Friday, May 16, 2014

Meeting Trends In 2014

If there is one thing planners and hotels agree on today, its the emerging trends in meeting planning that will surely shape the industry in years to come. Meetings are becoming one of a kind experiences held at unique locations that an attendee may not otherwise visit, or incorporating outdoor elements. Some venues are even incorporating 'multi-sensory events' using touch, taste, sight and smell together to create themes like tropical or old world, ingraining a true memory associated with that event that lingers year-round.

There is a growing popularity of local elements at meetings and events, which can turn a board meeting into a dive into culture. Venues are offering local cuisine, art, and even beer. Attendees can get involved with local volunteerism and experience the culture of their destination, and the response is overwhelmingly positive.

The reality of the current sellers market is that clients are facing a lack of availability and price pressures. This shift is encouraging planners to think differently in terms of location, price, and how fast they move to contract. Decision makers must be nimble enough to book in advance, which makes hotels are more likely to negotiate deposits and cancellation penalties.

Mobile technology at an events used to be something nice to have, but today, its a table stake. It allows organizers to send information to attendees, help them craft programs, and make adjustments based on feedback to provide more value. Smart phones have become part of our daily lives, and utilizing this is a great way to engage your attendees, but it has to be given proper attention and planning. Now social media has its own budget in most companies, and it plays a meaningful part in marketing and communication. Organizers are increasingly taking the attendee data captured to the next level by using geo-locating technology as virtual guides through trade show events, think 'Google glasses' for trade shows.

This trend affects hotels in a big way, as being a free Wi-Fi capable hotel is expected, and can create an advantage over those venues not capable of doing so. For more information on these and other trends, visit:

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