Partner Courtney Church’s Comments on AMEX M&E’s 2020 Forecast

October 31, 2019

“As I come up for air after a busy October, I stumbled across this article from September about 2020 Meeting Industry Forecasts – it is both exciting yet frightening (this Halloween week)!

Bigger Budgets; are they big enough?: Exciting to see a potential uptick in spend from our clients and partners however, I fear that a mere ~2% increase will sadly reflect in less services. Average increases from our vendors and hoteliers range closer to 5% or higher therefore, the opportunity to offer more services to our clients and to enhance the attendee experience may not be available.

Experiences = Time: We have always looked at our meetings, events and gatherings to not only meet the events goals or objectives but to provide the attendees with an exceptional experience. Hitting the 5 Senses has always been part of our event must do’s. With the increased emphasis on “experiences”, it’s our job to create an environment first and foremost for connections and getting people together but one that will be memorable, feature unique surprises and be relevant. The challenge these days with the ask is that more and more clients are planning so last minute that the amount of time it takes to be creative is growing smaller and smaller. Creativity takes conversations and collaboration-the batting of ideas back-n-forth. Time, even more so than money, seems to be the precious commodity.

Policy Compliance: This is an area we don’t mess with and totally agree with what is now expected and required. Our Registration department takes special care in working with platforms that are compliant, we delete our clients invite lists after events and are very careful about what necessary data we gather and keep on file. There is a great responsibility that goes with managing this aspect of the event and are constantly reevaluating how we manage in the most secure manner.

Tech Outlook: This has been a hot topic, and potential outlook in our industry for years; apps, virtual meetings, fancy registration sites, etc. but we find people still want to interact with people. At recent meetings we planned, the app usage continues to be low and face to face time high and people are engaged. Meetings are a time to put your phone away, embrace the new space and environment and simply be present; our out of offices give us permission to do so!”
Photo Credit: Smart Meetings