6 Trends to Watch in 2015

Successful Meetings spoke to industry experts and meeting gurus to unearth this year’s expected trends.

Wouldn’t it be nice to know what to expect from the meetings industry for the next year? Successful Meetings connected with industry experts and professionals to get their predictions for 2015. Here are the six trends that they believe will rule the events landscape this year.

Successful Meetings’ 2015 Meeting Trends

Seller’s market. Experts believe 2015 will be a seller’s market, which means tougher negotiations and longer lead times. Industry professionals suggest booking multiple or recurring events within one contract and relying on established partnerships.

Low budgets and high expectations. The Meeting Professional International Fall 2014 Meetings Outlook predicted an overall budget increase of just 1.7 percent in North America and Europe. The Successful Meetings 2015 trends survey found that the majority of respondents expect no change in budget this year. However, that doesn’t mean attendees’ expectations are stagnant. Planners will have to get creative to make their budgets work for attendees who still expect personalized, one-of-a-kind experiences.

Meeting attendees as participants. Meeting professionals need to begin viewing their audiences as active participants rather than passive attendees. This means thoughtfully integrating things like scrolling Twitter walls, gamification, and mobile apps and rethinking the way presenters share information with the audience.

Bigger role for big data. This is the year of event technology. Social media, bar codes and event apps, for example, can help planners gather personal information about their attendees to better tailor event experiences for them.

Training meetings. Training meetings are back “in” for 2015, with projected 9 percent growth. It seems that employee training and education is increasingly important in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing business world. Organizations are also investing in their employees to ensure company growth.

Appealing to multiple generations. Understanding attendee demographics will help event professionals achieve meeting goals. For example, baby boomers may be most comfortable with a lecture-style format, whereas Gen Xers might prefer group discussions and millennials might seek out integrated technology like social media and gamification.