As we enter the last few months of 2021 (where did the year go?) we all want to finish out on a high note and start the new year fresh. However, one big question remains, what are we to do with virtual vs. in-person events in 2022? While in-person gatherings certainly have support, strong preferences remain for virtual experiences. Here’s what it means for you…
Before we say goodbye to you, 2021, we’ve got a bone to pick. Namely, with all of the promise of in-person experiences returning, why did you somehow feel like a watered down 2020? Like a child at a birthday party who has asked for months for a specific toy only to receive the knock-off version, we’ve waited in patient anticipation of the big payoff, only to be underwhelmed. But it’s not all bad. You’ve pushed our comfort levels, challenged us creatively, and taught us to be even more thoughtful and strategic in the pursuit of audience engagement.
And, when it comes to making decisions about virtual vs. in-person, you’ve taught us that it depends deeply on regional preferences and company tolerances for such things as safety, costs, travel challenges, household needs, and more — and that’s perfectly ok. After all, in the past when did we ever consider these variables to this degree?
Have To vs. Want To
If the past few years were defined by what we had to do, then the next several will be defined by what we want to do. But before you go booking in-person experiences, know that preferences have changed. While the initial switch to virtual events came out of necessity, we’re now seeing a prevalence of virtual events by choice. This is due in large part to creative and technological advances allowing for more interactive and engaging virtual experiences.
In a recent report by Qualtrics, 59% of people worldwide prefer to attend virtual events. This percentage drops to 41% looking into 2022, however, even among those showing a preference for in-person, there is a desire to also attend virtual events. Couple that with a projected 6.5% increase in global government IT spending in 2022 to support the digital world [source: Gartner], and the fact remains, there is a dedicated audience for virtual events.
Virtually the Same
One thing’s for sure, your company culture can’t wait for the virtual vs. in-person debate to be settled — nor should it. Plenty of reputable sources worldwide have forecast for some time that virtual is here to stay [source: Forbes], and given the attendee preferences explored above, this is sound reasoning. Rather than viewing virtual events as an alternative to in-person, why not view them as an equally important platform to achieve your event goals? Your 2022 planning can become more strategic allowing in-person and virtual experiences to be used where they can be most effective.
End Strong, Start Even Stronger
Building a strong company culture requires consistency from your leadership teams, to your corporate events and team building activities. SongDivision is a leading provider of learning & development programs and events services for Fortune 500s for one key reason — music anchors learning. Experiencing music with others is proven to heighten emotion and engagement, stimulate curiosity, and inspire lasting recall.
No matter your needs, SongDivision is ready to support the development of your company culture using music — especially in the virtual space — so that you can finish 2021 on a high note and start 2022 off with a bang:
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