2022 Trends: Prediction, Perpetual or Passé?

Whenever a new year rolls around, we tend to see a lot of predictions about trends. A quick Google search on ‘2022 Trends’ returns almost 3 billion search results on everything from home décor and fashion to technology and food.

I’ve rounded up the so-called 2022 trends that are already impacting our sport-inspired and business-driven activities in event production and marketing, sponsorship strategy, sport tourism, marketing and communications, and coaching and training.

These ones are my personal favs.

The Death of the ‘We’ve Always Done It This Way’ Mindset

This is one of the most dreaded phrases to come out of a client’s mouth when you’re a consulting firm like ours. We are known for helping our clients to stand out, connect, inspire, and lead, so the ‘same old, same old’ approach just doesn’t work for us. Thankfully, the pandemic has literally FORCED people to innovate and try new things. We are noticing that clients are much more open to our creative ideas than ever before and there is more demand for bespoke experiences. We are 110% on board for this trend in 2022.

QR Codes

I admittedly dismissed QR codes as one hit wonders a few years back, but they’re having a moment again. We will definitely be using them as a contactless method to connect with people and communicate more effectively in 2022.

Quality Over Quantity

I’ve been ranting about this for years, and, according to the 2022 trend predictions quality over quantity is finally moving to a mainstream way of thinking. Choosing to have a few high-quality ‘fill-in-the-blanks’ in your life in 2022 instead of a lot of cheap or less valuable ‘fill-in-the-blanks’ is definitely here to stay.

Digital Event Elements & Event Tech

We know you’re tired of Zoom meetings and virtual fundraising galas, but like it or not, event technology and digital experiences are event elements that have some staying power.

Last year we compiled a list of what to do and what not to do when it comes to virtual event production. Download the checklist here.

Very Peri

Colour is a critical element of branding because colour evokes emotion and emotional connections are what brand savvy marketers are after. I’ve always been a fan of following the Pantone® colour of the year announcement because the chosen hue tends to inspire everything from paint colours to logo design.

The 2022 colour dubbed ‘Very Peri’ is described as ‘having a carefree confidence, a daring curiosity that animates our creative spirit, and is inquisitive and intriguing’. I believe it’s a winner that will be on trend all year long and we’ll be looking for ways to include Pantone® #17-3938 in our marketing.

Data & Metrics

Is data really a trend or is it timeless? Monitoring metrics like social media impressions, clickthrough rates, survey responses and anything else even remotely described as an analytic is a must-do activity and has always been part of iSPARK’s data-informed approaches.

At-Home Workouts

There are endless options when it comes to at-home workouts, a phenomenon that totally took off in 2020 at the start of the pandemic. We’re on board because it’s refreshing to see the creativity (and we just love seeing people move more and sit less).

Event Sustainability

Making half-hearted attempts at incorporating event sustainability practices is not going to cut it in 2022. It’s time to get serious about climate change and doing our part to make events greener than ever before.

More plant-based food options are definitely going to be on the menu at events in 2022.

Check out our blog on 5 Tips for Hosting a Green Event to help get you started.

KN95 & N95 Masks

Welcome to the fashion accessory of 2022! Our event toolbox will be filled to the brim with KN95 and N95 face masks over the next year.

The East Coast

I am probably biased, but I think Atlantic Canada came in HOT during the pandemic. The popularity of east coast culture is long overdue. The more relaxed and slower pace combined with amazing event venues, sports facilities (have you seen the golf courses!?), vacation options, and overall quality of life make the east coast an all-around winner.

Assigned Seating

It’s true what they say about everything you need to know in life you learned in kindergarten. Even though it does impact on networking, I agree that assigned seating at events will be more common in 2022.

Casual Dress Codes

I once heard Canadians described as the ‘kings of cas’ and I’m here for it. Casual dress codes and relaxed clothing policies at work and at events will dominate in 2022.

Self-Care

Self-care is so much more than bubble baths and massages. Self-care in 2022 is going to be about making strategic decisions about how to spend your time, money, and energy. See the ‘quality over quantity’ trend above. When it comes to events and marketing, this means event hosts are going to have to work harder and be more mindful to earn the attention of their audience.

Strategic Sponsorship

Sponsorship has always been strategic in iSPARK land. We are known for helping clients SPARK HIGH-VALUE RELATIONSHIPS with dynamic and memorable sponsorship programs and activations. However, last year we saw sponsorship dollars at a premium, so sponsorship partnerships are going to need to be even more creative and strategic than ever before.

Longform Posts, Personal Stuff & Polls on LinkedIn

Nobody can keep up with the LinkedIn algorithm other than LinkedIn, however, polls took off in 2021 and will likely remain a popular way to engage with the platform heading into 2022. We’re also seeing more personal content on LinkedIn (like wedding and birth announcements, family photos, and jokes). Although reaction is mixed, this trend will most likely continue into 2022. Longform posts have also become popular and show no signs of slowing down in 2022.

Touchless Everything

From touchless door opening mechanisms to touchless hand sanitizer stations or drink dispensers, we’ll see more devices and tech that are designed to be hands off. We can’t forget about those QR codes!

Hiring Challenges & Talent Loss

Getting people back to work and finding the right talent for the job is proving to require a much more thoughtful approach than simply offering wage hikes. The work force is looking for better balance and is therefore being more selective. Good or bad, we all took the time to reset during the pandemic and our priorities have changed. In our company, we’re doing everything in our power to slow down, manage the pace, and put things in perspective.

Equity, Diversion & Inclusion

Sad that this is labelled a trend in 2022, but this is where we’re at. We’ve always been on board for all efforts in this area, particularly as it relates to women in sport and accessibility.

What will 2022 bring? Only time will tell.