Kenji Crosland collected a big pile of predictions—including mine—for meetings in 2013 over at the eVenues Blog. Here's what I think 2013 will bring:
Prediction #1: Budgets will stay tight in 2013, leading to more SMMP development and implementation in corporations, more procurement involvement involvement in meetings, more short lead times, continued emphasis on cutting costs, possibly more local/regional meetings, unique venues.
Prediction #2: More and smarter use of social media to not just promote events/meetings, but also to engage participants before, during, and after an event.
Prediction #3: Hotel and air rates look to continue to rise, and we can expect both to find new and creative things to charge a fee for. Planners will have to work harder than ever to provide compelling reasons to pay increasing costs to attend. Will that lead to better, more engaging, interactive, wow-inducing meetings? I sure hope so!"
I think I'm being pretty realistic, but I can't help but wonder if some of the predictions listed are more hope-for's than really expect-to-see's. Will 2013 be the year green meetings really become mainstream? That'd be great! Is the time right for the majority of meetings to find meaningful ways to extend their meeting beyond its allotted time and space via technology of some sort? Sure would like to see it happen? Is the next generation ready to take the reins now? Not sure, but we older folks better start understanding their ways of being in the world, including meeting.
Also interesting are the variations on what next year will be like financially speaking. Some are predicting the big turnaround is coming, bringing more bountiful budgets. Others, like me, are a little more less cautiously optimistic in terms of loosened pursestrings and more generous booking windows.
What do you see coming down the pike for your meetings in the coming year? What would you most like to see happening?
Update: More predictions, from Kristi Casey on the Liz King Events blog. I love these, and am now appropriating the UI/UX terminology!
Update: And here's the National Restaurant Association on 2013 for the eat-out business. In a nutshell, looking pretty good.
Update: Julius Solaris has weighed in with his top 10 event trends, which entail everything from crowdfunding and crowdsourcing to smart badges and sponsor marketplaces. Lots to chew on there.