Marketing, media, sporting and cultural events continue to be disrupted by the spread of COVID—but 2022 offers hope that the calendar might return to a sense of normalcy. Then again, that was the expectation heading into 2021, too, before the delta variant complicated things. Now the omicron spread is the big wild card. But as of now, organizers for some of the industry’s most-watched events are plowing forward. Here is a snapshot of where things stand—but it’s best to pencil these in, rather than use permanent ink.
2022 calendar—A list of marketing, media and other events
CES plans to return to an in-person event in Las Vegas after going virtual-only last year, but organizers on Dec. 31 announced that the event would end one day earlier than planned as a safety measure. How many folks actually show up is the question, as omicron complicates planning. Twitter, Pinterest, MediaLink, Procter & Gamble and iHeartMedia and have already canceled in-person plans.
Trevor Noah hosts the Grammy Awards on CBS. Leading nominees are Jon Batiste (11), Justin Bieber (8), Doja Cat (8), H.E.R. (8), Billie Eilish (7) and Olivia Rodrigo (7).
The XXIV Olympic Winter Games are held in Beijing, China. The event faces multiple complications, from protests over human rights issues to the spread of the omicron variant.
Super Bowl LVI is played at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. For advertisers, the real show is on NBC, where the network is fetching $6.5 million for 30 seconds and has nearly sold out its inventory. Ad Age will preview what to expect from brands during a virtual event on Feb. 8. RSVP for that at https://adage.com/events.
The virtual Ad Age Next: Health and Wellness event brings together executives in the health and wellness sector to discuss how their brands have changed in recent months, and what lies ahead. Tickets go on sale in January.
Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California, is the largest trade show gathering for natural and organic food brands and buyers.
Ad Age publishes the annual A-List and Creativity Awards, honoring the top ad agencies, industry executives and campaigns of 2021. The deadline to enter is Jan. 11. An in-person gala is slated for New York City on April 25. More info at adage.com/events.
South by Southwest is held in Austin, Texas. Organizers faced calls to relocate the event to protest Texas’ new strict anti-abortion law, but opted to remain in the Lone Star state, saying “we will continue to use our platform to further the progression of human rights at home and across the globe.”
March Madness begins with the first and second rounds of the men’s college basketball tournament. The women’s tournament, which starts March 18, will use the “March Madness” trademark for the first time after pressure from gender equity advocates.
ABC airs the Oscars from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. The producer is Will Packer, whose credits include “Girls Trip” and “Straight Outta Compton.”
Shoptalk, the massive retail industry event, is held at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Featured speakers include Cara Sylvester, executive VP and chief digital officer at Target, and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.
Ad Age Next: Retail looks at the trends shaping the retail industry. The in-person event will be held in New York City.
The NBA Playoffs begin as the league’s 75th anniversary season reaches a climax.
The digitally-focused IAB Newfronts will include in-person and streaming presentations, followed by the IAB Podcast Upfront from May 10-12.
The One Show announces its creative awards. New this year: a category for creative excellence in gaming.
TV networks host upfront presentations. Disney has stated it plans to hold an in-person event at an undisclosed venue.
D&AD creative awards announced at a ceremony that will be broadcast live with watch parties in New York, São Paulo, London
“Lightyear,” a spinoff of Pixar’s “Toy Story,” is due in theaters, arriving more than 26 years after the highly successful film franchise debuted.
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity returns to France after going all-virtual in 2021. The 2022 version will be hybrid, with in-person events taking place in Cannes as well as digital access available to participants.
Aug. 29-Sept. 5
Good news for practitioners of radical self-expression: Burning Man is expected to return. “After a two-year hiatus and with persistent, pandemic-driven unknowns, the road might be a little more circuitous, but we’ll be damned if it’s not leading us Home,” organizers of the iconic Nevada arts festival recently stated.
The Association of National Advertisers Masters of Marketing conference is held in Orlando with online viewing options available.
The midterm elections are held as Democrats and Republicans battle for control of the House and Senate. The real winners are ad sellers, which will benefit from what is expected to be a major bump in political spending.
The Association of National Advertisers hosts its annual Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference in Hollywood, Florida. It will include virtual sessions.
Nov. 21-Dec. 18
Soccer’s FIFA World Cup is played in Qatar. Sponsors will face pressure to take a stand on human rights issues in the country, including anti-gay laws.