I have been an avid reader of this report since it started 3 years ago. It calls on industry experts to review and discuss the latest and emerging trends that are shaping our industry. I spend my working week visiting venues across the country, and it’s hugely exciting to see the diversity that exists, and so it’s great to see how the themes in these reports are represented in the real world.
Interacting and engaging with the younger generation
It’s no secret that the younger generation of today demands a high level of sensory stimulation and technology to aid communication. The planners and buyers that I meet are always discussing the constant challenge to create experiences and keep the attention of delegates. This is a critical theme in this years report with 88% of respondents saying that Increased integration of new technology (especially smartphone integration) is an area being impacted by the younger generation of buyers and organisers. We see venues and organisers working together to change their meeting formats to accommodate this change in behaviour: shorter meetings and technology to stimulate interaction and collaboration.
Another key take out from this year’s report is that people want to be treated as individuals with personalised experiences rather than groups. Developments in audience participation, collaborative communication and other technology will be interesting over the coming 12 months to see how it meets these needs.
Social and environmental impact of events
With every venue visit I do, I see more and more creative initiatives to help reduce the impact venues, and events have on the environment. Everything from reducing plastics and food waste to ethical operations and purchasing. In the report, 44% of respondents said that ethical procedures and sustainable practices will become more critical in the next five years.
Outsourcing to improve productivity and quality
One of the areas of the report that resonated with me is that organisers are increasingly willing to outsource key areas of the process to both improve their workload and to help to meet client expectations. With such a focus on digital media and event technology, it makes sense that planners are seeking expertise from outside their own organisation to deliver the experiences these provide. On the theme of experience creation, additional activities in events are on the rise, and so venues and planners are calling on external companies to offer something unique and memorable to enhance the proposition.