Community service, second-tier destinations, and personalization are just a few of the trends shaping meetings and events in 2017, according to global destination and event management company Pacific World, which yesterday published its "Annual Destination Index" report in partnership with ACCESS Destination Services.
Designed to keep both destinations and meeting professionals "in-the-know," the report includes a list of the most popular meeting destinations in the world, as well as a list of the top 10 trends shaping meetings and events.
"Each year, our cohesive team around the globe comes together to develop the Annual Destination Index, providing invaluable knowledge on meetings and events," said Pacific World Global Managing Director Selina Chavry. "The compelling information includes details on the most popular destinations for meetings and events worldwide, types of requests we can expect, and prepares us to execute successful and innovative campaigns throughout the year."
Based on the volume of RFPs into more than 80 destinations, Pacific World's list of trending destinations includes France, Croatia, South Africa, China, Hong Kong, and Indonesia, as well as three domestic markets: South Florida, Colorado, and New York.
Meanwhile, the company has named the following as its top 10 meeting and event trends for the year:
1. Take Me Off the Beaten Track
"Second-tier and uprising destinations are becoming more popular event destinations, such as small villages in Tuscany, or Lyon and Champagne as opposed to Paris."
2. Giving Back to the Destination, Engaging Local Communities
"The meetings industry has seen an increase in Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives focusing on local communities, such as 'Making a Balinese Barong,' where attendees work with villages in Indonesia to create a local craft."
3. Events with a Purpose, Incentives With a Meaning; It's All About Design
"A strategic approach, more and more groups are requesting a return on engagement in addition to investment, creating an impact and everlasting memory."
4. Sharing Memories With the World
"Creating engaging experiences is as important as providing high-speed Wi-Fi access and designated creative hashtags for social media engagement."
5. Keeping It Small and Unique; Profiling and Tailoring
"Creating an event based on specific interests and group profiles is increasing in popularity. Personalization is key to guarantee group engagement. For instance, an ultra-high-end experience featuring unique and creative types of transportation works particularly well for small VIP groups, while design inspired workshops with world famous athletes or musicians match well for young audiences."
6. Culture Vulture
"More than a trend, experiencing the culture of a destination makes an event truly exceptional and is now key to its success."
7. Catering: Farm to Table, Organic, Healthy, and Wholeness
"In line with general food & beverage trends, groups are looking for healthy food elements, local and nutritious cuisine, farm-to-table options, and special dietary requirements."
8. Sharing, Networking: Less Formal and More Dynamic
"Meeting and event planners are putting an emphasis on sharing and networking, whether with locals, colleagues, conference speakers or industry peers. Engaging reception style dinners opposed to seated dinners are on the rise and interactive experiences where attendees and guests have the chance to learn and experience the destination from a different perspective are trendy."
9. Mobile Applications: The Tool for Meetings, Incentives and Events
"Mobile apps have become a must use tool for planners and guests, not only during the events but also in the planning process."
10. The Role of Technology
"Incorporating technology such as drones in meetings and events are on the rise, although sometimes challenging to implement. Groups are still utilizing technology often, including live video streaming or geolocation games."
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