these technologies – from AR to gesture and motion control, and expect this trend to continue.
Kyle Hynes- Senior Account Manager
FOCUS ON COMMUNITY
For many the pandemic has helped re-evaluate all aspects of their lives, including what importance we place on family, friends, community and how we tackle socioeconomical and prejudice-based issues.
We are seeing an increased presence of brands trying to creative positive change within communities. That being locally with the positioning of pop-ups and events or demographically with initiatives like the Adidas and Arsenal partnership that tackle knife and hate crimes.
Whether the change of direction is due to consumers spending more time within their neighbourhoods and being more open to discuss hard hitting issues, or it being a genuine effort by brands to become more authentic and relevant. Its positive to see a growing trend of more activity in the community and amplification of lifechanging ideologies.
Segun Malomo- Head of Tech and Innovation
THE IMPORTANCE OF HEALTH & SAFETY
In a pre-covid world, H&S was not always at the front of most people’s minds when planning for events – not to say it shouldn’t have been.
We need to think differently to how we did before. With the ever-changing restrictions and variants, understanding what can and can’t be done from the off in these fluid times can save a lot of stress further down the line.
In the past 18 months we’ve had to think about social distancing, staff bubbles, testing, entry and exit systems, ventilation in venues etc – the list goes on! With good planning and back-up planning, these considerations now need to form an integral part of a brand’s strategy. It’s critical that we make sure that we are keeping the members of the public and our staff members safe going forward.
Let’s hope 2022 is much better than the previous two years. There may be a few more bumps in the road, but we’re sure as an industry we can overcome these.
Stay safe in 2022!
Phil Lockwood-Taylor – Production Manager