From garlic and BYOD to personalization and teambuilding, industry professionals share their 2017 predictions for meetings, conferences and events. Looking ahead to a new year, it’s safe to say things are looking up—and tasting pretty good, too, according to the chef from St. Joe Club & Resorts. We look forward to bringing you more detailed coverage on all of these topics in the months to come.
It will still be a seller’s market.
“Third-party organizations are continuing to grow. Organizations that have on-staff meeting planners are starting to farm out meetings or responsibilities to the third-party companies. Also, social media is going to continue to grow in many different ways and is becoming the No. 1 source for advertising, attendance building and relationship development.”
—Mike Gunn, Senior Vice President, Greater Birmingham CVB
New education formats will become paramount to increasing audience engagement.
“We added a tech lab to our exhibit hall educational opportunities. During our call for presentations, we realized that a handful of sessions would lend themselves to this format. Each session was the same length as our educational breakouts but took place in a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environment. For 2017, we’ve doubled the space and plan to add to the environment with more charging areas and specifically formatted sessions.”
—Shannon Burke, CMP, Director of Conference and Meetings, National Association for College Admission Counseling
Urban centers will become more popular destinations.
“Meetings are about enriching yourself, and you can do that in cultural centers.”
—Fred Dixon, President and CEO, NYC & Company
Personalization is key.
“With the increase in mobile devices, automated booking tools and social media platforms, meeting professionals have access to an overwhelming amount of data and information. So, how does a hotel or destination make a splash? Through personalization. In this digital age, we will see the need for the human element become increasingly important. That means personalizing communication based on the meeting professional’s preference.”
—Michelle Moore, Director of Sales, Experience Kissimmee