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Conference & Events Industry Trends 2018

June 26, 2018

On the night of the summer solstice we thought we would share some industry trends we trends we’ve noticed through the cold dark days of early 2018.


One of the growing trends that we are seeing is that planners and delegates prefer less traditional formats. For example, they want more interactive meeting spaces or living room formats. This trend also applies to food and beverage. Planners are requesting a wander-around/hybrid of buffet dinner and reception with action stations, tapas and buffet presentations for the guests to enjoy; with a more interactive or lounge-style atmosphere.


Planners are looking for more meaningful ways to incorporate public and community engagement into their conference and meetings. From opening up the trade show to the public for a day to hosting public seminars, organizations are able to advocate their cause while leaving an important educational legacy. Essentially, we will see more planners overlay the public in what were typically private events.


Attendees are looking for more informal ways of connecting with one another, but do not want to leave it up to chance. Often they will go to a conference with an expectation to have a great conversation or learn something new from someone during a session or coffee break…but this does not necessarily happen. With this in mind, we feel platforms like G2 Crowd will become more prevalent.    We also know that people are becoming more and more starved for time. Hoping that someone will show up at your trade show booth or that you will bump into someone like-minded is not necessarily the best use of time. By creating casual, yet slightly formalized, opportunities to connect people around a topic of mutual interest, they can be much more productive.


Health and wellness will become even more important and planners will be integrating purposeful activities that promote well-being in their events. This includes meditations, group activities and competitions, as well as standing sessions.


We know that attendees enjoy counter points of view. Debates are coming back, but not formal ones. It’s a new debate that provides content that depicts two views. This was implemented very successfully by Singapore MICE Forum this year.


These are temporary interactive areas that keep events fresh and inventive for attendees. Pop-ups could range from food trucks to surprise retail environments to sponsor promotions.


In light of world events and tragedies in the past year, safety and security will undoubtedly be heightened in the planning and execution of events. Planners, delegates, venues and other suppliers will all be sensitive to this topic in the new year.

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