Event and Meeting Trends to Watch in 2018

by Devin Carver , , January 29th, 2018

Top 3 New Trends for Event and Meeting Planners

A new year brings new resolutions, new opportunities, and new trends. In the meetings and corporate event planning industry, it’s important to really focus on those new trends that emerge because corporate event planners must take changing technology (such as smartphones and personalization) and society (growth of women in the industry) into account in order to deliver the best experiences possible.

Last year, we highlighted a handful of trends that would succeed in the world of meeting and corporate event planning, so we wanted to do something similar as we close out the first month of 2018. With a little research, here are the top 3 trends for meeting and corporate event planners to be aware of in the new year.

Robots and New Technology

Smartphones are just as present at events as attendees are, so why not incorporate them, too? Whether it’s working with service robots (which are reported to be implemented in a couple Sheratons) or figuring out a way to incorporate new artificial intelligence found in smartphones, finding a way to make new, cutting-edge technology applicable at events and meetings will be crucial to this year’s success.

Women Are Working Their Way Up

This may seem like an obvious trend, but we felt it was important to really highlight the not-so-obvious things about women in the meeting and corporate event planning industry. According to Smart Meetings, “Female planners dominate the field, but relatively few have penetrated the upper ranks of executive management. MPI's annual conferences have a much different gender makeup than PCMA's or ASAE's. Women serve myriad roles at CVBs, but rarely as CEO; in our October 2012 CVB update story, just four of the 39 top-tier bureaus featured were helmed by women.”

In 2018, we’re excited to see women grow into the positions they deserve and grow the meeting and corporate event industry even more—whether it’s in the workplace or at collaborative events themselves.


In a world of trying to find the one-size-fits-all solution, a little personalization in a large group setting can go a long way. Social Tables explains one possibility as, “offering attendees the opportunity to weigh in on some of the sessions or activities prior to the event—this will help you to ensure that you are providing what attendees want, while also helping them feel more invested in the event—a win-win.”

Also consider tying this trend into the smartphones attendees bring to the event. Whether it’s through the use of mobile applications or social media, personalization could be as simple as working with what is in the pockets of the people themselves.

As the year moves on, we’ll be sure to keep you updated on how these and other trends play out. In the meantime, be sure to follow us on social media, subscribe to our newsletter, and follow our blog to stay up to date on all new happenings in the industry.