The pandemic caused by Covid-19 brought the world economy and society in general to a standstill, thus forcing a pause in many of the activities that had hitherto been routine. The MICE sector has been one of the hardest hit by the health crisis, which is why in 2021 all efforts have been focused on the recovery of the events sector. By 2022, a slow and resilient recovery to the new situations resulting from the pandemic is expected.
However, it is worth mentioning some of the negative figures left by the year 2021 published by Barómetro Spain Convention Bureau COVID-19 and their effects on the MICE sector. Thus, the year 2020 suffered a significant decline in the number of visitors, closing the year with 77% fewer foreign tourists in Spain. In view of this situation, the year 2021 has been characterized by a constant struggle of attempts by the entire tourism sector, highlighting the MICE sector, to recover the public confidence to be able to restart the activity as soon as possible, and even aiming for better results than those of the pre-pandemic period, when the country was breaking records.
Thus, this struggle has yielded results and we can foresee the new trends that will mark the MICE sector in 2022.
2022, the year of recovery
Leaving behind the figures left by 2021, this 2022 the MICE will rise from its ashes starting an intense recovery, as reflected in the full calendars for events and the prediction of the SBC. in their studies.
In reference to the previous SCB Barometer study, 62% of its participants did not experience any associate departures during the 2020-2021 period, an increase over the previous year. In addition, some collateral improvements left by the impact of Covid-19 can be extracted, such as the 42% increase in the relationship with destination companies and partners, or the fact that most of the events postponed in 2020 have been carried out. Therefore, it is possible to appreciate the improvements in this last quarter of 2021 and the good expectations for 2022.
Although the figures show improvements, one of the biggest impacts of Covid-19 has been a change in the needs and motivations of the demand, thus affecting the future trends that will mark the MICE. It is therefore worth reviewing some of the concepts that are expected to be on the rise in the coming year.
Reinvention, Hybrid Events or Virtual Reality, booming trends
As a result of these constant changes that respond to the needs of the public, and taking into account that the MICE sector is characterized by high competitiveness, two main trends are evident according to the experts: Technology and the so-called “Bleisure”.
. This last concept refers to the sum of the English words business and pleasures, a term that refers to establishing an emotional connection with the attendees of MICE events, which provides a differential value. Thus, the following are four of the trends related to these two main sections that will be strong in 2022:
The various measures to curb Covid-19 have forced companies to constantly innovate in order to adapt quickly and effectively to the new reality. One system closely related to reinvention is Design Thinking, a method for generating innovative ideas that focuses its effectiveness on understanding and providing solutions to the real needs of consumers. In this way, through these processes, the different companies innovate by adapting to both the situation and their audiences.
As for the type of events, the trend will continue along the lines of hybrid events, i.e., events that combine the presence of the attendees with the virtuality of the same, transmitting everything live. Thus, this trend goes hand in hand with the previous one, since when companies work to reinvent themselves, they manage to innovate, giving rise to events of this type.
It is worth mentioning the technology that makes this type of event possible and which has acted as a lifeline for events during the pandemic: streaming, or in other words, live transmissions. In short, this simple solution provides great benefits for the company, highlighting the increased impact and dissemination of corporate events, as well as transmitting an innovative company image .
VR (Virtual Reality), AR (Augmented Reality) and Artificial Intelligence
In the same way as hybrid events, this new technology allows the realization of events without taking into account the capacity, for example, and brings to the public an added and differential value. Through these three technologies there are no limitations, you can develop a wide range of experiences in which participants can go anywhere, making them enjoy unique experiences and sensations, thus positioning yourself as the leading company in innovation.
POLX Mobile App
Continuing with technological trends, we have mobile apps for events, a new way to communicate in an agile and easy way with the attendees of your event, which guarantees a better experience, so it will be a must in 2022.
We are particularly excited about this trend at Valkiria, as in 2020 we are launching, together with Marinva and Zinquo, POLx, a disruptive and innovative platform designed by experts in different areas such as gamification, values and technology. In July 2020 the platform was launched for the first time at a real event, this was Superminds. The platform was adapted to the changes in the environment, incorporating new functionalities. These changes were presented at the BizBarcelona 2021 event. In this way, this tool will allow you to discover your values and achieve your goals, boosting motivation, concentration and effort.