Well, February is already upon us, however here at NYS, we’ve been very busy throughout January and we’ve been taking a look at the marketing trends and predictions for meetings and events that lay ahead in 2018.
From fantastic new food trends, to new innovative locations and an invigorated focus on delegate experience, the upcoming year is looking very exciting indeed.
With food quality and customer service amongst the top ten key influencing factors for venue and event destination selection, it has become more important than ever that venues offer something gastronomically exciting or different for client meetings and events. Whether a by-product of ‘Brexit’ or part of a growing trend across the board, a major food topic is ‘best of British.’ Event organisers and indeed delegates are becoming more mindful and supportive towards British Produce.
Refreshments, as well as food, are certainly a key influence this year, with trends in more engaging and creative options taking precedence over standard offerings. This is a great way for hotels to form an individual identity and create a lasting impression on delegates.
Not only is what we eat and drink being influenced heavily this year, dining is also beginning to evolve. Disappearing is the drab and bland dining spaces, instead being replaced with a record high demand for casual dining with local produce, which is healthy and nutritious, as well of course being presented perfectly for that Instagram worthy snap.
In a year where companies are seeking better value for money, venues are taking inspiration from their surroundings and designing local, inspired menus, while décor it taking on a more trendy flavour. With value for money and access to the event location also being in the top ten factors in the BMEIS 2017 report, making the most of your chosen location is very important.
This year sees a number of new trends surfacing, including a more varied meeting and venue format and a move away from holding meetings and events between four walls and into more inspirational venues and spaces, where we find in some cases, getting rid of walls altogether and hosting meetings outside. A mix up in meeting space is something that will certainly be prevalent in the coming year.
A real surge in delegate wellbeing was seen during 2017 and this trend is set to continue into the New Year. Companies are also looking for memorable experiences for their employees when booking events, centred on greater use of technology and healthier food options.
With more focus on employee wellbeing, there is a growing forecast for more one-day events that don’t require overnight accommodation, saving time for delegates, however should a stay be unavoidable, there has also been a renaissance in budget hotel brands, at one time, rarely used. These properties are now fast becoming the sought after accommodation, as budget continues to be a key factor.
In terms of the day-to-day experience, a move away from traditional classroom style conference set-up’s and an increase in demand for breakout sessions in common areas, whilst still being able to connect to course content is also expected… event agility is certainly high on the agenda (as is the agility of the event organiser), while attendees also expect more variety and to be in comfortable spaces, rather than the classic and more formal environments.
New event formats will begin to replace the traditional, with a major trend surfacing in 2017 being active learning sessions, in comparison to the traditional, passive learning presentations. Essentially, the death of traditional conferences and the evolution of engagement based events could very well be upon us…
Whether you are looking for a traditional conference or yearning for a more creative and inspired event, NYS wishes you a great year.