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Key Trends Shaping Meetings and Events in 2020

January 25, 2020

Each new year brings new ideas and trends that tend to shape our lives from the latest must-have technology to the food we eat and even the places we visit.  There are always new interests and concerns on the horizon, and 2020 is no exception.  In the world of hospitality, those trends can be magnified, as they have the ability to touch numerous lives both personally and professionally. We’ve compiled key items hospitality leaders believe will determine the planning and executing of events in the coming year.

Key factors that will shape meetings and events in 2020 

Artificial intelligence and sustainability high on the agenda

Technology never stops evolving and the steps towards incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI) from a customer service perspective continue to grow. Many hotels are already offering self-service early check-ins. The ability to send room keys or entry codes directly to clients’ phones is currently available at some properties and may soon become the norm. The expectation is that interactive AI will touch the meetings and events industry further with several aspects of a program being handled solely through apps.

Mindful meetings

There’s no ignoring the wellness movement. With entire months devoted to healthy eating as in ‘Veganuary’, and the continued rise of yoga studios, meditation rooms, and juice bars, companies are looking after their employees’ wellbeing. The call for mindful retreats combined with time for rest, relaxation and clear thinking will likely become a sought after request from meeting planners in 2020. 

Sustainability will continue to be a focus

Meeting planners will continue to look for ways to run sustainable meetings as 2020 unfolds. The search for further ways to lessen the impact on the environment will expand beyond single-use plastics consumption to areas such as food waste.  

According to Tracy Stuckrath, president and chief connecting officer of Thrive Meetings & Events, the meetings industry in the United States alone spends an estimated $48 billion on food and beverage every year. Stuckrath estimates that nearly $21 billion of that food and beverage goes to waste.  With numbers this staggering, the need to develop initiatives to drastically reduce food and beverage waste is a top concern. 

Boosting CSR 

The push towards getting venues and events to become greener in recent years, is now leading the events industry to focus on delivering high impact CSR programs. 

Nancy Zavada of MeetGreen says that reducing paper, recycling, or giving up straws is just the starting point of reducing the carbon footprint. Adding social issues to the planning stages is necessary for a well-rounded program. She believes that we are seeing an uptick in corporations who want to change in the world both socially and environmentally and are doing so through experiences at events. But, there seems to be a need for more education around CSR stretching past the traditional charity-focused activities to a wider, mission-based initiative. The ability to incorporate a CSR component that holds true meaning and has an impact on the environment or community is going to become a key factor in meeting development.  

Adding key trends into your next meeting 

While being aware of current trends is important especially in a fast-changing industry, being prepared is even wiser. Tapping into valuable assets can equip meeting planners with the tools necessary to deliver highly successful meetings. One of the best resources for planners is the local destination marketing organization (DMO) or CVB.  DMO’s are experts on their destination, as such, they can help meeting planners make educated decisions, help with hotel and venue selection, introduce unique, local activities and even help with the RFP process.

When you’re ready to begin organizing your next group meeting, contact the staff at Visit Newport Beach, the destination marketing organization for Newport Beach, CA. Visit Newport Beach opens the doors to this Pacific paradise with destination expertise, customized site visits, strong partnerships, and valuable resources.

Written by Visit Newport Beach Meetings

As a not-for-profit Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), Visit Newport Beach provides destination expertise, customized site visits, strong partnerships and resources tailored specifically to the needs of meeting planners and their clients.

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