Home Events Accor reveals key trends for the global meetings and events sector

Accor reveals key trends for the global meetings and events sector

NEW REPORT “Meeting Expectations: The Future of Meetings & Events” REVEALS the value of human connection and the importance of BALANCE & BELONGING AS PRIORITIES FOR 2024

A new report from Accor, the world leading global hospitality group, has revealed a need to focus on balance and belonging as the global meetings and events sector continues to recover and drive strategic growth for 2024 and beyond.

The report, titled “Meeting Expectations: The Future of Meetings & Events” addresses the transformation that the M&E sector has undergone in recent years and explores the fundamental shifts impacting the industry as it continues to evolve and recover.

“The global business landscape is undergoing a profound transformation. The way we live, work, and interact has been reshaped over the last few years, and the ripple effects of these changes have created new opportunities in the meetings and events industry,” says Sophie Hulgard, Chief Sales Officer, Accor. “The pandemic was a defining moment for the industry. We were thrust into a world of virtual gatherings, with in-person events grinding to a halt. Yet, we adapted and evolved. That evolution continues today and the one thread that connects all the trends we forecast is the human connection. Today, more than ever, it is about the human need to meet, share and thrive.”

Coming out of the pandemic there were fears that the events industry might struggle to reclaim its audience. Today that audience has largely returned and is expected to rise far beyond its 2019 peak in the years to come. This is great news for the sector but it also brings fresh challenges and opportunities that will alter the way events are booked, planned and executed.

Being in a room with people matters – it’s powerful and it’s valuable,” adds Hulgard.

Accor’s Meetings & Events Industry Forecast survey data reinforces this predicted growth trajectory. 78% of respondents said that their or their clients’ expenditure had increased since 2022, with 36% saying it had increased by more than 25%. Looking to 2024 the growth is expected to continue with 80% of surveyed experts expecting increased spend in 2024, with 30% saying it would rise by more than 25%.

According to the Accor research, continued growth is forecast across all meeting and event sizes in 2024. Three-quarters (78%) expect the number of small and medium sized meetings (under 100 delegates) to increase next year, and the same number said they expect the number of meetings of over 100 delegates to increase. More than half (57%) predict a rise in large meetings (over 300 delegates) to increase and almost two-thirds (78%) said it would be “very important” for their industry to attend exhibitions, conferences and tradeshows in 2024.

Reconfirming the value of meeting in real life (IRL), 33% of meetings planners expect in excess of 40% more revenue from face-to-face meetings vs a virtual meeting, and the majority, 80%, would not be happy to use video-conferencing to close deals in 2024.

The new Accor report, “MEETING EXPECTATIONS: THE FUTURE OF MEETINGS & EVENTS” reveals five trends expected to shape the growth of the industry.

1/ “Softer Productivity”

The work hard, play hard ethos once associated with business and events is changing in line with the demands of new lifestyles.

  • Key Take-away: Balance purpose and productivity

2/ “Selling Belonging”

The meetings and events sector is all about one thing: people. Human connection and fostering a sense of belonging are the cornerstones of successful event design.

  • Key Take-away: Celebrate the human connection. Sell belonging.

3/ “Designing Experiences”

Event bookers are looking for a return on their investment, but they are more than ever looking for ROX, a return on experience.

  • Key Take-away: Create memorable experiences that forge meaningful connections

4/ “Green Gatherings”

Positive impact is the differentiator, and, more than ever, the sector has the green light to drive change. Green credentials are no longer a bonus for events – they will be a deciding factor in who secures the business.

  • Key Take-away: Sustainability should be the first thought, not the afterthought

5/ “Disruptive Technology”

In-person conferences are now a vital way of bringing together people who may only see one another through laptop screens.

  • Key Take-away: Digital has reach. Face to face has value. Being in the room matters.

“The Meetings & Events industry has demonstrated its resilience, innovation, and adaptability,” concludes Karelle Lamouche, Chief Commercial Officer of Accor’s Premium, Midscale & Economy division. “The trends outlined in this report stem from the DNA of the sector – face to face business matters. The human connection goes with commercial success, it makes business stronger. As the industry continues to drive recovery globally, it is the commitment to forging meaningful connections, being a catalyst for commercial and cultural growth and creating a sense of belonging that will ensure the sector exceeds its forecast growth. Travel is back, and, for the M&E sector, it’s belonging and balance that will drive the bottom line in 2024.”



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