If every company in the IPO pipeline right now went public next year, we’d see $30 bn in fresh capital raised. And that’s if no other companies (including Facebook) completed their IPOs in 2012. It’s a staggering number, especially when you think about the pace at which companies have been filing in a market where it’s difficult to get to that celebratory opening bell.

Since 2012 is poised to start in such interesting condition, it becomes almost impossible to predict what the year will bring. Nonetheless, there are some clues from this year – especially in the internet sector – that do provide some insight.

Let’s take a look at what 2012 may hold for the IPO market:

1. The small float: what do Zillow, Groupon, Pandora and LinkedIn have in common? They didn’t offer up much. It became fashionable this year to only offer around 10 percent (or less) of a company’s shares at IPO. My guess is that the likes of Yelp! and Facebook are thinking along the same lines for 2012: expect this trend to continue.

2. Competition among alternatives: SecondMarket and SharesPost have been joined by Cantor Fitzgerald, LiquidnetGFI Group and now Knight Capital. If the IPO market remains tricky in 2012, expect more competition in the private secondary markets, among both existing players and new entrants. Doubtless, a number of companies are looking for the right way to access this market, which means pre-IPO companies will gain more alternatives to a traditional IPO.

3. Facebook won’t be pretty: yes, Facebook will go public, and yes, it will be at a mind-blowing valuation. Everyone will be excited. There will be parties. And then the shorts will finally get their shot. To see what happens next, just take a look at Groupon.

4. The lawyers will rejoice: companies will still want to go public, and they’ll still shovel cash at law firms to help prepare their S-1s. Many will file just to be ready to go public when (or if) conditions allow it.

5. Small is beautiful: this year, given the tough market conditions faced, it took a relatively big brand to have a successful IPO – especially in the second half of the year. Next year, it could all be different. Smaller companies with stronger value propositions are likely to have an easier time to going public in 2012 than the big brands that have thinner financials.

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