When meeting and event planners evaluate the future, staying engaged with emerging trends and shifts in attendee demands is vital.

For all the talk about innovation in event design, though, many planners still think that technology will radically change how events are experienced and designed going forward.

IACC polled 65 meeting and event planners in the Asia-Pacific region on their outlook on the evolution of their operations over the next five years. For all the talking about bringing authentic local experiences to attendees, those polled were more concerned about keeping up with the pace of technological change in event and experience design.

Interactive technology is seen as becoming more important to the sector than flexible meeting spaces or local activities. On a global basis, flexible meeting space is seen as the most important facet for planners to explore going forward.

Meeting Elements That Will Be More Important in the Future
Access to Interactive Technology 83%
Meeting Space Flexibility 52%
Food and Beverage 48%
Networking Spaces Adjacent to Meeting Space 41%
Delegates Discovering Local Flavor 18%
Team-Building Activities 15%
Authentic Local Experiences 12%

Source: IACC

Another shift is happening, too. Big brand hotels are quickly becoming less attractive to planner than other types of event venues.

“Historically, branded venues have provided a level of confidence and reassurance that a meeting and services will be of acceptable standards,” reads the report. “However, among the planners surveyed for this report, that may be beginning to shift. In the Australia and Asia Pacific region, approximately only 42 percent of meetings are held at major hotel brand venues.”

With the focus on technology and more interesting venues, planners are increasingly outsourcing elements of an event that aren’t core to its design.

Venue Elements Planners Consider Outsourcing
Off-site Activities 59%
Local Services (i.e. Entertainment, Printing) 56%
On-Site Registration 48%
Housing Management 32%
Post-Event Feedback 27%
Production 21%
Education Components 21%

Source: IACC

Finally, delving back into the technology angle shows some interesting trends to come. Planners in Asia-Pacific predict that not only will video streaming during presentations come into vogue, but virtual attendees and live streaming alike will also become more common.

Tasks Requiring More Broadband the Next Five Years
Video Streaming Presentation Content 71%
Delegate Email and Internet Access 71%
Virtual Attendees 55%
Online Learning 52%
Smartphone Audio Participation 52%
Live Event Streaming 50%
Video Streaming to Delegate Devices 47%

Source: IACC

This is especially strange because just 17 percent of those polled said they had used an event app before, compared to around 60 percent of planners globally.

Check out the full report below.

Download (PDF, 4.16MB)

Photo Credit: TEDxJalanTunjungan conference in Indonesia. Yulibar Husni / Flickr