The global business landscape is undergoing a profound transformation. The way we live, work, and interact has been reshaped in the last few years, and the ripple effects of these changes create opportunities in the meetings and events industry. In our ‘Meeting Expectations: The Future of Meetings & Events’ report, you will find a comprehensive exploration of the forces shaping this sector and the strategies essential for success in the coming years.
The future of the meetings and events industry is a story of resilience, innovation, and transformation. The trends explored in this report are not merely forecasts; they are blueprints for success. As we navigate this ever-changing terrain, let us do so with the spirit of collaboration, connection, and a relentless commitment to excellence. Together, we will shape a future where every meeting and event is a catalyst for progress, a source of inspiration and a place for belonging.
The Future of Meetings & Events: 5 Key Trends
1. Softer Productivity
“Work hard, play hard” is making way for a growing focus on well-being, flexibility, nutrition, and time management to create a harmonious balance between life and productivity. In MICE, experiences are being curated around the nourishment and wellness of participants, including the downtime agenda.
Nobody wants to be pushed to their limits anymore. There is a space for much softer productivity that still allows you to deliver, but to do it in your own time and in your own way.
2. Selling Belonging
Despite the rise of digital, human connections are still essential for business. Digital is powerful, face-to-face is valuable. The coming years will see an increasing number of planners move beyond the idea that events are simply about getting people into a room together, instead considering how they can forge deeper connections between attendees, cementing relationships and encouraging repeat bookings. As well as quantifiable ROI (return on investment), such as closing deals, companies also seek positive ROX (return on experience) to reinforce a sense of belonging and deliver a valuable experience.
3. Designing Experiences
The very definition of an event is being rethought in terms of structure, content and venue. By creating experiences rather than simply providing meeting rooms, we can help embed ideas, memories and different ways of thinking – as with the vast C2 Immersive Floor at Pullman Paris Montparnasse, allowing us to create events that are transformative and creative.
The MICE customer of tomorrow is looking for an experience-led but also purpose-driven brand, a brand that cares about the needs of the individual and the community.
4. Green Gatherings
Sustainability is now at the heart of meetings and events with a strong focus on reducing carbon emissions and waste. For example, our Event Carbon Reduction Charter for meetings and events covers a range of measures from recycling bins to food waste & temperature management. Beyond emissions, sustainability also increasingly involves sparking meaningful engagement with local communities and fostering environmentally friendly conversations – whether by recommending local transport or raising awareness of local culture and ecosystems.
Authentic local discovery is a key part of building a sustainable event, engaging and supporting the local community and embracing sustainable discovery.
5. Disruptive Technology
As AI leaps forwards, it has the potential to transform the meetings and events sector through its capacity to instantly crunch data – for example, finding the best date by analyzing the availability of participants, identifying great speakers and even writing invites and content. How can we use data to offer amazing, immersive, interactive experiences? If used wisely, AI undeniably holds great value to offer all sorts of possibilities for next-gen meetings and events planners.
Tomorrow’s Meetings and Events
As the expectations of event organizers and participants continue to evolve at a dizzying pace, the Meetings & Events sector is undergoing profound transformations. The industry is reinventing itself to embrace wellbeing, sustainability and experience, as well as the tech that can accelerate these changes. At Accor, we’re excited to contribute to the future of meetings and events, together.