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Beyond the Boardroom: Meeting Trends that Matter in 2020

Seasoned meeting planners are meeting the new decade with a slew of new and innovative approaches

Whether it’s eco or social responsibility, ensuring attendees have invigorating meeting spaces with beautiful views, healthy menu options, latest technology or unique breakout sessions, here are some experiential things to consider when planning your events for the year ahead:

Mindful Meetings & Menus Matter

Hotels around the world are starting to offer customized Mindful Meeting packages to enhance their guests’ overall wellbeing while staying on property for a convention, meeting or event. Examples of wellness offerings include healthy superfood, gluten-free or plant-based vegetarian menu options, yoga classes, group guided meditations, fitness classes, innovative spa experiences, master Zen talks, puppy and ice cream socials to de-stress, invigorating activities and mindful excursions within the destination. Seasoned meeting planners know that creating the ideal catering menu and mindful activities for attendees is vital.

Eco-Friendly Event & Meeting Initiatives  

These days attendees are looking for meeting venues that align with their environmental values. One core value that is gaining momentum is the conscientious handling of event waste and the use of plastic straws and water bottles. Hilton has set a perfect example and raised the bar high. Just last year the company announced it removed plastic straws from its 650 managed properties, with a goal to double its social impact investments and cut its global environmental impact in half by 2030, with the help of science-based targets. In Europe, Middle East & Africa alone, the commitment will remove more than five million plastic straws and 20 million plastic water bottles annually. Laid end to end, the straws saved each year in the region would exceed the length of the River Seine.

An estimated eight million tons of plastic waste enter the ocean each year, and research projects that plastic in our oceans could triple in a decade. Plastic pollution not only impacts our waters and marine life, but also our food chain and overall health. Instead, Hilton removed plastic straws and now offers a paper or biodegradable alternative upon request. Hilton will also remove plastic water bottles from meetings and events in hotels across the EMEA region, as part of its global Meet with Purpose program to offer socially and environmentally responsible meetings.

Tech Savvy Trends

2020 is upon us, and with that comes a new surge of technological advancements and ever- evolving trends to better improve the quality of meetings and events, whether big or small. With the endless waves of new ideas, apps and innovations launching each day, it has truly helped meeting planners, exhibitors and venues execute effective and successful events for their clients. For example, alerting and customized apps are on the rise where alerts can be set up to notify event planners when their internet connection is reaching the maximum number of users or bandwidth. Many groups are also developing their own apps for their conventions, which can include anything from featuring its full program agendas, to image sharing, and live polling to further increase engagement during their events.

Convening for a Cause

Each year, thousands of people from around the globe gather at convention hotels for meetings and events of all sorts. Fortunately, corporate social responsibility is on the rise, and there are several prominent hospitality properties with a wide range of offerings, including employee volunteer programs, sustainability policies, and “meetings with a purpose”.  

Beyond the Boring in the Boardroom

Today corporate executives are flying more than ever to attend meetings and conferences at hotels around the world. Often boredom is synonymous with the word boardroom, and unfortunately, it’s a reasonable thought. Full day meetings in mundane, monochromatic rooms tends to leave attendees feeing dozy, uninspired and antsy to get outside for a breath of fresh air. This can also offset their excitement, focus and decision making process which ultimately defeats the overall objective of the meeting. Be sure to make your next boardroom meetings more appealing, comfortable, and successful so your guests keep coming back each year. Some things to consider are ideal room temperatures, to fun breakout sessions relevant to the destination to foster excitement amongst your guests, and location, location, location! Whether you’re in a tropical or cooler destination, natural light is always key to a productive boardroom meeting.