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#1 Bleisure Travel is a combination of business and leisure travel. Surveys show that up to a third of business travelers add some type of personal travel to their out-of-town business meetings. Conference participants will often extend their stay at the conference site in order to leisurely network with other participants, enjoy the local sites or to simply unwind. Trend #2 is in perfect step with Bleisure Travel.

#2 Plan conferences at destination/experience locations. For example, survey results show an emphasis on Millennials who want to explore destinations; do uncommon activities; and have once in a lifetime adventures. Before you scoff, stop, and think. Millennials are 19-35 years old. Catering to the Millennial will be key to keeping annual meetings well attended and association memberships renewed in the coming year(s).

#3 Instant results. In today’s smartphone world, waiting has become even harder. The ease of the participant’s experience, i.e., their time, use of technology and same-day responses are becoming second nature to the meeting planner. Participants want to register for the conference with a few taps; have the conference load into their electronic calendars; quickly view updates, speakers, presentations and provide an evaluation on multiple devices. Creating meeting websites that are mobile accessible is essential. Additional applications that will be in demand are instant on-site check-in, live agendas, meeting attendee listings, with session check-in availability, social media extras, area information and notifications regarding meeting outcomes including next steps and future meeting details.

#4 Health. In addition to the destination (Trend #2), the health trend, involving movement and food, takes the participants out of the meeting room to experience the destination during the conference. This can be as simple as holding sessions out in the fresh air, a walking and talking session, or all the way to a team bonding whitewater rafting adventure. Along with the movement is the change in food requests. While meeting planners always consider food preferences and allergies, think about displays with options that include gluten-fee, nut free, non-dairy, vegetarian, and vegan options.