Admin Jul 26, 2021 10:00:00 AM 11 min read

What Will the Near Future of Successful Corporate Events Look Like?

Event marketing leaders aren't looking at only the next event for their strategy. They are preparing for events to come over the next 12 to 18 months and trying to get ahead of the ensuing changes.

Even as the world slowly recovers from the pandemic, it's difficult to project the full return of in-person events and what they mean for event strategy. 

According to Forbes:

"Even before Covid-19 put in an appearance, thought leaders advocated the need to rethink old paradigms, calling to move beyond a business-as-usual approach and instead reimagine challenges as new possibilities."

If you're able to see the upcoming trends and get ahead of them, you'll become more successful. Also, your company will reap the benefits of your forethought and efforts. 

The Immediate Future of Integration

Before planning an integrated digital event, it's essential to know the terminology so the event is more successful. Here are a few basic terms to understand:

  • Engagement: With digital events, there are many ways to engage with the company's customers and potential client base, including polls, surveys, submitted questions, and live chats. 
  • Live stream: Live stream is an audio or video file that streams over the internet to customers in real-time. 
  • On-demand: Event attendees can access a prerecorded keynote speech or other events from the internet at any time that's convenient for them. 
  • Virtual conferences: Each attendee to the conference logs into the event from their location. They can see the other attendees and interact. These conferences have a set agenda and are much like their in-person counterparts. 
  • Webinar: This is an online presentation that digital event attendees can watch that typically lasts an hour to 90 minutes. These are presented by industry leaders and some have a component that allows the attendee to interact with the speaker. 

A basic understanding of the terminology helps in the execution of an integrated event. Now, let’s investigate what the near future of successful corporate events will include as we continue to ramp up to full in-person events in 2022. 

Smaller Budgets, Smaller Experiences

In the near future, the budget is probably going to be restricting the scale of each event. Event teams must find ways to make sure that smaller productions have the same impact and produce results. 

After the Covid-19 pandemic, there are sure to be capacity restrictions to ensure the health and well-being of all attendees. The event leadership team needs to create an impactful experience on a smaller scale. 

Digital events can help with this. As Forbes points out:

"By eliminating travel and hotel requirements for attendees, every virtual event is potentially a global affair. There is also less travel-related disruption and a smaller time commitment required for all participants." 

However, in the near future, most event teams will opt for invite-only, regional experiences. They'll want to target a very specific set of attendees, and these will be customers that are loyal to the brand. The integrated event format allows them to invite attendees from anywhere without worrying about expenses to the client while still catering to the aspirations of local audiences.

Integrated Sponsorship

Many companies struggled to find ways to successfully integrate sponsorship during digital events. The smart event director understands the importance of integrated sponsorship and works to find a way to be successful

With the return to in-person events on a smaller scale, it's important to improve in-person sponsorship engagements. There won't be the same large attendee pool, so it's essential to appeal to every person attending the event. 

Also, it's important to attract sponsors and encourage them to spend as they did before the pandemic. Event leadership must create and communicate the value proposition to convince the sponsors to participate. Sponsors are benefit-driven, so the most successful directors highlight the benefits. 

One potential way to integrate sponsors is with in-person and digital components. Though still an open playing field, integrated sponsorships could form first in the digital realm based on interest, then continue in person with a relationship already established. This helps to increase the benefits to the sponsors since they're able to reach more attendees. In return, they're more likely to spend more money sponsoring events. 

The Return of Networking

Like integrating sponsors, networking presented a host of challenges during digital events that needed a solution. Although the digital event isn't a thing of the past, it's essential to make the most of networking in upcoming in-person events. 

Customers and attendees will appreciate the return of networking, and you need to make the most of the opportunities that are available to bring the right people together. 

When planning an in-person event and considering networking, it's important to consider budgets and ways to differentiate from digital. Creating a separate networking plan for in-person events can help determine the success or failure of the event. Also, networking opportunities need to be taken into consideration when planning and allocating the budget. 

In an integrated approach, the events will probably continue to offer digital content — this was already a part of in-person conferences — and use breakout sessions for networks. 

Shorter Content

When the switch was made to digital events, the goal became to keep the audience engaged. After all, they were at home or in their offices and could shut off a presentation that was too long or didn't capture their attention. They were suffering from digital fatigue. 

In order to adapt, event marketing leaders learned the benefits of condensing the message and shortening the length of webinars. They were able to keep the messaging and adapt it while keeping attendees engaged wherever they were watching. 

Broadcasting, which uses short segments, provided the guide. While a person might enjoy a half-hour sitcom, they don't want to spend two or three uninterrupted hours watching it. This is the model that most event directors copied for their digital content. 

As in-person events resume, there probably won't be a two-hour keynote address that leaves attendees wiggling in their seats. Presenters will become more adept at hitting the high points and conveying their messages within a half-hour session. 


As the world turns to a new normal in the post-pandemic world, you will see a return to in-person events that integrate the best pieces of digital events. However, the ramp to get to that full level of engagement could be lengthy.

At Impact Point Group, we're ready to help you navigate this new world of corporate event management. Visit our blog to learn more about the latest trends in the world of corporate events.