Meetings and Conventions 2030 
by the GCB - German Convention Bureau
Megatrends. Technology, mobility, globalisation and sustainability are among the major trends set to shape the meetings industry, according to a global meetings study “Meetings and Conventions 2030: A study of megatrends shaping our industry”, released by the German Convention Bureau.
According to Matthias Schultze, Managing Director of the German Convention Bureau, “The meetings industry is an economic driver for nations all over the world. As an innovation leader, we envision this megatrends study helping players in the industry develop a future-oriented strategy that can generate business and economic success.”
The comprehensive study revealed the following top five megatrends:
1 Technology in work and life:
More than 41.6 per cent of respondents identified technology in work and life to be very influential in the future of the meetings business. New forms of knowledge transfer will influence all phases of event planning. For example, the worlds of virtual and live events will blur as planners incorporate virtual components in live events and the number of networked virtual events increases.
2 Globalisation and internationalisation:
Approximately 28.6 per cent felt very strongly that globalisation will have a major impact. Meetings will be all the more important to address issues that arise through increased interconnectedness of cultures and peoples. Individuals will need to be more aware of nuances among country cultures, preferences and lifestyles as well as speak multiple languages.
3 Mobility of the future:
Getting to and from events easily and comfortably and with the smallest possible ecological footprint will continue to be an important aspect of event planning. Host organisations will affect this process through the selection of easily accessible event locations and the use of “event tickets” for air and train transportation, among other things. Mobility of the future came in at 26 per cent (very strong impact on the meetings industry).
4 Sustainable development:
Sustainability will remain a guiding principle to influence all areas of meeting planning, from construction and renovation of venues, to transportation, food and entertainment. One aspect of this development is the increasing “regionalisation” of meetings, where meeting organisers focus more on utilising local suppliers as well as inviting local and regional audiences more than before. Sustainability scored 20.8 per cent (very strong impact on the meetings industry).
5 Demographic change, feminisation and diversity:
Demographic change was cited by 18.2 per cent of respondents as “very strong”. An increasingly older meeting attendee population will require accessibility, but the implications extend significantly beyond getting around; they affect the meeting format, even the credentials and demographics of the speakers and presenters.
Additionally, as more women travel the meetings circuit, features such as additional security for women travelling alone and child care, among others, will need to be considered. Meeting topics and flexible formats will also be shaped by the growing number of females traveling to meetings and conferences. Similar considerations, such as food choices and holiday observances, must be made as the meeting populations become increasingly diverse.
For more details about “Meetings and Conventions 2030: A study of megatrends shaping our industry”, click here. 
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