The future of business events
January is when we commonly take a moment to review the past year, look ahead to the new, and try to make sense of it all. Fortunately, Iceland has had over ten months without any pandemic restrictions.
There is no doubt that the pandemic transformed our industry worldwide. There are many reports, articles, and opinions on the impacts and changes during the lockdowns and limitations on social gatherings. We have had to re-think and adapt the fundamentals of our business. Meet in Reykjavík can relate to many of the trends and predictions circulating, although we were fortunate to experience a quicker recovery than most expected.
Takeaways from 2022:
- People are eager to meet. There is a lot of talk about technology taking center stage in our industry: virtual reality, holograms, and the Metaverse will rule. However, business events will continue to network professionals to make invaluable personal connections. An event's true impact is in shared experiences. The destination is a quintessential piece in forming those experiences.
- Less talk, more action on sustainability. Effective and transparent environmental and socially sustainable solutions should be mandatory. People see through greenwashing tactics and look to your actions, values, and inclusion actions as representative of your values.
- Bleisure is not a trend; it's a movement. Combining business trips with leisure is nothing new. The bleisure segment has grown exponentially since starting the Reykjavík Convention bureau ten years ago. But there was a transformative shift during COVID. Today's travel-happy millennials expect more when attending events, which is not going away. They want to immerse themselves in the local environment.
- Wellness and well-being integrated into the event. Health, safety, and security are more of a priority than before the pandemic. There is a higher demand for physical activities, healthy food choices, and opportunities for wellness.
- Personalization is critical. Forget about "the one size fits all approach." Today's attendees at business events want more fluid agendas, energy, and increased engagement. They request more options that appeal to diverse interests and tastes.