The IMEX Team recently identified six ideas and trends that we are likely to see more of this year:
1. Personalisation - described as one of the hottest topics in the marketing industry today, consumers live across multiple different devices and platforms and expect a highly personalised experience. Our experiences are only likely to become more personalised in future, not least with events.
2. Data and analytics -
Essential to delivering all of that personalisation we now crave. Digital marketing expert Mark Goddard in Forbes magazine says that in 2016, personalisation "will rely heavily on data integration and customer segmentation." Prepare to be segmented!
3. Being human - despite Skype and video conferencing, face to face contact still matters. In contrast to the data driven approach, marketing expert Alan Hart, founder of marketing consultancy avidimpact.com predicts that "Being Human will return to marketing" because consumers want to be inspired and have meaningful and personal connections with brands.
4. Sharing economy - PwC predicts that the sharing economy globally will grow from a value of $15bn in 2013 to $335bn in 2025. Within the travel sector, from Airbnb to Uber, from Bookalokal to Vizeat, the concept has made enormous inroads. The meetings industry too is discussing more intensively and proactively how it can and should adapt to this trend.
5. Community - the drive to contribute and give back, whether it is through volunteering or through schemes such as themeetingsindustryfund.org, is a growing trend. In 2013, one in four adults in the USA volunteered through an organisation. In the UK, in 2014-15, 8% of people participated in employer volunteering, a significant increase compared to 2012-13 (6%).
6. Asia - potentially the key growth area for new meetings destinations and venues. The importance of this region is endorsed by the latest American Express meetings and events industry report which says that "meetings spending is rising globally, led by Asia Pacific region with 2,1% growth expected".
2016 Spring edition of MPI quarterly survey Meetings Outlook will investigate more on these trends with our experts panel.