It’s safe to say that through 2021 the events industry evolved again! It marked another rollercoaster year for London Filmed, in which we executed 160+ events, added 5 new people to the team, more than doubled the size of our revenue, and onboarded a number of exciting clients such as Hyperoptic, World Remit, Feeld and NHS SBS . All of this has been through organic growth, and delivering excellent customer experience (4.9 on Trustpilot) , which we’re incredibly proud of.

While we still foresee challenges within the events industry, moving forward we’re excited as we’re seeing first-hand the technological advancements that have been made and the wonderful experiences that have been curated. So we thought we’d briefly digest 2021 and look forward to 2022: What have we learned? What are we excited about? What challenges and business objectives do we face? 

Nick Forster & Tom Mahon
London Filmed Co-Founders

What is your lasting sentiment of 2021?

If we were to sum up 2021, it’d have to be the year of real change. Emphasis on the ‘real’.

In 2020 everyone had to change – there was no other option. But in 2021 we saw people starting to adopt and even embrace the change. This was really positive for London Filmed, as it helped us move through the uncertainty, and keep pushing boundaries.

We loved seeing event organisers put events front and centre of their marketing strategies despite COVID, taking learnings and inspiration from COP26, and the many tech enhancements – it has been another transformative and exciting year for us all. 

Will events look different in 2022 compared to 2021?

We have definitely started to see the emergence of hybrid events as many event organisers look to embrace and unlock the potential of this event format, however, we still produced over 120 virtual events last year. We saw a positive shift towards hybrid events in the latter stages of 2021 and we expect that to continue in 2022 as people become more familiar with the format and how they can curate unique experiences for online and in-person audiences. Those that have been most receptive to technological innovation have thrived in the new landscape and we believe continued openness will provide even more opportunity. Here at London Filmed, we’re trying to be at the forefront of this and look to translate this into unique experiences for our clients.

A perfect example of this is an event we produced for PA Consulting. This really epitomised what an event experience should look and feel like. The event was built on the Sparkleverse platform that famously digitised the Burning Man festival. We put forward this platform as it allowed us to create a sustainable world in a digital format that attendees could explore in a similar way to how we will experience the metaverse in the future. We utilised our full team of illustrators, animators, graphic designers, and video editors working on this project, in addition to our event production team – this is the new event toolbox. It was 6 months in the making and a really exciting example of what innovative events can look and feel like. Take a look at our case study to find out more.

Sustainability in events is going to have even more importance moving forward, following on from commitments made at COP26 by the UK Government. It is going to be fundamental to how people plan and execute digital events from vendor selection to waste management and logistics. We must take a proactive approach, and this is certainly an area we are looking at more rigorously as a company in 2022 and beyond.

What are the most disruptive technology trends shaping the industry?

Digital tech is at such a pivotal moment right now and it is exciting to explore how it can be used to enhance event experiences. The ways virtual (VR), augmented (AR) and mixed (MR) realities allow for more natural social interactions in the digital space, or wonderfully enhanced networking experiences, for instance, is a game-changer. This technology and the metaverse are unlocking a plethora of opportunities to engage with your community. You can literally let your creativity and imagination run wild. 

The ability to find an event platform suitable for specific event requirements is still a challenge for many clients we speak to. The time it takes to research and run through demos, only to find that the platform isn’t suitable, is a real drain. That’s why we’re building our own tech solution, using AI to match event planners’ requirements with the industry’s best event platforms. This is only the start of our tech journey as we aim to help simplify the event planning, production, and delivery process, which can feel pretty chaotic at times, so keep an eye on us! 

Looking forward to 2022 with all the learnings of the past couple of years, what advice would you give to event professionals?

Being realistic with timeline and budget is vital, as curating unique event experiences, and utilising new technologies can be costly and as it’s new, inevitably takes longer to acclimatise. So don’t be afraid to reach out if you want to explore something completely new and you’re not sure where to start or what costs are associated. This is where we thrive. Audience expectations continue to rise, so it’s a great time to be creative and forward-thinking.

However, there needs to be a realistic expectation of what goes into innovative events. Virtual and hybrid events can be complex, especially hybrid, which requires even more planning, but that’s where we can help. We help simplify things by being that extension of your team looking after the technical part of event production, so you can concentrate on stakeholder experience, and enjoy the process. Even a simple conference should be a memorable experience for you as the organiser and your audience. Well, that’s what we think anyway.

What’s in store for London Filmed in 2022?

2022 is shaping up to be an incredibly transformative year for London Filmed, which will kick off with a rebrand and a new website to better represent who we are, what we do, and the solutions we provide to our clients. We are also at the start of a big tech drive, developing new digital tools to help us better serve our clients and their event objectives. We have an exciting product roadmap for 2022 and beyond that will provide our clients with a digital toolkit to help them build better events and experiences.

So keep an eye out for these releases over the coming months and please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’re looking for new and innovative ways to build events. ‘Events built around you’ is our new mantra and we believe this will set us up well in an industry that will be heavily influenced by sustainability, technology, and immersive experiences. It’s a changing, but exciting time for the events industry! 

All the best for the new year,

Nick & Tom