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Top trends for meetings in 2020

British Motor Museum | 02 March 2020

We do a lot of reading around our industry, we follow industry news, speak to suppliers and clients, so thought we would share with you three of the emerging event trends for 2020.

The Greta Effect

No one could have missed Greta Thunberg and environmental activists call last summer for Governments to take climate change seriously. This has put Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) back on everyone’s radar – which has got to be a good thing.

Jane Longhurst, chief executive of the Meetings Industry Association recently said “Sustainability will continue to be a key focus for the business meetings and events industry in 2020 as organisations explore further ways to lessen their impact on the environment. While 2019 saw the industry make headway in tackling single-use plastics consumption with many signing up to the MIA’s #20PercentLess campaign, for example, the focus will be broadened in 2020 to consider other areas, such as food waste.

“According to WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme), over one million tonnes of food is wasted in the hospitality and food service sector each year, so there is a pressing need to push forward with initiatives that can drastically reduce this amount.”

So this is something that venues and clients can tackle together. Clients need to be mindful of creating excess waste be it over ordering on catering, thinking about what goodies and giveaways are given out – are they really needed? Are they single use items? Encouraging delegates to lift share, use public transport, or come in an electric cars (yes we do have electric charging points).

Meanwhile venues like ourselves are constantly changing the way we operate to reduce our carbon footprint, LED sensor lights, bottling our own filtered water on site, low energy consumption ovens and refrigeration equipment as well as an extensive recycling programme with all our food waste going to biofuel. Last year we changed from plastic water bottles in our Café to cans of water, and in just 12 months this switch reduced our plastic usage by 1.21 tons (46, 644 Bottles).

This just goes to show that small changes, which individually may not seem like much can make a massive impact on our environment as a well as a good news story for your event.

Take a look at our CSR policy

Technology never stops evolving

The use of technology is still high on the agenda 2020. Fast broadband is taken for granted with conferences now live streaming and video calling around the world. The use of event apps to check attendees in, push them notifications, get them interacting and voting on meeting content is definitely on the rise. We have a list of popular event apps you may want to take a look at, so keep a look out for that blog.

There is also an emerging use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) from a customer service perspective, with some large chain hotels already incorporating self-service early check-ins, even with room keys being sent to clients’ phones in advance. A study in 12 developed countries by Accenture, revealed that AI could double economic growth rates by 2035 and will increase productivity by 40%. This kind of AI and interactive development will no doubt filter through to meetings and events, but for now we certainly prefer to meet and greet our clients in person.

Mindful meetings

The wellness movement is finally trickling into the corporate market as employers take more responsibility than ever in looking after their team’s mental and physical wellbeing. Whilst mindful retreats effortlessly blended with carved-out time for blue-sky thinking and chia seed smoothies may be a sought-after choice for some organisations seeking to have a healthier company.

For most clients simple things like healthy menus with local fresh local produce, break out activities such as team building, our outdoor events such as hiking and sailing, can help reinforce the ‘feel better, think better’ mentality of your staff and attendees.

These are just 3 trends for 2020 which we hope provide food for thought for your next meeting, but our conference team have plenty more tips and ideas they can share with you to help you make the most of your next event, so give us a call 01926 649649.

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