Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s 2014 Meeting & Events Trends report predicts a modest rise in business-related meetings and events this year, continuing a recent pattern of steady 1 to 2 percent annual growth. In its new report the global travel agency also discusses key trends that are shaping the events and meetings management industry.
- Customized content for attendees, such as individualized itineraries, personalized invitations, mobile itineraries on arrival, and interactive voting at events.
- Smaller, well-organized events.
- More consolidation of strategic meetings management programs for increased cost savings.
- A greater emphasis on creative solutions.
- Enhanced safety and security for meeting attendees.
The use of technology to collect live, real-time feedback that enables agendas to be adjusted and improved while an event is still happening.
The High Point CVB offers groups planning visits to High Point, N.C., all of these features and more. For example, we always provide custom content, such as information on local accommodations, restaurants and attractions, and individualized itineraries. And, we are no stranger to creativity. The High Point CVB has been known to provide shuttle service from hotels to area restaurants to meet requests for specific types of food, this gives the guests a larger variety of dinner options. In addition, the High Point CVB has had numerous out of the box requests for unique items, including a gong. The High Point CVB searched the area and was able to secure a gong to meet the needs of the meeting planner.
More than ever, efficiency is the key word for meeting planning in 2014. And, with its unique combination of affordability, accessibility and unique local attractions and activities, High Point offers a great return for every dollar spent.
According to the report, corporations and associations alike have grown increasingly concerned about the dollar figures attached to their meetings and conferences. And, in 2014, they will continue to keep a close eye on those budgets. As a result, low-cost cities such as High Point are increasingly becoming even more desirable options for meetings and events.
Three other trends of interest to meeting planners are emerging in 2014, according to the report and other industry sources:
- Attendees will be closer to home: Meetings may represent a chance to get away from the traditional day-to-day grind of work, but in 2014, that “getting away” may not take attendees quite as far. Respondents from around the world agreed that they are noticing increased demand for regional meetings.
- Working more quickly: Every meeting planner loves plenty of lead time, but it seems that the clock is speeding up this year. As the approval process for meetings continues to face obstacles in many organizations, respondents in every region believe that they are seeing shorter lead times this year. Planners are no strangers to the fact that shrinking lead times can hold serious implications for securing optimal dates and affordable room rates.
- New opportunities delivered digitally: Having a mobile app and a strong social media presence is no longer reserved for organizations that have plenty of resources and money. These have become essential tools for every business. The High Point CVB is on Facebook, Twitter and, of course, we have our blog. When it comes to hosting meetings, we use these platforms as powerful ways to turn attendees into true community members and increase engagement before, during and after events.
“Meeting organizers are looking to utilize social media tools to create higher quality and more engaging programs that better meet the needs of attendees,“ says Issa Jouaneh, vice president and general manager, American Express Meetings & Events. “The future will be truly exciting for the industry as we redefine the meetings investment and experience management through the incorporation of digital meetings solutions.”
The High Point CVB is excited to work with organizations throughout North Carolina and the Southeast to make their meeting experiences the best they can be. Check out our website for more information and inspiration.