Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year, New Trends

Here is a list of trends that will carryover into the meetings industry for the new year as listed by PRWeb.  This list came out in September, but I think all of these categories will definitely be significant in 2011.  After each category title, I included a brief explanation but refer to the original article for more insight.

1. Customizable Mobile Apps - Mobile apps will continue to grow in importance to the meetings world in that they make the lives of event organizers and attendees easier.  Some apps serve as a mobile checkpoint for attendees needing to learn the newest updates on their meetings.  Other apps encourage participation during meetings by involving audiences in presentations. 

2.  Hybrid Meetings - The mixing of virtual and live meetings will continue to grow this year as this trend tends to lead to cost savings.  The best way to adapt to this trend?  Learn how face-to-face meetings can be enhanced through digital means and how it benefits your customers.

3.  Comprehensive "Green" Meetings - This means that multiple or all aspects of the meeting planning and execution are eco-conscious.  This includes everything from the type of travel to and from airports to the type of notepads used in the conference room.

4.  Social Media Interaction - Interaction of meeting participants will grow through social media outlets (such as through Twitter streams during conferences or Facebook pages created for special events). Social media will also help planners, clients, and customers communicate faster and more effectively.

5.  Corporate Social Responsibility - This is the "Grandaddy" of the above trends.  How do you use your company's resources to better your community, the environment, and the lives of your stakeholders (including your employees, customers, and clients)?  More teambuilding projects with a CSR focus may be seen in 2011, such as having a volunteer outing during one day of a conference.

6.  Luxury Meetings Return - Do you agree or disagree with this trend?  I think the industry will see an increase on spending in 2011, but am not certain that resort-type destinations will see much benefit of that.  I do believe that more money will be spent on certain "luxuries" that have been absent at many meetings during the past couple of years (such as VIP amenities).

Written by:
Meghan Bollenback
Food & Beverage Manager
R. David Thomas Executive Conference Center

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