If you’ve been wondering what trends and buzzwords might rule the meetings industry in 2016, IMEX has some predictions.
1. More companies will use data for personalization and marketing strategies.
People like to be treated as individuals and to have their experiences customized, whether they’re interacting with your company as employees or customers.
“Consumers today are living seamlessly across different devices and platforms and expect a highly personalized experience from brands,” says the Drum, a U.K. marketing magazine. The U.S. marketing firm Gartner Inc., meanwhile, predicts that personalization will grow and reach its plateau in two to five years.
Marketing also will rely more heavily on personalization strategies based on data gathering and behavioral analytics. Kevin Brown of the financial technology platform Credibly told Forbes that marketing and data science will be the new “dynamic duo.”
2. Asia-Pacific will be the key growth area among new meeting destinations and venues.
American Express predicts the Asia-Pacific region will grow 2.1 percent in 2016, leading the global increase in meetings-related spending. In IMEX’s 2012 Power of 10 study, which looked a decade ahead, 46 percent of respondents anticipated growing political and economic influence coming from Asia.
3. The human approach beats virtual experiences.
Continuing growth for the meetings industry in an era of Skype and videoconferencing demonstrates how essential face-to-face contact remains.
” ‘Being human’ will return to marketing” because “consumers want to be inspired and have meaningful and personal connections with brands to move them to buy products and services,” says Alan Hart of the marketing consultancy company Avid.
4. Shared economy moves from consumer travel to the meetings industry.
The shared economy will grow from a global value of $15 billion in 2013 to $335 billion in 2025, according to Pricewaterhouse Coopers. While travelers have taken up this concept with brands such as Airbnb, Uber, Bookalokal and Vizeat, the meetings industry will work out how to adapt to this trend.
5. The meetings community continues to give back.
Corporate social responsibility will continue to grow through personal volunteering and organized programs such as the Meetings Industry Fund.
In 2013, one in four American adults volunteered with an organization. In 2014, 62.6 million Americans volunteered nearly 7.7 billion hours, with an estimated value of $173 billion, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service, part of the federal National Conference on Citizenship.