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Event Trends for Meeting Planners in 2016

With technologies and marketplaces constantly in flux, creating a successful event can seem like trying to strike an ever-moving target. Meeting planners should take note of these 2016 event trends to help them ensure their next meeting attracts and keeps attendees’ attention.

1.) Virtual Reality

Immersive visualization tools have recently taken off in the meetings market, allowing demonstrators to show off products at tradeshows using VR headsets, rather than needing to ship the actual products. VR technology also engages attendees at trade show booths. Meeting planners can utilize the technology before even booking a location, with virtual hotel and site inspections from remote locations now becoming popular.

2.) Demand for Meeting Venues Increases

Since the demand for meeting and event venues has risen in North America, room rater will rise by 4.3 percent this year, according to an article by Travel Market Report. Increased demand from leisure travelers also makes availability tighter for meeting groups. To combat this, stay flexible on dates and location. All hotels have spots in their year they’re eager to fill. Choosing smaller tiered cities will also help cut costs.

3.) Mobile Event Apps

Mobile event apps now aid meeting planners by tracking attendees’ behavior and preferences in real time during an event. Immediate feedback on favorite speakers, exhibit booths and cuisine keeps planners in tune with attendees’ reactions while there is still time to react.

4.) Personalized Experiences

A panel of experts assembled by Marriott International revealed attendees reported an increased desire to determine their own meeting experiences. Planners should restructure content so attendees have more choices while one the meeting room floor.

5.) Fostering Connection

Another trend identified by Marriott International’s assembled experts relates to fostering small group collaboration. Attendees desire connection at events, which planners can address through opportunities to mingle.

6.) Customized Culinary

With the ever-growing range of preferences and dietary restrictions, attendees seek customizable cuisine, such as make-your-own stations.

For more information, read the Travel Market Report article.