The 5 Biggest Megatrends in Meetings and Events

Sustainability, technology, and globalization are among the biggest factors shaping the future of meetings and events according to the German Convention Bureau (GCB) “Meetings and Conventions 2030” study that was published last month.

GCB Managing Director Matthias Schultze explained the purpose of the study at the IMEX America Conference in Las Vegas when he stated: “As an innovation leader, we envision this megatrends study helping players in the industry develop a future-oriented strategy that can generate business and economic success.” Anyone involved in the planning or utilization of meetings and events would be wise to listen and learn from this study.

The top five megatrends in meetings and events influencing the growth and progression of the industry according to the GCB are as follows:

  • Technology – Technology unsurprisingly came in as the number one megatrend, with nearly 42 percent of survey respondents deeming it to be very influential in the future of meetings business. New and innovative ways to transfer knowledge and information from one person to another will influence how events are planned and executed. Virtual components will become more prevalent in live events and break down the barriers of distance and time zones. Just because an individual cannot physically be in attendance does not mean they can’t be present via webcam or by other virtual means.
  • Sustainability – Over 26 percent of survey respondents considered sustainability as having a “very strong impact” on the future of meetings. Construction and renovation of venues, transportation, food, and entertainment are the prominent areas where sustainability will affect future decisions and consideration. Further, regionalization of meetings will increase and cause planners to devote more budget to using local suppliers and encouraging local audiences to attend events.
  • Globalization and Internationalization – Globalization will have a major impact on the industry according to nearly 29 percent of those queried. Meetings will be one of the most important forums to address and understand cultural nuances, norms, and preferences. Speaking multiple languages and grasping how a wide variety of cultures behave will be a very strong advantage in the future.
  • Mobility – 26 percent felt that mobility will be vital in the future of meetings and events. It’s more crucial than ever to be transported to and from events quickly, comfortably, and with the least amount of negative impact on our environment. Companies will need to be aware of this when choosing event locations, mode of transportation, and even the medium through which tickets are issued. Meetings and events can be more “green” by using fewer resources such as paper and fuel.
  • Demographic Change – Cited by 18.2% of respondents as a “very strong” megatrend, demographic change of meeting attendees should remain in the front of the minds of all meeting and event planners. The average age of meeting attendees is increasing and cultural diversity is becoming more evident. Food choices, holiday observances, and differing norms will all be important to be aware of due to America’s increased cultural diversity.

While these five megatrends create a more complex situation for meeting and event planners heading into 2014, they also present new and unique opportunities to deliver successful events. Progressive planners are already evaluating how to more effectively execute successful events with these trends in mind and looking for ways to use the trends to their advantage.

Please don’t hesitate to send us an email at or comment below to express your opinion on this topic or ask us a question. We have over thirty years of planning events and meetings, so learning how to adapt to the evolving industry is our forte.

Visit or today for more information on meeting and event planning to learn how these events can make more your organization more profitable and productive.

Written by Kristopher Hewkin

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