Meeting Mentor Magazine

December 2018

Five Trends Remaking Meetings

What’s ahead for meetings in the next three to five years? That’s a question explored in a recently released study conducted by Marriott International and the Professional Convention Management Association. Here’s a look at the study’s key findings, gleaned from conversations with experts in fields as diverse as data science, media, architecture and the sharing economy.

1. Sensory analytics: Capture the event’s pulse with the Internet of Things. Cheaper and smaller sensors and advancements in data analytics are simplifying the ability to collect data about physical experiences, analyze the inputs, and make adjustments in real time. These sensors and data collections will communicate with each other creating an “Internet of Things.” The result: “Looking forward, we believe the execution of meetings and events will evolve to allow for minute-to-minute adjustments, driving greater impact, engagement and effectiveness.”

2. Tribalization: Cultivate kinships to elevate outcomes. Increasingly, people are looking for a tribe or community of likeminded individuals with which to affiliate. The upshot is that the value of meetings will become less about the content and more about connection—that is, the attendee list will become more important than the speakers and sessions. “Meetings will adapt in a way that fosters smaller group connections to heighten the overall experience. Meeting venues will also need to adapt to facilitate a more tribe-focused approach that supports collaboration through adjustable infrastructure and technology.”

4. Living 360 degrees: Move beyond wellness to wholeness. The wellness trend has morphed from a focus on physical health to the include “physical, emotional, spiritual and social dimensions that are unique to each person.” For meeting organizers, this means looking beyond healthy menus and providing a greater variety of opportunities for attendees to achieve holistic wellness. “Hotels will be incentivized to customize everything from lighting to airflow in their venues to create healthier environments that help the attendees achieve their desired lifestyle goals.”

5. Immersive telepresence: Captivate your virtual audience. While videoconferencing typically displays a video of people in a conference room at another location, immersive telepresence displays the people from another location as appearing to be within the same room as the audience. In recent years the cost of immersive telepresence systems have become much more affordable. “Immersive telepresence could disrupt the meetings business and other forms of content-sharing in the future. … As the definition of attendee, speaker, and location broadens to include those participating remotely through immersive telepresence, planners will need to craft coordinated and cohesive experiences that appeal to both in-person and virtual participants.” — Regina McGee

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ConferenceDirect is a global meetings solutions company offering site selection/contract negotiation, conference management, housing & registration services, mobile app technology and strategic meetings management solutions. It provides expertise to 2,500 corporations and associations through our 325 Associates globally. www.conferencedirect.com

About MeetingMentor
MeetingMentor, the leading publication for senior meeting planners, is circulated to the clients, prospects and sales associates of ConferenceDirect, which books more than 3.87 million room nights. www.meetingmentormag.com

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