In June, MPI conducted a quarterly Meetings Outlook survey to understand current trends in the industry. Below is a highlight of their latest findings; which included five useful tips for event planning professionals around the globe.
Finding #1: Meeting Time is Being Compressed.
Whether your meeting is going from three to two hours, or your conference is taking place in two days instead of four, attendees are requesting shorter meetings. The truth of the matter is, people are busier than ever and when they are away at a meeting or conference, there is no one to take on their workload back at the office.
So keep your meetings short, focused and content-rich in order to drive up your attendance numbers.
Finding #2: Local or Regional Meetings will become the Norm.
Drawing off of point one, it isn’t just the conference that keeps attendees at home. It is the travel time as well. With the increasing delays and cost of air travel, attendees are looking for drivable destinations.
Look to national suppliers that have local branch locations. Try and work with an organization that is large enough to serve your meeting needs, no matter the destination. The beauty of working with a national supplier is often times you only have one contact and contract to deal with, which can make your life a lot simpler in the long run.
Finding #3: Technology Use is on the Rise.
When determining your interactive technology needs, work with an audio visual rental firm that can provide you a plethora of technology choices. It is important to understand why you are renting each device and how it works into the overall purpose in your meeting.
However, there is no doubt that technology helps save time, is “green” and is an expected presence with attendees – especially Millennials who have grown up with technology and are very familiar with it.
When justifying technology, look at the total way of doing business. The old way (printing, storage, shipping and destroying materials, as well as, your time to write, proof and assemble programs and binders) versus the new way (choose the app and rent the technology).
Finding #4: Planners want Outside the Box Suppliers.
According to the MPI survey, meeting planners are actively seeking innovative suppliers to create unique experiences for their attendees. It is important to vet your suppliers and understand if they have the resources, manpower and offerings to provide something new for your stakeholders.
Look to a supplier that is current with their offerings and in tune with the latest trends in the event industry.
Finding #5: Low Cost is Still a Factor.
Due to the fact that budgets are not rebounding rapidly, event planners are still looking hard at the low-cost provider whether it be a hotel, caterer or AV company.
While I agree cost should always be a consideration, it should not be the consideration. Work toward meeting the needs and wants of your attendees first. Then negotiate a good contract that works for both parties.
Hartford Technology Rentals will work with you to find the solutions that best suit your needs and budget. Contact a Hartford representative today to learn more about our unique product and service offerings!