As we draw to the end of the year and pen our last blog of 2021, we are looking to the future. What does 2022 hold for business? What will be trending in tech and marketing? We take a look at some items that have caught our interest for the New Year ahead…
It’s the new buzzword right now, but what does it actually mean? Well, like the term ‘cyberspace’ the ‘metaverse’ is the current state of affairs when we’re discussing the internet and all of the building blocks it is made up of. Whether in virtual or augmented reality, the metaverse is a place where the boundaries between the real world and the digital one become blurred.
Whilst we have completely adapted to a digital way of life, conducting most of our lives on our desktops, smartphones and tablets – it’s about to go deeper than a 2D screen. Think headsets, fully immersive digital where you can step inside a building as an avatar… there was even a wedding in the metaverse this week!
What on earth is an NFT?
You may have heard of them but you may be wondering what they are. An NFT (or a non-fungible token) is in simple forms, a unit of data stored digitally. They can be bought and sold – meaning that you can be the owner and collector of original artwork, media, video or audio content. They are one-of-a-kind pieces (or they’re meant to be!) and some recently have been bought and sold for millions…
Whilst the prediction is that we may see a rise in NFT’s being used and talked about, we don’t know if that’ll be in a positive or negative way. Digital files can be easily duplicated, and whilst NFT’s have a certificate of ownership hosted on a record known as the ‘blockchain’ it’s unclear how they can be truly protected. They’ve been likened to buying an autographed print.
Can you see yourself buying something that isn’t real? Hmm… it’s an interesting one.
Whilst we’ve been in the vice-like grip of the coronavirus for two years, it means that the way in which people are working is becoming ever more flexible. So, events are having to adapt. Hybrid events are becoming a staple and we think 2022 will see them become much more mainstream. Combining a live talk with a virtual one means that no one is ‘left out’ and it provides a way of creating unique and various formats of content for the audience to consume.
We see 2022 as the year that hybrid events become much more personalised for the target audience, offering tailored content. It also opens your event to a much wider audience, giving you the ability to go international. Think bigger!
A micro-influencer comes with a smaller, more concentrated fan base, but 2022 will be the year that companies and brands tap into that knowing they are getting their content and products in front of the right people at the right time. And whilst the reach may not be as big, the engagement will definitely make up for that.
A micro-influencer may have between 3-10k followers on a social media platform and are usually known for a niche or specific area of interest. Whilst mainstream influencers have begun to lose trust from the general public and are seen as ‘selling their souls’ by plugging products and services they don’t actually rate or use in real life – the micro-influencer may be here to save the day. They are seen as more genuine, more reliable and more relatable… all great things to have in connection with your brand.
Flexible, remote and hybrid working solutions
Yep, the way we work has changed and for some, it’s never going back to the old way of things. The traditional office may well have had its day with more and more people requesting flexible working solutions. Whilst some are enjoying being completely remote others are taking up a hybrid solution, splitting their time between home working and coming into the office a day or two a week.
Whilst it’s been two years since the order to work from home came, many businesses are now switching to either fully remote working schedules or offering hybrid or flexible solutions meaning that the quality of life could well be about to increase in 2022 for a lot of office workers.
Whilst working remotely may flag some issues and problems may arise when it comes to communication, career progression and inequalities between office staff and remote workers… At least if we have these conversations now, when we see a more permanent shift to hybrid working we can make sure that no one is left behind by putting in comprehensive onboarding, refresher training and mentoring processes in place to support employees physically and mentally.
And lastly, with this year being the year we declared a climate change emergency all over the world, and the lacklustre results of COP26, sustainability is the word on everyone’s lips… and it even translates into the digital realm. We’ve already seen it with Google’s eco-friendly suggested routes in their maps app and online delivery companies evaluating waste and recycling policies. It may feel overwhelming and you may feel that your contribution to being more eco-friendly is a drop in the ocean, but every little helps and if we work together towards a greener future… we will see a positive change across the board.
So what do you think? Have you any predictions for 2022? We’ll check back in the New Year and see whether our crystal ball was right. Until then, have a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year from all of us at the Collective Team.