I read a great article that I will put in the comments below on “6 Top Trends Shaping the Meeting Scene in 2023”. Link to full article: https://www.meetingsnet.com/corporate-meetings-events/6-top-trends-shaping-meetings-scene-2023
Here’s a synopsis:
“Inflation is a very big topic across all businesses. And yeah, obviously, we’re seeing an increase [in meeting costs], which affects our budgets not only for this year, but we’ve already started budgeting for next year,” said Jason Hart, strategic sourcing manager at Amgen. He noted that with meetings, “you don’t just want the lowest price, which is the traditional procurement thing. It’s about working with our partners and our agencies trying to make it work for both parties.”
Since workplaces are dealing with employees in the office, out of the office, and sometimes in the office, many are more aware of the need for meetings and events. “We saw an initial surge in [meeting] demand through the recovery period, but there was a lot of speculation that it would plateau after that,” he said. “But I think the reality is that organizations are recognizing the value of bringing people together particularly to drive culture. Historically, our segment did not have a great name for itself because we’ve struggled to articulate the value that meetings bring, but I think particularly in a cost-focused environment like we’re in, organizations are not only doing a better job articulating that value, but really recognizing the inherent value that meetings deliver.” Note: What I’m finding from reading and talking to my clients is that corporate still sees value in virtual meetings as well as in- person meetings. Associations are dropping hybrid and going all in on in-person.
Now when people are meeting, whether in the office or out of the office, they want the [same well-being] benefits. It’s really focused a lot of things that we do.” Whether that means building more free time into the agenda for walks or for catching up on email or bringing in a yoga instructor for a fitness hour, meetings are adapting to new attendee expectations, according to Jennifer Pape of Shell Oil.4.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Commenting on inclusion, Pape noted that accessibility questions became part of the meeting request form at Shell about two years ago. “And this is really just intended as a prompt,” she said. “Most people don’t know everybody who will be coming to their meeting from the beginning, but it is a prompt to think about what type of meeting space will suit all people, and also to have that conversation with your meeting participants. What is going to make somebody feel included in that meeting?” The obvious requirements, she said, are around mobility, but for some there may hearing issues, neurodivergent requirements, or other factors that could limit participation. “So, it’s about having conversations about how you can make that meeting the most accessible,” Pape said.
“We’re using a booking tool, a meeting request form, and other tools,” said Jason Hart of Amgen. “The data that comes out of that is really important in terms of what we’re spending and who we’re spending it with.” The tools, he noted, are making an important difference for smaller meetings or offices in smaller countries that don’t have agency support. “That’s where we see technology really helping us.
Those interviewed emphasized that it’s imperative to get started with sustainability. “If we were to wait to implement sustainability into our meetings program until we have the solutions for everything, I think we would never get started,” Pape said.
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