After a rough year for events in 2020, we were all hoping 2021 would be our comeback year. In many ways it was, as we found new ways to unite people through hybrid events, combining live and virtual experiences. Though, with the pandemic still in our midst, we produced less events in 2021 than in 2019, we remain hopeful as we look forward to 2022, with more than 100 events currently on our docket! 

That being said, we have compiled a list of things we hope to leave behind in 2021, as well as new lessons learned we will carry with us throughout 2022. 

Things we leave behind: 

1. Taking in-person events for granted 

2. Rigid ideas of how something “should” be done 

3. Limiting events to a single time or location 

Things we are taking into the new year: 

1. Struggles and pain points can inspire innovation 

We are experts in creating safety measures for events in a “normal” year, but add in safety precautions required by a pandemic and you have a completely different story. Take an event and make it contactless, study up on technology that may help you carry out the event in a safe manner, and come up with guidelines that will help keep all of the participants and your staff safe. These are just some of the obstacles we navigated and successfully pulled off. Yes, it’ll be nice when there isn’t a pandemic, but in the meantime, we are prepared! The challenges we have faced with completely reimagining events have inspired new ways of innovation and creative problem-solving. 

2. Resilience leads to growth 

You can’t hold an event such as the Susan G. Komen 3-Day without an opening or closing ceremony to celebrate the accomplishments of the participants. We were tasked with gathering 2,300 participants all at the same place at the same time, but socially distanced. Our team created 8’x8’ pods, each six feet apart, so we could make this happen. A little creativity and meeting of the minds goes a long way. While we don’t know exactly what the future of events looks like in 2022 yet, we do know that our resilience in finding a way to pull off large-scale events means we can do anything when we do it together. 

3. Safety comes first and prepare for the worst 

Remember when weather was the biggest concern for an outdoor event? This year, safety concerns came in many forms and fashions; but, with the right guidelines and plans in place, anything is possible. Having a plan A, B, and C in place is essential. While we may have had to be flexible, we now know to take time to make extra preparations and plans that account for anything and everything.  

4. Take time to connect on a personal level 

Don’t forget why you’re doing the event in the first place. If there’s something we all learned from the pandemic, it’s that we crave human connection. You never know what the future holds, and it’s important to ground yourself and make those connections when possible. Take the time to connect with others. Talk to people and learn why they are involved in that particular event. If two strangers are at a peer-to-peer event, they already have a connection to the organization they are helping! 

5. Self-care is a priority 

Just like the flight attendants remind everyone during the pre-flight safety announcements, you can’t take care of anyone else if you’re not taking care of yourself. In our industry, we put on events for people, for good causes, and for a better world. Sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves while trying to make a difference. Prioritizing self-care and taking time off occasionally allows you to come back to work re-energized to give it your all.  

We don’t want to jinx ourselves by saying that 2022 will be our year to shine, but we will definitely take the lessons we have learned and the innovation our team has created to make our events even more fun, safe and powerful — which is just what we all need! Happy New Year! 

Monica Roos

Monica Roos is one of the newer members of the Event 360 team, working as the Social Media Coordinator. After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2017 and working in the broadcast journalism field for four years, Monica is excited to work in the growing and exciting field that is all things events while working with great nonprofits that support good causes. When Monica is not working, you can find her cooking, hanging out with friends, or spending time with her two high-energy pups.

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