Five trends that will disrupt the meeting industry

Predicting the events of tomorrow isn’t a science—but synthesizing current trends, emerging innovations and newly identified needs from planners can indicate where the industry might be headed next. To better understand future meeting needs, Marriott International partnered with the PCMA Foundation to talk with leaders across a variety of industries on the changes they see driving the future of the meetings industry. 

The final report—called “The Future of Meetings & Events,” which was conducted by innovation consultancy firm Fahrenheit 212—unveiled five specific areas that will disrupt the events industry over the next five years:

1. Emotional intelligence.

A one-size-fits-all meeting model considers every attendee the same, but guests don’t want to be treated as just another person in the crowd. Planners should lean on personalization techniques to anticipate attendees’ needs before they arrive. 

2. Orchestrated serendipity.

Tech-enabled seamlessness is convenient, but it also means that people’s lives are more preprogrammed than in the past: On-demand data streams, hyperscheduling, curated news feeds and predictive content are common elements of many attendees’ days. As such, unexpected event moments are often the most memorable and drive lasting impact.

3. Multimodal design.

An inflexible meeting setup limits the event experience. Spaces should be designed to be adaptable and shift as needed to fit every meeting’s personality and needs. 

4. Bigger than oneself.

Every event must have a message. Now more than ever, attendees want to understand the underlying mission driving each meeting—and see that message reflected in every element of the event. 

5. Clear sense of place.

The right environment can breed a more productive, better-connected meeting, but generic spaces aren’t conducive to such events. Instead, attendees want authentic spaces that celebrate local communities and promote exploration.

For more information, download a copy of the full Marriott International and PCMA Foundation’s study, “The Future of Meetings & Events”.