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
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
2020: Attendees privacy expectations will increase
2023: With a potential nationwide TikTok ban, this was not completely off
2020: Planners will integrate coworking and remote attendance into their programs
2023: There are way more virtual-only and hybrid events taking place
2020: Events that provide attendees a sense of belonging will win
2023: Belonging is now the centerpiece of most Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
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
2020: Technology will augment the way we plan for the better
2023: AI can help planners with many tasks, such as ideating and copyediting
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
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
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
I can’t help but wonder how these trends will continue to evolve throughout the remaining 2020s. Thank you for reading!