The Top Four Meeting Trends of 2014

Meeting Planner While there’s no crystal ball for meetings in 2014, there are certainly some emerging trends that will continue to shape the industry.

Here’s a look at four of these developments, and advice for planners on how they can not only meet, but beat expectations in the year ahead.

1. Meetings Are Experiences  If there’s one thing that all the experts agree on, it’s that meetings today aren’t just face-to-face gatherings for the sole purpose of exchanging business information. Rather, they’re enriching, one-of-a-kind experiences that attendees will treasure forever. 2. Attendees Want a Sense of Place  Another shift is the growing popularity of incorporating local elements into the meeting or event — giving attendees a taste of the locale they’re in. Gone are the days of business professionals being holed up in a large convention hall in a nameless, faceless city. Attendees today want and expect to experience the culture of their meeting destination. 3. It’s a Seller’s Market  According to Martiz, “while clients still expect hotels and venues to hold space for a long time without a firm commitment, … the reality is they are facing a lack of availability and price pressures.” McGury explains the shift by pointing to the trend of higher hotel occupancy. “Hotels will be in a stronger position to negotiate,” she says. “Planners will have to start thinking differently in terms of location, price. [And] because there’s higher occupancy, there’s a need to move faster in terms of contracting. It trickles down to whoever the decision makers are. People need to be more nimble and move faster to get these contracts in place.” 4. Mobile Technology is Here to Stay  Having an event website, app, and social media presence used to be nice-to-haves. Today, they’re table stakes. “Now it’s: How are you engaging the attendee before, during, and after the event?”  Mobile technology allows event organizers not only to push information out to attendees, but also to listen to attendees to help them craft their programs on the front end, as well as make adjustments during the event to provide more value. For more information visit the source here: