by Matt Alderton | December 09, 2013
Companies will hold more but smaller events next year, according to Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), which recently published its predictions for the most significant meetings industry trends of 2014.

Thanks to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the FIFA World Cup in Brazil and the Winter Olympic and Paralympics Games in Russia, 2014 will be an “exciting time” for the events industry, according to CWT, which forecasts an increase not only in sporting events, but also in business-related meetings, which have seen a steady 1-2 percent growth year on year, it says.

Fueling that growth will be the following trends, according to CWT:

More focused meetings: “Clients will continue to hold more events, albeit on a smaller scale,” CWT says. “With more access to big data, planners are able to tailor and adapt events to suit individual attendee requirements, from personalized invitations, to bespoke mobile itineraries on arrival, to interactive voting at the event.”

More short-haul meetings: “Clients will continue to opt for more domestic or short-haul destinations to ensure cost-saving compared with long-haul destinations favored in the past,” CWT observes. “Looking further afield, Brazil and Russia are both hosting major events in 2014 and will be key destinations for large corporates looking to tap in to the halo-effect hospitality surrounding these popular events.”

Strategic Meetings Management (SMM): “Companies will continue to consolidate their SMM programs and look for one-stop-shop global suppliers who can offer global support and global cost savings,” CWT predicts.

Creativity: “Clients will continue to look for the global event agencies that can deliver strong creative solutions, but can also offer crucial business functions such as safety and security and compliance, which will continue to be important in 2014,” CWT says.

Technology: “Live technology will continue to be a crucial tool in gaining real-time feedback during an event,” CWT says. “The information can shape the agenda of the remainder of the event to make sure attendee needs are being met. In 2014, we will see even more incorporation of social media and apps which can be used to engage attendee pre-, during and post-event.”

ROI: “Event and marketing managers are increasingly being held accountable for ROI — every penny spent should have a return value,” CWT explains. “Tools … will become vital aids in showing the power of live events and deciding future priorities, opportunities for cost savings, transparency and process efficiency.”

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