Demand for meetings and events will grow between 5 and 10 per cent 2019, according to new research by CWT Meetings & Events, a division of Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT).
The 2019 Meetings & Events Future Trends report also reveals the average size of meetings will rise in nearly every region.
CWT president and CEO Kurt Ekert says the global meetings and events industry can look forward to a positive 2019.
“On top of growing demand worldwide, we also expect global hotel rates to rise 3.7 per cent, and flight prices 2.6 per cent,” he says.
The report also suggests the best time for booking meetings and events activity for small groups is 30 or more days out, while for large groups the sweet spot is at least 75 days.
According to CWT Meetings & Events, outside of these booking windows, buyers are giving up 5 to 10 per cent in potential savings.
Technology will also play a major role in business events next year. Among the technologies expected to appear more often are augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and social media to help drive engagement.
There will also be a growing demand for unorthodox spaces and activities, to create more memorable events. The use of unusual outdoor spaces like treehouses, rooftops and even islands, along with “festivalisation”, are predicted to be key trends for 2019.