Shaping the Future of Meetings and Events: Emerging Trends for Tourism and CVB Professionals
9 Oct 2023
In recent years, the meetings and events industry has undergone a significant transformation. With advancements in technology and changing attendee expectations, tourism and Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) professionals face the challenge of staying ahead of emerging trends to create memorable and impactful experiences. As we look toward the future, several key trends are shaping the landscape of meetings and events.
#1 Hybrid and Virtual Events
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of virtual and hybrid events, and it’s clear that these formats are here to say. Virtual events offer the advantages of increased accessibility, reduced costs, and reduced carbon footprint. CVB professionals must now develop strategies to deliver engaging and interactive experiences in a virtual environment, leveraging tools like live polling, Q&A sessions, and virtual networking opportunities. Hybrid events, on the other hand, combine in-person and virtual elements, catering to both remote and on-site attendees. This trend requires CVBs to reimagine event spaces, seamlessly integrate physical and digital experiences, and provide robust connectivity options.
#2 Sustainability and Responsible Tourism
As global awareness of environmental issues continues to rise, the meetings and events industry is under scrutiny for its environmental impact. CVB professionals are increasingly prioritizing sustainability in event planning, embracing eco-friendly practices, and advocating for responsible tourism. This includes selecting green venues, implementing waste reduction strategies, promoting public transportation, and incorporating sustainable food and beverage options. Meeting organizers are also encouraged to measure and report the carbon footprint of events, aiming for carbon neutrality or even carbon negativity. By incorporating sustainable practices, CVBs can attract environmentally-conscious event planners and position themselves as leaders in responsible tourism. Learn more about sustainable tourism here.
#3 Personalization and Customization
Attendees now expect personalized experiences tailored to their preferences and interests. CVBs are leveraging data analytics and artificial intelligence to gather insights on attendees and create customized event offerings. This may include personalized agendas, targeted content recommendations, and curated networking opportunities. CVB professionals must invest in technology platforms that enable data collection and analysis, allowing them to deliver personalized experiences that leave a lasting impact on attendees.
#4 Experience-Driven Events
In an age where experiences trump material possessions, CVBs are focusing on creating memorable and immersive event experiences. Attendees seek unique and authentic encounters that go beyond traditional conference settings. CVB professionals are collaborating with local communities and businesses to showcase the designation’s culture, heritage, and attractions. This may involve organizing city tours, culinary experiences, or outdoor activities that allow attendees to engage with the host city on a deeper level. By curating exceptional experiences, CVBs can differentiate themselves and attract a broader range of events.
#5 Technology Integration
Technology continues to shape the future of meetings and events. From event registration and ticketing platforms to mobile apps and event management software, CVB professionals must embrace technological advancements to streamline processes and enhance attendee experiences. This includes adopting mobile check-in and badge printing solutions, implementing event apps for real-time updates and networking, and integrating augmented and virtual reality experiences into events. Embracing emerging technologies will not only enhance the overall event experience but also showcase the CVB’s commitment to innovation.
#6 Health and Safety Considerations
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of health and safety in event planning. As the industry recovers, CVB professionals must prioritize the well-being of attendees and implement robust health and safety protocols. This may involve partnering with venues and suppliers that follow stringent cleanliness standards, offering contactless registration and check-in options, and providing ample space for physical distancing. CVBs should also stay updated on evolving health guidelines and be prepared to adapt their strategies accordingly.
Stay Ahead of the Curve
As tourism and CVB professionals navigate the ever-changing landscape of meetings and events, staying informed about emerging trends and embracing innovation is crucial. By staying ahead of these trends, CVB professionals can position themselves as leaders in the industry, attract diverse events, and create meaningful experiences for attendees. It requires a proactive approach to learning and adopting new technologies, collaborating with local communities, and staying up-to-date with industry best practices.