Planning a meeting in Las Vegas or attending a convention in Las Vegas and having to organize satellite events?
Making Your Event Work for You
Events services run the gamut from working with suppliers and vendors to managing the logistics at events to finding ways to respond to clients’ wants and needs. Meetings & Events Las Vegas strives to bring its readers the best in new ideas and information that can keep them going forward with success. In this issue, learn about the trends—from offering authentic experiences to employing true adaptability—that planners should focus on in 2013. Then read up on why event ID badges still have serious clout and how a raffle and the right seating setups can make a positive impact on your event. Plus, revisit the importance of doing a thorough site inspection before you book a venue and why it is important and beneficial to make sure your event is insured.

Trends for 2013

Meeting planners need to keep on top of the latest trends going on in the industry and know how those trends will impact the way they do business and run meetings. See what experts say is happening in the meetings and events industry as time marches on into 2013.

Learning Is Key: Modern meeting attendees no longer want to be passive consumers and are expecting more mental engagement from conference experiences. For this, creating a meaningful learning experience is key. Simply telling information or expecting passive listening doesn’t cut it anymore. Attendees are demanding better learning experiences that meet their needs and wants for a higher level of information ownership.

Adventures in Team Building: Adventurous, active and local options for team building are becoming increasingly popular and sought after by meeting attendees and the planners that serve them. Sometimes this means offering extreme activities that push people to their physical limits. Other attention-grabbing options include cooking as a group, participating in a cultural or community service activity or engaging in a wine tasting. Especially for destination meetings, attendees want team building to provide an authentic local experience outside the conference room with activities that are memorable and distinctly reflective of that location.

Keeping Green: Not likely to go away any time soon, eco-friendly practices and meetings that “go green” are still incredibly important to planners and attendees. Sustainable programming is desired by educated, sophisticated corporate clients and meeting professionals who want to know that properties and vendors are doing their part to reduce their own environmental impact. Many hotels and meeting facilities are responding by trumpeting “paperless” meetings and having other sustainable practices in place.

Culinary Quality: Having a “signature chef” at an event is beginning to play second fiddle to the desire for memorable dining experiences that are authentic and unique. More people are becoming culinary connoisseurs, and many of them are not looking for opulent, calorie-laden indulgences. More so, they want delicious yet healthy food, often organic or sourced locally, and a planner who accommodates specialized dietary needs. Popular are farm-to-table menus with fresh, seasonal ingredients from local sources and lighter, globally inspired flavor fusions that offer new or exotic tastes to try.

Communal Arrangements:
The layout of space at a conference or meeting speaks volumes as to its purpose and expectations and certainly dictates attendee behavior. If the meeting goal is collaboration and innovation, savvy meeting professionals are creating informal furniture groupings in large open areas that allow participants to socialize and converse. Mobility is also key, and planners are moving beyond environments with static focal points to mobile setups with whiteboards on wheels that encourage connection, collaboration and participation.

Immediate Adaptability:
In this fast-paced information age, more and more people are expecting immediate results and changes based on their needs and wants. In response, some meeting planners are adapting their programming even on site during the event based on real-time immediate feedback from their attendees. This is made possible through faster and better technologies, such as widely accessible mobile platforms. In turn, the attendees are thrilled to see such quick and immediate changes that are meaningful to them.

Social Media: This continues, and will continue, to be a major factor for decades to come. Top planners are embracing it and exploiting it for its advantages as an integral part of the planning process, from searching out venues and vendors to managing and reaching out to attendees. In turn, hotels, facilities and vendors are putting themselves out there to be found and employed.

Integrating Technology: One of the biggest changes planners are facing is successfully integrating the industry’s ever-developing technology to enhance the experience and functionality of meetings. Most successful meetings rely on some form of technology, including streaming media or web conferencing. The inclusion of technology also has a strong impact on budgets, but even though technologies cost, often they also save time and money in the long run. Many venues are stepping up to meet the technological needs and wants for connected and high-functioning meetings by upgrading their wireless infrastructures and providing the latest in quality equipment.

As the meetings and events industry continues to trend toward authenticity and adapting to new technologies and the changing needs of attendees, planners need to go with the flow and most importantly listen to what people want.

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