Meeting and Events Trends for 2019

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Business Optimizer takes a look at some of the meeting and events trends that are expected to take off in 2019.

Every year, the CWT Meetings & Events Future Trends report highlights some of the changes that are coming to the meetings and events world.

This year’s report assesses the global landscape and highlights venue and transportation trends as well as attendee experience trends set to take off in 2019. Business Optimizer highlights some of the most interesting predictions.


#1. Demand will continue to grow

Cvent’s Global Planner Sourcing Report 2018 shows the numbers and size of events are expanding year-on-year. The fastest rise is for meetings of between
101 and 500 people, but across the board demand is expected to grow in 2019.


#2. Thinking creatively about location

CWT points out that hotel and venues outside major cities can offer savings of up to 40 percent. This is important because the survey says global hotel rates are set to rise 3.7 percent.


#3. Best cities for meetings and events

Las Vegas, New York and Orlando are set to be the top three North American cities for events in 2019, according to CWT. It suggests San Diego, Toronto and
Nashville are “ones to watch”. Meanwhile, in the Asia Pacific region, Shanghai, Singapore and Beijing are set to dominate – with Melbourne, Xi’an and Seoul being the outsider tips in this region. In EMEA, London, Moscow and Barcelona are set to lead the top cities in 2019 – with Hamburg, Athens and Milan highlighted as up-and-coming destinations.


#4. A creative approach to venue selection

As well as thinking creatively about location, the report highlights a growing trend for unusual meeting and event venues. It says, “Demand is rising for unorthodoxspaces and activities, particularly in the mature incentive markets in the US, UK and Europe. Treehouses, rooftops, and even islands will become increasingly popular as attendee experience takes pole position.” It predicts that, “Museums, galleries, sporting venues, and historic buildings will continue to combine technology, design and experience in innovative new ways.”


#5. Technological advances

While the continued demand for face-to-face meetings isn’t going to see a significant shift to virtual meetings anytime soon, the use of AR and VR technologies are changing the way those face-to-face meetings are discussed.


#6. Attendee experience is key

As the trend in venue selection suggests, event and meeting organisers are placing a greater emphasis on attendee experience. This is leading to what CWT calls a “festivalisation” of events – encouraging greater engagement and collaboration.


#7. Safety and security top the list of concerns

Travel risk assessment and management continues to play an important role in event and meeting planning. The report makes the point that, “Best practice for reducing risk is to communicate any potential safety and security issues before the trip.”


#8. Make sure your meeting and event organisation complies with GDPR

GDPR tightens up the rules on how organizations collect, manage and secure the personal data of EU citizens and residents. CWT points out, “This has led to many
multinational organisations implementing policies to comply with GDPR across their global operations and not just EU locations – effectively using it as a ‘gold
standard’ in data protection and as an impetus to reassess their data security
policies.” Wherever you are in the world, it makes good sense to adopt this approach – whether for compliance, if you deal with the EU citizens, or, if you don’t, as a source of competitive advantage.

So, these are some of the meeting trends that industry experts are predicting around the world in 2019. How many of them will you be adopting?