Higher air fares, fewer flights, and rising supply costs are the new reality for conferences around the world.
Live meetings will survive the crunch because there is still no more effective way for people to share ideas, knowledge, and solutions. But the future could hold
- Fewer live meetings
- Regional and local meetings filling the gaps between less frequent national and international congresses
- Virtual meetings filling the spaces between face-to-face events
- Sharper attention to the purpose, impact, and value of each meeting
Along the way, green meeting performance will become the new gold standard. If a meeting can’t be held with a smaller environmental footprint, it will become increasingly difficult to justify.
With attendees choosing their live meetings more carefully, it will be more important than ever to capture and distribute the results of every gathering. Over time, I think conference content will be recognized much more clearly as one of the essentials that can help keep meetings afloat in a tough economy.
The sheer economics of the carbon crunch will require everyone to make a business case for the programs and services they deliver. Meetings won’t be immune, and there’s no reason they should be.
Which means it might become a lot less important to choose the right seat covers for our next gala, but downright essential to think about the knowledge, ideas, and momentum that participants bring home from an event. And really, that’s no different from what conferences have always been about.