"I think 2013 will see the industry staying as is or a very slow increase in the industry. The slower economy will continue to negatively impact growth in the meetings and events industry." — Julie Ann Schmidt, Managing Partner at Lithium Logistics Group
"I believe 2013 will be a good year for the meetings industry. Now that the presidential election is over, businesses will get back to focusing on sales and growth. Meetings are necessary to accomplish this." — Randall Whatley, President at Cypress Media Group
"Jobs will continue to be niche orientated. Medical companies wanting medical meeting planners, financial companies wanting financial planners, associations seeking association planners. Specialties within the niches also have become important." — Dawn Penfold, President at Meetingjobs, LLC
"In 2013 our industry will need to focus increasingly on transparency and ethics." — Mariela McIlwraith, President of Meeting Change
- It appears that meeting planners have mixed feelings about growth in the coming year. Until large conferences and conventions rebound, many planners have a "wait and see" attitude.
- Don't try to be all things to all people. Concentrate on the niche you do well at and continue to develop your skills within that niche.
- Always be honest and ethical with all your event suppliers and don't do anything to tarnish your own reputation. No piece of meeting business is worth sacrificing your personal integrity.
"I believe we'll start to see wider booking windows for corporate events." — Lisa Kraus, Director of Business Development & Events for Plan Your Meetings
"I believe 2013 will continue the trend of short-term requests and bookings as our industry continues to be responsive and reactive to creating meaningful meetings and fantastic events." — Tahira Endean, CMP, BHM, Director, Creative and Production at Cantrav
- It looks as if corporate events will have longer lead times but the rest of the industry will still be working with tight timeframes. In 2012, many meetings were planned in a 90-day window or less.
- With shorter lead times, you will need to develop close relationships with your event meeting services partners, including conference services staff, caterers and event audio visual companies.
GREEN AND LOCAL
"Green solutions include taking practical steps to reduce food waste, control portion size and promote healthier alternatives on event menus." — Shawna McKinley, Director of Sustainability at MeetGreen
"Meeting professionals will go local by featuring local materials, local foods, local artists, local icons and local talent." — Jessie States, Expert at Meeting Professionals International
What are the key takeaways for planners?
- Planners are going to continue to look for ways to work with their partners to reduce, reuse and recycle materials. Paper will be replaced with iPads. RSVP processes will be tightened so the proper amount of food is ordered. Smaller plates and glasses will keep portion sizes in check.
- Local will be the theme. By buying local food from farmers markets, hiring local speakers and entertainment, and using local resources — including when renting audio visual equipment — you will be stimulating the city and state economy through job creation, revenue generation and taxes.
- Going local also reduces transportation expenses, shipping and your event's overall carbon footprint.
AV Event Solutions is a California meeting equipment supplier that services the entire state and can work with planners on short lead times. They are ready and willing to supply you with your AV needs in 2013 and beyond!