The future is bright for the meetings and events industry. 2019 will bring global growth, bolstered by cool new venues opening up all over the world, innovation in events technology and higher standards from attendees that have become accustomed to creative spaces and gatherings from their personal lives. Plus, analytics is revolutionizing management for planners. Strategic meetings management (SMM) allows companies a data-driven big picture of their return on investment. We predict a 5-10% increase in 2019. We look at three factors driving demand.
Thanks in part to Millennials who make up a large part of the business travel population, events get a lot more mileage than ever before and we’re seeing a rise in seminars, training events and trade shows, year-on-year.. Social platforms like Twitter and Instagram are helping to push engagement, extend the conversation and encourage networking. Millennials value face-to-face interaction. A recent study reveals that 75% value experiences over things.
New markets are opening up, infrastructure improving and venues opening worldwide. Asia Pacific has seen consistent expansion with markets like Myanmar and Vietnam opening up to more global events. Across the Americas there is a demand for customized, interactive events in smaller numbers of 20-50 attendees, in alternating cities across a six-month period. EMEA remains on the rise too with continuous innovation in all areas from speakers to technology like virtual and augmented reality.
Upping the offering
Suppliers are increasing their appeal to incentivize events bookings. Hotel chains such as Marriott are investing in their events capabilities by cutting back on costs in other areas. Other hotels are making themselves more attractive with gastronomic leaps and bounds. Mandarin Oriental, London’s Michelin-starred restaurant by Heston Blumenthal, Richard Ekkbus in Hong Kong and Carme Ruscadlleda in Barcelona are a big draw. Meanwhile, hotels not situated in the city centre are offering discounted venue spaces—up to 40% in some cases to attract meeting planners on a budget.
Find out more about what's driving growth and what to consider when planning your meetings and events in 2019.