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  • Writer's pictureDan Berger

Three Years Ago I Made Some Hospitality Industry Predictions. How Did I Do?

When I was running Social Tables and people cared about what I had to say, I used to do this talk a few times a year where I’d predict what the meetings & events industry was going to look like over the next decade…

The last one I did was three years ago in January 2020 at GOWEST in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. It was pre-covid, social justice movements, inflation, bank crashes, etc.

Today, one third into the 2020s, I wanted to see how right (or wrong I was).

Turns out, I did well. My average was a B+ (3.6/4) and median was an A. This, of course, was self-scored so there’s room for discernment.

Here is each prediction and the current outcome.

2020 Prediction: We are about to enter a buyer’s market

2023 Reality: We entered a buyer’s market (where planners have more power) in Q1 2020

Grade: A+

2020: Most events will be meatless and many alcohol-free. Food may even be optional

2023: Definitely not at meatless but certainly alcohol-free is a way bigger trend

Grade: B

2020: Attendees privacy expectations will increase

2023: With a potential nationwide TikTok ban, this was not completely off

Grade: C+

2020: Planners will integrate coworking and remote attendance into their programs

2023: There are way more virtual-only and hybrid events taking place

Grade: A+

2020: Events that provide attendees a sense of belonging will win

2023: Belonging is now the centerpiece of most Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Score: A+

2020: There will be more ways to source groups & meetings

2023: Even though I sense that there are more sourcing startups, there’s no clear winner thus far

Score: C+

2020: Technology will augment the way we plan for the better

2023: AI can help planners with many tasks, such as ideating and copyediting

Grade: A+

2020: Events will be more accessible both in terms of attendance and location

2023: Events are now more accessible given that many are fully remote or hybrid

Grade: A+

2020: The next generation’s values will be reflected in the way we plan

2023: This is hard to measure but certainly happening in terms of inclusion, sustainability, and destination selection

Grade: B

2020: Event organizers will need to be more flexible than ever

2023: Given the pandemic, economy, social justice movements, and AI – just to name three major shifts – this couldn’t be truer

Grade: A+

I can’t help but wonder how these trends will continue to evolve throughout the remaining 2020s. Thank you for reading!

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