5 Ways to Carpe Diem
Our annual Meetings Industry Forecast
helps prepare your events for the future.
As you’ll see from this year’s Meetings Industry Forecast (p. 51), our industry’s short-term future is bright. Hotel occupancy is up, all sectors of the exhibitions industry are
growing, and value ratings for exhibitions are strong. Yet there are challenges — the seller’s market in the
United States, shrinking travel budgets,
rising costs, and meeting disruptors.
With that in mind, here are five
opportunities the forecast brings to light.
1 PUT MEE TING CON TEN T TO WORK
Many organizations make their incredible face-to-face education sessions
a “one-and-done” proposition. As
TechSavvy Global CEO Scott Steinberg
points out, you can harness that meeting content and use it again for many
purposes, including to market your
event, organization, or cause; to engage
attendees and members throughout the
year; and to attract virtual audiences.
2 VIRTUAL MEE TINGS ADD VALUE
Speaking of virtual, are you taking
advantage of this opportunity for additional revenue, potential new in-person
attendees, and increased engagement?
American Express Meetings & Events’
recent survey indicates that planners
are out of step with attendee interest
in this area: 63 percent of attendees
said they would attend more meetings
and events virtually if that option were
made available, yet in a separate survey,
48 percent of planners said that they
did not think attendees would attend
more meetings and events virtually if
given the opportunity.
3 KEEP YOUR EYE ON TECHNOLOGY
It’s worth staying on top of some tools,
like virtual and augmented reality,
because they will get less expensive and
improve in quality in the next few years,
and their potential to engage attendees
is amazing. Wearables — including
smart watches, bracelets, and badges —
are extremely promising when used to
help attendees enhance their meeting
experience, not just to help organizers
learn more about their behavior.
4 GO GLOBAL If the U.S. seller’s market has you down, or if your organization or attendees want to explore new
destinations, now is an excellent time
to consider taking your meeting abroad.
You also can’t ignore China’s growing
popularity: It has overtaken the U.K.
and France to become the third-largest
exhibitions market in the world. Other
options include markets in Mexico and
the Gulf region, where the meetings
infrastructure continues to advance.
5 KEEP INNOVATING Challenges such
as the seller’s market or rising F&B
costs can cause you to reevaluate how
you do business and how you engage
attendees. For instance, the timing may
be right to develop a strategic meetings
management program (SMMP) or to
build longer lead times into your booking process so you can negotiate better
rates. It’s also a prime time to revisit
your meeting program and be creative
with how you use F&B to enhance the
meeting experience. .
In this issue, we give
you another taste
of what’s in store for
Leaders 2016 attendees with interviews
with a handful of
speakers in our
program (p. 73). Our
forecast? Your time
will be well spent
in Vancouver, Jan.
10–13. Check out our
program and register
President & CEO