2022 has arrived; bringing with it innovation and an opportunity to showcase the technology that companies have been pioneering over the last year. Retailers have built out their online channels to offer more ways to purchase than ever before and restaurants have leveraged automation and delivery to reach new customers. Trade shows have returned and further increased the ability to network and get up close with the latest industry trends.

Some trade shows have returned to their in-person format with CES kicking off January and NRF taking center stage on the 16th. The shows feature a full panel of guest speakers and booths from industry leaders with the chance to interact in person and network away from the computer screen. These trade shows will act as an indication of what the rest of 2022 will bring, both in terms of innovation and the return of regularly scheduled events. The success of these operations will set the standard for other organizations on how to return to in-person events.

The rollercoaster recovery of 2021 is expected to give way to a more stable boom this year. Restaurants and retailers with their eyes on expansion will be breaking ground and we will not only be getting new locations, but new types of stores as well. Small formats could herald the future for many companies and this year will be the testing ground. We will also get to see how supply chains respond post holidays and the steps each company takes to mitigate its impact.

Technology will be a major focus of the year and the driver behind industry recovery. Automation, purchasing and payment software, and delivery infrastructure are just a few of the types of tech that will transform how everyone does business. Plant based foods, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs will also factor into many companies’ plans for 2022. The future has arrived and the chance to network and reconnect will only make these options more accessible.

2022 will be a year of firsts where consumers, manufacturers, and retailers will all benefit from cutting edge advancements. Our favorite restaurants and department stores will look different than we remember, and this change will shape the next decade. Trade shows are set to ring in the New Year by establishing a sense of normalcy and drawing in a worldwide audience. The chance to see what others have been creating over the past two years will be exciting and will spur new collaborations. 2022 is a year to celebrate by getting back to business.