• Michelle Coy

4 Trends We Expect from the Events Industry in 2022

Is it just us, or is it hard to believe that 2021 is already coming to an end? With 2022 less than two months away, it’s time to start thinking about what we can expect in the new year, especially as we continue to navigate living with the pandemic.

Although 2021 wasn’t exactly everything we imagined – our country still sees new COVID-19 cases every day – we did experience more normalcy than the year prior. Hospitality and retail, two of the industries hit the hardest during the pandemic, began to recover despite challenges with staffing. The events industry, another one to take a big hit during the pandemic, also saw the return of sports, concerts, conventions, and other notable events we look forward to throughout the year.

Because Eclipse is a trusted staffing partner in the events industry, we’re always staying aware of trends that can impact our business. As we look ahead into 2022, what can we expect in the events industry? Here are 4 trends we think will be prevalent:

Masks and vaccinations/negative COVID tests will continue to be required in some states

As it stands, mask mandates and vaccination/negative test requirements across the country can vary not just from state to state, but from city to city. Though some places are bound to be completely done with requiring masks and vaccinations (pending an unexpected uptick in cases), we can expect some major cities to keep them as requirements for large events.

One thing that may impact this are the COVID-19 booster shots that are starting to be distributed. Some experts believe that the booster shots will encourage those who didn’t receive the vaccine or only received the first shot to complete their vaccination. If vaccination rates increase (the U.S. currently has 59% of its’ population fully vaccinated), this may impact the need for masks at events. As it stands, we believe masks will continue to be required at some venues well into the beginning of 2022.

Increased safety precautions

Though some have begun doing this, it’s likely that venues in major cities will do away with allowing bags into events. The NHL has prohibited bringing (larger) bags into stadiums nationwide. Many believe is due to the rise in protests and social unrest we’ve seen over the past year. Though not allowing bags isn’t a huge disruption to operations, it can be a surprise to attendees. That’s why it’s important to appropriately communicate these changes as best you can. Not only that, but expect some attendees to not be aware of the rule change ­– meaning you may have to implement a “bag check” option for events.

2022 will see more events than the year before

Though it may go without saying, 2022 will be a busier year for events than 2021 was. Besides all professional sports which are back to their regular-length seasons, we expect more concerts, performances, and conventions to be on the books in the new year. Some major events, like the National Restaurant Association Show, are in person for the first time since 2019. That means that attendance will probably be higher than ever. This impacts not only the venue, but the surrounding area. The addition of events will be a much needed revenue boost for local restaurants, hotels, and shops who are still recovering from the pandemic.

Hiring and staffing challenges will continue

By now, most of us are aware of the hiring challenges that just about every industry has been facing throughout 2021. For the first time in decades, the employment landscape favors the job seeker – which means they have the upper hand. Right now, especially in the temporary staffing space, workers are looking for flexibility so they can better balance their lives. That’s why it will be crucial for businesses to find a trusted staffing partner.

You may be wondering what the difference is between hiring someone directly and using a staffing partner to fulfil your hiring needs. Typically, workers have more flexibility and choice when they work through a staffing partner as opposed to being hired on at a venue. Plus, staffing clients often save money and time by delegating some (or all) of their staffing needs to a partner. With the hiring challenges we’re seeing right now, it’s better to retain a staffing partner and not need them, then not retain one and need them. Especially because great experience, cleanliness, and customer service are at the top of the list for attendees returning to events.

2021 was not quite what we expected. Despite health and safety experts predicting our “return to normal” to be sometime in 2022, many of us expected this year to be an immediate switch flip in terms of normalcy. But as more people get vaccinated and new COVID cases decrease, we get closer and closer to that pre-pandemic feeling. Regarding the events industry in the new year, we believe that we’ll see the continuation of mask mandates and vaccine requirements, increased safety precautions, more events, and continued challenges surrounding hiring. But being prepared is half the battle. Now that we know what to expect, we can better plan for it.

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