2022 is looking to be a banner year for events. CES already kicked things off with a big success in Las Vegas, and tons of other marquee events are just weeks away.
But which events are we most excited about? And which ones will really show the future of how we meet and connect? We’ve definitely got a few ideas here. In fact, there have been so many interesting events coming back that is actually our second time making this list. So consider this “part two” of all the events we’ll be watching, and learning from, in 2022.
SXSW (March 11 – 20)
SXSW will return in-person and hybrid this year with the theme “URL + IRL”. A literal combination of our online existences and meeting in-person again, or “IRL”.
We expect the event to be a good litmus test for how all kinds of meetings can look in 2022. There will be tech panels, film screenings, VR/AR expos, hybrid streaming, and countless music showcases. It will be interesting to see what’s changed, and what attendees can’t get enough of these days.
SXSW is also one of the only events in the world where an entire city is transformed into one giant meeting space. Convention halls, dive bars, hotel rooftops, and anywhere people meet, all band together to host thousands of event-goers. It’s truly a sight to see.
To keep attendees safe and healthy, SXSW will require testing and/or vaccination for entry. The organizers are committed to keeping people updated if guidelines change.
We’ll definitely be watching this one for insights into producing large-scale and diverse events in 2022.
Coachella (April 15 – 24)
It’s been two years since there’s been a Coachella, and while we may not be as interested in the sandstorms and crowds as we once were, we are looking forward to the return of this event in 2022.
Other big events, such as Lollapalooza and Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago returned safely in 2021 with large audiences, but Coachella feels like a different milestone.
It’s a destination event. People come from all around the world. Hotels book up a year in advance. Think pieces are written about the artist line-ups and what that means for music and future events that year. Basically, it’s a big deal.
From our perspective, we look to events like Coachella to see what the absolute best organizers are doing in stage design, event safety, and even hybrid broadcast abilities.
Long before virtual was a thing, Coachella would broadcast their festival life on youtube for people at home. They even sold DVDs of the events. So while you may not find us in the desert this year, we’ll still be watching.
C2 (September 28 – 30)
In Montreal, C2 is one of the most interesting business and creative conferences in the world. It often features speakers such as Mindy Kaling and Lindsey Von, alongside the world’s top innovators. This is one event we will surely be watching.
C2 is also known for its networking. Last year’s event went so far as to build a 3D augmented reality app that allowed attendees to bump into each other in an interactive world. You can read more about in our article the coolest ways virtual and hybrid events are evolving.
The event is planned in a fully hybrid format and encourages attendees to follow whatever kind of experience they are looking for, both in-person or virtually.
We expect C2 to be innovative and unique, and we can’t wait to see how they mix their event technologies, both online and in real life.
LA Times Festival of Books (April 22-24)
After two years of virtual events, the LA Times Festival of Books will return to USC in an in-person and hybrid format. Bookworms rejoice!
But really, people have had a lot more time to read these past couple of years. Books have been a bigger part of our lives (when not binging TV).
Events like the Festival of Books will be the first time many people have been able to get out and connect with their favorite authors and thinkers. They are also great places to connect with like-minded people outside of work conferences, which is always good for networking.
Best of all, the Festival of Books is a public event. Tickets are free. It’s in April, and it’s the perfect way to jump into spring and summer full of events!
Oscars (March 27)
The Oscars will be back in-person in 2022. (2021 was also in-person, but it was scaled down, with smaller tables, tea lights, and a modest stage – which actually worked really well together.)
There’s always a lot of pressure with the Oscars to make it good, and entertaining, while also including presenters, musical performances, and maybe even some magic. Basically, it’s a perfect event to get inspiration for high-stakes event planning.
Last year’s Oscars were adamant that there would be no virtual presentations at all. It was a bold strategy, and we understand how it helped create visual continuity, but we’ll see if they stick with the same plan this year.
If we had to guess, we’d say the upcoming event will be a little bigger, with still no virtual presentations, and probably a hiccup or two. But we’ve also never been perfect with our Oscar predictions 🙂
Events of all kinds are back on the books this year.
One of the biggest themes of 2022 is that there is a broad range of events out there. From music to business, and books to tech, everyone is getting ready to meet again.
SXSW, one of the most diverse events in the world, is returning to Austin, in full, for the first time since 2019. Coachella is back in the desert after a two-year hiatus. And we’ll also be watching book festivals, creative and business conferences, and even the Oscars to see how organizers are innovating in 2022. Hope to see you out there!