From Super Bowl LVI to the Beijing Winter Olympics to countless conferences and festivals, in-person and hybrid events are back on the books for 2022. Yes!
But what are organizers doing to ensure that these events are a big success? Also, what kind of engaging hybrid and virtual options are in the works for attendees next year? In this article, we’ll get into all the nuts and bolts of a few marquee events that we’re looking forward to in 2022. Let’s get to it!
Sundance is going hybrid in 2022. With this upcoming festival, Sundance aims to create a more traditional in-person festival experience while also promoting its successful virtual screening platform from last year.
The main event will be in Park City, Utah, as usual. However, it will also include screenings at satellite theaters across the country (as it did in 2021). All attendees will need to be vaccinated, and masks will be required for all indoor screenings and events.
For the last 18 months, movie theaters and film festivals have been a good indication of where things are with in-person events. They basically tick all the event boxes — sitting indoors, advanced A/V, virtual screenings, virtual and hybrid panels, even snacking during the event!
We’ll be watching for how Sundance 2022 all shakes down, but it looks like they are already ahead of the curve. Their event website is already live with pre-event videos, health and safety info front and center, venue and lodging info, and tons of press. Movie stars do help with press, but still, they’re on it with the marketing!
We appreciate Twitchcon being realistic about the health and safety requirements for hosting in-person events right now. Communicating safety information is key to getting people to commit to the event. Especially when there may be international travel involved.
We also expect Twitchcon to set the gold standard for a hybrid experience. There will be tons of Esports players and fans, all connected, meeting, gaming, and chatting, from all around the world while thousands of attendees meet in person. It will be a lot to keep track of!
But Twitchcon isn’t new to all this. They’ve been hosting hybrid events before they were called hybrid. In fact, when you think about it, Twitch’s e fanbase meets virtually every day! So it will be interesting to see how they turn that virtual audience into an in-person audience in 2022.
Beijing Winter Olympics
Olympics again? But didn’t we just do that? Yes. But these are the Winter Olympics in Beijing, and they are coming back in 2022.
The most recent Olympic chatter is that the events will be open to spectators from China but closed to spectators from anywhere else. The Beijing Winter Games also intend to create a closed-loop system for athletes and coaches. Basically, athletes and coaches can go from the Olympic village to their event, and that’s it. Additionally, all athletes must be vaccinated or spend 21 days in quarantine.
Olympics are a good weathervane for what’s possible with international events. People are coming in from all over the world. Social distancing is almost impossible for many sports — just think about ice hockey! So everything must be as safe as possible.
China is obviously going for zero cases as the host city. Tokyo 2020, while a success, had far more than zero cases during the games. So hopefully with the tight restrictions, that goal will be possible.
Superbowl LVI will be in Los Angeles in 2022 at the SoFi stadium (the facility’s first big event). Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, Mary J Blige, Eminem, and Kendrick Lamar will be performing for the half-time show. This event is already getting lots of buzz (which means they are nailing the pre-event marketing.)
Super Bowls were the original hybrid events (whether we knew it or not). Millions across the country sat in front of the TVs to watch sports, music, and commercials, all wrapped up in one event. And some people even watched the game!
It will be interesting to see how SoFi handles the in-person attendance and their process for bringing tens of thousands together under one roof. This will be one of the bigger events in Los Angeles since the start of 2020, maybe even the biggest.
Super Bowls are high stakes. They represent the best in live broadcast production, brand storytelling, and of course, sports and entertainment. So we’ll be taking notes on how it all comes together.
Events are on the right track in 2022
It may all be happening a bit later than we expected, but big in-person events of all kinds seem to be coming together in 2022.
Sundance is working to get as many people as possible in front of the big screen. The Super Bowl, Twitchcon, and organizers everywhere will be pushing the envelope on production and hybrid capabilities. And everyone is putting safety first to get people together again. 2022 can’t get here fast enough!