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Jill Stone

Your Meeting Matchmaker Fairy Godmother

Predictions for Meetings 2011

in: Meeting Planning Experience

The first month of 2011 is coming to a close (I know, can you believe it?). As we look forward into the next 11 months of 2011, what do you see happening? What changes do you think will most affect our industry this year?

In article put out by Biz Bash, they went straight to the source, they spoke with representatives from nine core event markets to find out their predictions for the coming year. Following I share with you one stand out prediction from each category.

Style: The style of your event must also speak to functionality. I found this comment from Jennifer Schwarts and Andi Dyal of ANJE Soirees in Miami to be especially interesting, “In terms of room setup, tables will stray from rounds only to X- and O-shaped tables. Round tables merged with high royal tables that form an X shape. This allows more guests per table and a unique design to the room.”

Tone: Smaller, intimate and more interactive events seems to be the consensus view. I like this comment from Bronson van Wyck, from Van Wyck & Van Wyck of New York, “Even more highly targeted events designed to create a heightened relationship between brands and their clients. Even large event platforms will be modeled on smaller, more intimate, and more exclusive experiences. The companies that will succeed will understand how to make big feel intimate and exclusive.”

Social Media & Guest Engagement: Here is a great idea from William Lanier of Shiraz Events, New York and Miami, “It’s all about geolocation in 2011. Create a Foursquare badge for an event that can serve as a pass to an exclusive after-party.”

ROI & Measurement: Bob Gilbert of HSMAI in Washington says it all,  “The days of attending events for face time are over. There must be a quantifiable ROI today to justify event participation.”

Budgets & Spending: My pick in this category is from Leah Shepherd from Thompson Wesley Wolfe in Orlando, “My clients are shifting advertising budgets to event marketing. They are getting a bigger return on their investment by getting their products into the hands of consumers at experiential events.” I am thinking that most meeting managers will applaud this one!

Technology: Here is something to consider from Jeff Kalpak of Barkley Kalpak Associates in New York, “There will be an app for everything. Successful event companies will have staff members solely dedicated to figuring out technology.”

Food & Drink: I just like the taste of this one from Stella Rankin of Great Performances in New York, “Cold weather: spiked hot chocolate and teeny-weeny spiced doughnuts. Warm weather: white lychee sangria with lemon sorbet pops.”

Venues: Think adventurous! As pointed out by Kathy Sidell of Met Club, Met Bar and Grill, and Met Back Bay in Boston, “Private bars and unique, private, hidden places in the city that offer exclusive handcrafted cocktails and secret back bars are becoming more popular for events.”

How the Industry Works: Susan Dahle from SeaWorld Orlando sums it up nicely, “Green is still important, but budgets rule.”

Invitations: “Invitations are taking on new life, becoming much more creative in the electronic sense. Letterpress still stands out, but over-the-top electronic in the form of video is replacing it,” says Julie Darling of the Darling Company in Chicago.

Gifts: This is simply well said, “With a decline in excess, there is an increase in giving back. Look for charity angles, donation cards, and gift bags with a cause. We love” From Christina Krcevinac of Diesel Canada in Montreal.

So, dear meeting manager, what are your predictions in meetings trends for 2011? Share your comments with me and perhaps I can use it in a future blog!

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