18 January 2022

Lessons Learned And Trends To Come – Exhibitions And Events In A 2022 World

This time last year, the events and exhibition industries were caught in the pandemic whirlpool – spiralling round and round, and experimenting with a variety of unfamiliar solutions to not only survive, but to thrive. Mistakes were inevitably made, but we did make it back to the light. With Covid not quite the out-of-control teenager it once was, but still giving us some occasional back-chat, the pandemic adaptations that events embraced may well be used for a while to come. However, whilst the future looks to be a mix of virtual and physical events, one thing is for sure, exhibitions and events teams are now ready for anything. So, we’re going to do a checklist of 2021’s lessons learned, followed by a peek into the crystal ball for the year ahead.

Liz Quinton, Senior Director at CWT, ran through her top seven lessons to live by for Hospitality Net, and it makes for interesting reading.


Lesson 1 – Risk Management is King

With worldwide Covid-19 rules changing daily across borders, events teams need to be ready to adapt to ever-evolving circumstances. Businesses must also make clear guidelines to protect clients from financial loss due to Covid, or any other unforeseen risk factors.

Lesson 2 – Safety and Security of Attendees

Make a list of preferred suppliers, and keep on top of attendee tracking, safety and security

Lesson 3 – Virtual and Hybrid are Permanent Fixtures

Now that this duo is a reality, we’ve not only learned to live with it, but thrive.

Lesson 4 – Be Ready for Anything

Get policies in place so your team can handle virtual and hybrid events seamlessly. We already know anything can happen. It has. We’re ready!

Lesson 5 – Mental Health isn’t a Policy Document

Not everyone has thrived in these challenging times. Keep an eye out for colleagues and clients. And the boss!

Lesson 6 – Maintain and Build Trust

Dealing with disappointed and frustrated clients is 100% easier if they trust you’ll handle problems and always try to do the right thing. Then they’ll do the right thing by you.

Lesson 7 – ‘C’ is for Communicate, ‘E’ is for Empathy

Communication that works always incorporates empathy for individual circumstances. In a crisis it’s essential. Put robust crisis management solutions in place that bear this in mind.

So what’s hot, and what’s not? Here’s our Top 5 countdown


We’ve said it once, and we’re saying it again, hybrid and virtual events are here to stay. They’ll also become more frequent. But the big money is on better virtual networking opportunities, richer data, and improved experiences.


Improved ways of maintaining and dealing with employee mental health. Workers who feel warm and fuzzy at work will spread the word. Fact! And that gets businesses the pick of the candidates. Fact!


Live events will include more unusual additions in their schedule. Now that organisers have found their feet, they’re back to thinking outside the box.


This one goes hand-in-hand with lessons learned. Health, safety, and security will remain the priority, with new innovations to come.


Sustainability will be even bigger news. There are so many innovations surging in from every direction, that every business in every sector is being not only affected by it, but doing something about it. The events industry in 2022 will embrace sustainability with open arms. We’ve already talked about it here – what are your plans?

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