EVERY NEW YEAR BRINGS CHANGE, and that is especially true in the meetings and events industry. We sat down with three members of Minnesota Meetings + Events’ Editorial Advisory Board to discuss what meeting and event planners should be prepared for in the upcoming year.
"In a few years, there are going to be more millennials in the workforce than baby boomers," explains Devie Hagen, owner of Élan Speakers Agency and a patron of the industry for more than 25 years. "It’s going to be a whole different ballgame in terms of how you engage participants in a meeting. We’re shifting from hosting attendees to hosting participants."
Hagen describes that in the future, when you plan a meeting or event, there must be a justification behind it. With this generation, fluff meetings can no longer exist. Millennials need to know why they are attending a meeting and what they will get out of it.
"Last year, it was all about experience," says Sarah Ruzek, director of education for MSAE. "This year, it’s getting back to content value. We’re customizing meetings more than ever before; it’s no longer one size fits all."
Nikki McLain, CMP, SMMC, global program manager at Carlson Wagonlit Travel Meetings & Events, agrees. "It’s not just about showing up and coming anymore-it’s about being an active part of the event."
"The future is in hybrid meetings," shares Hagen. "We’re going to see a push in online live viewing. Participants won’t have to travel and they can still be engaged with the information. Content, content, content."