Five Top Meeting Planning Trends for 2017

The new year has landed and its time again to explore the top meeting planning trends and considerations.

1. Food and Beverage Trends
It is now easier than ever to brand beverages at events. We are not talking about a signature cocktail. From custom coasters to straws and logos embedded in ice cubes, beverages can now play an even more important role in experiential marketing at events. We see this trend further developing in 2017.

The movement to offer healthier catering choices is not slowing down either. We see this trend further developing with the inclusion of more plant-based dishes, raw and vegan options.

2. Décor
Table décor and floral design trends seem to lean to more muted colors with the inclusion of vegetables, organics and locally sourced materials.

3. Content
User generated content is growing in popularity, especially with the availability of tools such as Facebook Live and event platforms such as Eventinterface. Attendees can now easily generate video and make it available live for the world to consume. We see this trend further developing alongside a possible issue of control by marketing departments and event planners wanting to manage the image of an event, brand or product.

4. Event Technology
Virtual and augmented reality implementation at conferences and exhibits will continue to grow. Even though many experts continue to advocate for these technologies, there are still significant issues to overcome. From implementation cost to clunky software, to a high level of involvement needed from organizers, virtual and augmented reality is not yet at a level attainable for the masses. It does however show great promise.

Continued proliferation of fully integrated attendee management and engagement platforms allowing planners and participants to use one platform versus a fragmented set of tools and apps will continue to trend in 2017. This coupled with meaningful data collection and the tools to calculate meeting ROI easily and effectively will drive the trend for planners to look for simplicity and cost-effective, fully integrated meeting management platforms.

5. Housing and Transportation
Home and car sharing services will continue to increase their market share. We see more and more attendees seeking out other housing and transportation options rather than fully embracing the selections put forward by the planners. This trend will continue and planners will have to adapt their housing and transportation strategies. 

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