These meeting trends have already made an appearance in 2016, but some experts suggest they’ll really blossom in the coming year. Ofer Yatziv from Better Venues, a U.K.-based event venue company, shares his thoughts on the latest trends for those in the meeting and events industry.
1. The 5-minute meeting
Are your clients sick of meetings about meetings? Some think meetings are a big waste of time and resources, and I’m inclined to agree. I’m seeing a lot of companies complain about how long their meetings take. What are they doing to fix it? Well, quite simply, streamlining them down. Instead of a half-hour Monday morning meeting, firms are embracing the 5-minute meeting—a super-quick catch-up where everyone says what they’re going to do and when they’re going to do it.
2. The meet-and-greet
From Al Pacino to the latest YouTube sensation, the meet-and-greet is fast becoming one of the hottest trends in events. ‘Evenings with’ events allow fans to get intimate and up close and personal with their favorite stars, with packages ranging from backstage chats to much bigger deals comprising flights and hotels.
3. The wow factor
Particularly prominent among bigger brands with decent marketing resources, the wow factor sees companies showcase amazing, one-off ‘happenings’ at conference venues as they promote a new service or launch a new product. Taking experiential marketing to the extreme can have a huge impact and digital cut-through.
4. The pop-up
We’re familiar with food pop-ups—those cool, tasty street vendors that are, by now, a common site in many of our major cities. London is a great example of this – head to the Southbank Centre on a weekend or one of the city’s many street markets and you’ll see what I mean. But brands are also doing lots of pop-up marketing events, with companies like Red Bull and Just Eat heading to the streets to launch innovative pop-up experiences. The pop-up is also finding its way into the retail sector, with lots of retail parks and shopping centers allocating space to a range of pop-up food vendors.
5. The live-tweet
The popularity of smartphones has sparked one interesting trend: people sharing insight and takeaways from corporate events, conferences, speeches, meetings and presentations. More and more, we’re seeing people stay connected while listening to a talk. Instead of switching their phones off, they keep them on, and they become a vital part of corporate events, with people transmitting the latest insight out into the social media sphere.
6. The sustainability set
In festival management particularly, sustainability has become an increasingly important part of the agenda. Green practices, like solar-powered showers, recycling areas and compost toilets, are becoming more and more prevalent.
7. The what’s-in-it-for-me
Or, networking. It’s true that some people attend events not for the talks, discussions and round-tables, but for the opportunity to network with industry peers and potential customers. In turn, it’s hoped such networking will lead to new business, sales, ideas, products and the like. Event managers are realizing this—the quality of the networking opportunities on offer at conferences is now a prominent metric for success among many attendees.
8. The goodie-bag
Last but by no means least. The goodie-bag (the proper, physical ones) seemed to fall out of favor a little bit in recent years, as event professionals started recommending more tangible takeaway gifts and incentives, like shopping vouchers, in return for filling out satisfaction surveys. Nothing wrong with that, but I’m glad to see the creeping (in the nicest possible way) of the corporate goodie bag. There’s something very earnestly exciting about them—and you can always do with an extra biro.
Ofer Yatziv is an events and marketing manager at Better Venues. Ofer has over 15 years of experience working within events, specializing in weddings, corporate parties and bespoke entertainment. He has also worked on numerous roles as a producer of live events and festivals, including national and international theater tours.