At Prevue’s New York Visionary Summit at Langham Place last week, Linda J. McNairy, director of business development and strategy for American Express Meetings & Events spoke about four rising meeting trends that are positively impacting meetings productivity, efficiency and effectiveness, according to the American Express Meetings & Events 2016 Global Meetings Forecast.
In addition to an increase in the number of meetings, attendees, individual meeting budgets and cost per attendee in 2016, the forecast discussed four growing trends that McNairy detailed in last week’s presentation.
1. Social Media & Mobile Applications
Mobile app use continues to increase in 2016 because it helps improve communications and attendee engagement. McNairy suggests that all planners be proactive in learning how to use apps to engage attendees. The data that meeting planners can collect can help make future in-meeting decisions.
2. Corporate Compliance
Meeting regulations continue to increase each year. As such, corporations and organizations are beginning to put more definite meetings policies in place. More than 68 percent of respondents said they have a policy in place. Policy components include procurement-related policy, the use of third-party planners, preferred properties and approval processes.
3. Navigating Approval Processes
Meeting approval processes have also become more complex during the last three years, with 58 percent of policies being made that have specific instructions on meeting approvals. Of course, training and board meetings often get faster approval than large conferences or trade shows, so McNairy suggests meeting planners should plan ahead to make time for longer approval wait times.
4. Supplier Mergers & Acquisitions
Several large corporations merged in the past couple years—Starwood and Marriott as well as US Airways and American Airlines—which is why it’s important for meeting planners to understand the impacts of these types of deals on existing event contracts. Be proactive with clients when a possible merger is announced to know how it could affect your meeting.