Trends forecasting may be sometimes like reading tea leaves. We don't really know what will happen in a couple of months. Still, if we observe the market closely, follow the news, keep ourselves up to date with modern technology suppliers and read news about, for example, the Big 5, we can conclude about what will change in marketing, virtual conferences and technologies. That's why we took up the challenge! We present how we see 2022 trends. Enjoy reading!
This is undoubtedly a mega trend that is present now and will be present in the future. Companies like PWC may serve as an example: there, all employees, and there are about 40,000 of them, have switched to permanent remote work. These types of activities, in turn, force changes in the use of technology, in organising meetings and in everyday business communication. We don't use paper or Word anymore to take notes, but we rather use work planning tools, e.g. Microsoft Teams or Monday. Thanks to them, we have everything in one place - the schedule, people assigned to the tasks, we know the milestones and it's easier to manage not only the project, but also the team.
What advantages of the virtual world affect our approach to business?
1. Reach. By organising events, we want the brand's message to be heard by a wide audience and we want to attract as many participants as possible, and consequently, also leads.
2. Data. The online world is based on web browsers, dedicated event platforms, and this is loads data: about participants, their involvement during the conference, about their preferences and online behaviour. A skilled marketer or analyst can draw conclusions that will be useful, for example, for planning the next event. Let's use it!
3. Time. Online stands out when it comes to speed and freedom, in the sense of flexible creation and configuration of meetings to the requirements of the target group. The organisation of a virtual meeting is also much faster. An efficient agency (like us) is able to organise a webinar in 4-5 days.
4. Convenience. All these activities clearly translate into the comfort of the participants and the convenience of the organisers. It's fast, easy, comfortable, and you can join the meeting from any place and device, all you need to do is connect to the Internet.
Another trend is VR = Virtual Reality. Let's start with some curious facts:
1. At the moment, Apple is the only company that works in VR on a large scale.
2. Google and Amazon are currently… doing nothing.
3. Microsoft isn't that focused on AR.
4. Facebook (Meta) sold 10,000,000 Oculus in 2021 Quest.
So what does it mean? VR and AR (augmented reality) are areas that will develop, a huge number of applications will be created in them, and a great part of them will be related to online meetings. Just the sale of 10,000,000 (in words: ten million!) VR glasses alone is the proof of the demand, need and interest in the subject.
We should also mention the Metaverse. For now, "everyone" says metaverse = Facebook. But that's not completely true. Of course, the new name of Facebook Inc. that is Meta, suggests the direction in which the corporation will develop and what its priority is. The company employs a lot of programmers, plans to open virtual stores, and importantly, it has tools, funds and infrastructure. But…. it won't be the only one. The opening of such a store is planned (or even in progress) for example by a chain of clothing stores H&M.
But let's come back and put it in order. Metaverse will be a trend, period. It’s meant to be a new Internet. Not its version, but something completely new, the Internet set in three-dimensional space. Ultimately, we will not watch, but participate in events in the metaverse using, for example, oculus. Everyone will also have their own avatar. This new space (if we can call it that way) gives marketers an unlimited range of possibilities - embedding content in virtual reality, embedding links and content is a bottomless bag. It's curious how it'll be used.
Audio or the sound layer. It's another trend that has great potential and will continue to grow. Let's consider audio as an element of communication that supports, but is also the main component of most events. Many people just listen or someone/something reads the subtitles for them, but let's elaborate on this later. How many times have you participated in a webinar or conference, but the stream window was hidden under a work e-mail or you were just in another browser window? Exactly. An example of a growing audio trend is the Club Hub. An application that allows you to talk to people from many countries about different things. There are themed rooms in the app that you just join and chat in them. Audio only! Club Hub boasted on Twitter that it already had 2,000,000 users.
The sound layer also includes podcasts that become more and more powerful. We make them ourselves and we know what their potential is. Interesting fact: on average, a person or brand releases 7 podcasts and... many stop at this number. 😉
If you sigh now and want to move on…. wait.
A trend that is developing very dynamically as part of pro-ecological activities is zero-emission. Once more, let's bring the facts on:
1. According to EU standards by 2030 Polish companies must reduce CO2 emissions by 55%.
2. 70% of all CO2 emissions generated by companies are generated by business trips.
How, then, to go green and adapt to a zero-emission approach? Firstly: more online! (see point 1). Online events, virtual conferences, online trainings. By choosing to host them virtually, you gain: time, money, budget, you are ecological and you adapt to legal requirements. Is it necessary to mention the amount of waste or printed catalogues during hotel meetings?
The next step to implement eco-solutions is... awareness. It's worth realizing that if something is online, it doesn't always mean it's ecological. Seems strange? So now think of something that we all know: anything on the Internet stays there forever. And since it is does, it has to be stored somewhere. "Somewhere" are the servers, and they require energy. Think, for example, if you need to keep recordings from the conference for 6 months on VOD? Because it's definitely not ecological.
Another trend is availability. Let's start with the facts once again.
1. 1/7 of the population are people with different types of disabilities.
2. 285 million people have visual impairment.
3. 39 million people are legally blind.
In order to design events, websites, graphics, the entire communication, without excluding anyone, there comes WCAG 2.1, i.e. global guidelines in force from June 5, 2018. In Poland, these regulations are for the time being obligatory for budgetary units, but the trend shows that more and more companies and organizations are compliant with WCAG and it would be good if every organization would ultimately function like that. Not convinced? Think about the fact that full functionality is a temporary state - in a couple of years you'll be an elderly person, unfortunately you'll probably have eyesight problems, likely you'll have problems with concentration, and you'll probably be less fluent Internet user than now. So maybe it's better for the applications to have larger buttons or greater contrast, so that it would be easier to dial, for example, a phone number?
In a nutshell - WCAG covers 4 areas that should be taken into account when designing:
Each year, marketers predict that the next year will be the year of mobile. In early 2022 it can't be any different 😊 Being serious, mobile will be another trend once again, but because most of the traffic is now coming from devices with less advertising. Probably no one has an unresponsive site anymore. These changes are also determined by Google algorithms, so if you want to be visible in the world's most popular search engine, remember about the responsive and mobile version of the website. Mobile is also social media, and for this you need to adapt, for example, the formats of video materials. Fortunately (I guess) we rarely see a video in 16: 9 format, for example, on Instagram.
The result of technology development that most of us have already noticed is better resolution and quality of cameras. On the Internet, we see well-prepared materials, high-quality graphics and everything is legible. The cameras in our phones have better and better sensors, also the front ones are of better quality. Why? We use them more and more often as speakers or simply participants of virtual meetings. The 9th generation iPad may serve as an example. In addition to a better front camera, it also has the function of following the person it sees - if you lean to one side, the camera will follow you. Also Surface devices from Microsoft have a convenient solution for those who present something to their recipients. The built-in front camera allows for the illusion of raising the eyesight, so that we have the impression that the speaker is looking at us all the time, but in fact he peeks below the camera and reads his notes. Clever!
Processors aren't left behind in this technological race either. Apple introduced processors on its own M chip which made them more efficient. Intel is catching up with them in 2021 and is taking another milestone. AMD was the king of performance, but that may change soon. The next stage will be quantum processors, which have and will have more and more computing power.
This is our vision of 2022 trends in a nutshell. We didn't talk about the cloud, about security, phishing campaigns included... but we only wanted to mention the most important trends ;) If you want to talk to us about something more, please do so!