Meetings don’t look the same as they used to. New meeting trends are emerging and corporate event planners are racing to keep up with trends that make gatherings and corporate meetings more engaging and dynamic than ever before.
But, when it comes to trends, where should meeting & event industry professionals focus their attention? When it comes to modern shifts, there are six meeting industry trends that stand out from the crowd.
Here are the six global meeting trends that are changing the game.
1. Meeting attendees want more say over the agenda.
The days of speakers shuffling on stage while attendees remain seated are long gone.
Personalization is essential nowadays. Attendees prefer fluid agendas with numerous options that suits a variety of interests and preferences. This often entails crowdsourcing the agenda.
Allowing attendees to choose their own path connects them to the content at hand. There is more energy and engagement in the room when they can choose topics that interest them.
This, however, should not only apply to content; it should also apply to food, activities, and even breakout spaces; giving attendees a sense of choice.
2. Meetings should be “productive” experiences.
The new generation of meeting attendees do not want to be led into any room to just sit and listen. Today’s meeting industry trend includes new events and meetings that are meaningful, innovative, and insightful. Attendees are also interested in elements such as behavioral science, wellbeing, and a connection to the larger world. In short, today’s attendees expect meetings to be purposeful.
These “purposeful meetings” are a big reason why most event planners now create more experience than they did a few years ago.
3. Technology enables planners to accomplish more than ever before.
As you can see, most event planners are being asked to create more complex and innovative experiences than ever before. Simply put, meetings and conferences are becoming not only more complex, but also larger. So, what should a corporate event planner do?
Event technology is responding, evolving at the same rate as the industry. The use of technology can help to reduce event costs, increase planner’s productivity, and increase event attendance.
These technologies assist event teams in marketing more effectively, managing guests more efficiently, mapping out their events in detail, engaging with the audience in real-time, tracking ROI, and other tasks.
4. There is a growing demand for environmentally friendly, sustainable events.
Merchandisers, vendors, and suppliers all over the world are committing to more environmentally friendly business practices and events. We’re also seeing a lot of support for a long-term shift in the events industry. The main takeaway for corporate event planners here is to Reduce. Reuse and Recycle.
Use what is already available when planning an event. Repurpose areas, items, and materials by being inventive. Event professionals can also help to create a circular economy by using items that can be reused or recycled after an event, and they can add social value by making donations or giving free lessons and lectures to members of the community. Many event planners are working to reduce the environmental impact of 2022 event travel as much as possible.
Event planners are reducing the environmental impact of event travel by hosting smaller, more frequent events in multiple locations, booking corporate events closer to home, and incorporating virtual or hybrid events. Professionals from across the industry are gradually addressing ethical issues in event planning.
5. Concentrate on Health and Safety Protocols
Covid-19 has prioritized safety measures in the public’s mind. Even though physical events have resumed, some people are still hesitant to attend a face-to-face gathering. As part of attendee management, attendee safety is regarded as the most difficult obstacle to event planning, but many corporate event designers now regard commitment to following local health guidelines as the most important concern when it comes to venue selection.
Many technological solutions are emerging that promise a Covid-19-free experience at events, ranging from touchless technology to thermal scanning to digital signage. Event organizers are taking the needed precautions to ensure the safety of attendees throughout the event. Some of these safety measures are:
- Consistent sanitation
- Proximity warnings and directional signages
- Hand sanitizing stations located throughout the venue
- UV-C Cleaners
- Online registrations to avoid overcrowding
6. Where you meet is more important than ever before.
Finally, the meeting and event industry has recognized that a destination is more than just geography. It’s a crucial piece of the puzzle that determines meeting success.
The location of your meetings and conferences serves as the backdrop for the content of your events. It’s similar to setting the stage. What kind of vibe do you want that stage to give when your guests arrive? This directly affects their experience.
A purposeful meeting isn’t complete unless it has a destination that reinforces that purpose.
Many attendees are looking for a hybrid of the two worlds, rather than just business as usual. When looking for a venue, don’t let the price be the only deciding factor. Check that the venue can accommodate all of your needs, such as audio/visual capabilities, connectivity, parking, and the number of guests. Don’t forget about the extra perks; using a facility that can provide you with extra perks is critical. Choose, for example, a facility that can assist you with food and drinks while you relax and enjoy your meetings. When looking for a meeting room, you should look for a facility that provides these extra benefits. Also, never book a venue without first inspecting it. A walkthrough in person is way to ensure that your prospective venue has everything you need before the start brainstorming decor and layout ideas.
Finally, these meetings & events industry trends are redefining what it means to plan and execute a successful event.
The preferences of Millennials are pushing planners to create bigger, richer, and more engaging experiences than ever before. Meanwhile, technology is allowing them to pull it off.
While it’s difficult to predict where we’ll be in five years, one thing is certain; being a member of the business is as interesting and exciting as it’s ever been. More change is the only thing we can rely on. (And more events.)
But keep in mind that nothing is set in stone, especially now. While these are a few of the 2022 event trends to watch for the rest of the year, there’s always the possibility that new ones will emerge and steal the show. As a result, it’s more important than ever to be aware and prepared for change at a moment’s notice.
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