IMEX America, the worldwide exhibition for the incentive travel, meetings and events business, which debuts October 11–13 in Las Vegas, recently asked meeting industry chief executives what they see ahead for events this year. Here is some of what they said.
1. Green Gets Formal.
Environmentally conscious meeting management will increase in 2011. More organizations will tackle a top list of tangible steps they can take to make a difference, and will put their green event policies in writing. Increased tracking of these efforts will lead to more communication of their green performance. Along the same lines, the “locavore” movement, which emphasizes the consumption of locally produced and sourced food, will increase this year.
2. Holograms and Hybrids Get Better.
Meeting technologies such as telepresence (the latest and greatest in videoconferencing) and Eyeliner (a system created by the company Musion that uses high-definition video projection to allow remote moving images to appear to be live on stage) will allow more options for getting together. Holograms will go mainstream, “putting global experts at the fingertips of attendees and organizers alike,” the report states. Meanwhile, hybrid events, which blend live and virtual meeting elements, will become better integrated and better able to enrich meeting experiences as technology such as telepresence becomes less expensive and more accessible.
3.Gets Strategic. Organizations’ social media efforts relating to meetings will be “less about driving outreach en masse and more about using specific approaches through Twitter or Facebook to make communications even more personalized,” the report states. “Delegate ownership of content will rule.”
4. Mobile Meeting Apps Multiply.
The challenge will be to integrate them appropriately into events.
5. Incentive Travel Is Back.
Though creative and tight use of budgets continues, industry leaders predict an uptick in the booking of luxury properties and international destinations.
6. Meetings Leave a Positive Legacy. More meetings will engage with their host communities, learning about their issues and challenges and creating give-back activities that make a positive impact.
Source: IMEX America survey of industry leaders including John Graham, president and CEO of ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership; Bruce MacMillan, president and CEO, Meeting Professionals International; Chris White, chairman and CEO, Global Events Partners; Christine Duffy, incoming president of Cruise Lines International Association; and Ray Bloom, chairman, IMEX Group.