There are a few key trends that meeting planners need to be aware of when booking their event space for 2022. Some of these trends are already emerging, while others will likely become more prevalent in the coming years.
From leaning into technology and sustainability to wellness-focused events, be prepared for 2022 by exploring these trends for corporate meetings.
Trends for Corporate Meetings in 2022
Here’s what you need to know to stay ahead of the competition. Get ready for a whole new way of doing business!
IN-PERSON MEETINGS ARE SMALLER, MORE INTIMATE
In-person meetings are still happening, but they are more deliberate and strategic. With health concerns and the planet’s safety at the top of our minds, in-person meetings have morphed into more intimate gatherings with a very specific agenda and the overall ROI guiding the way.
As crucial as in-person meetings are, it’s vital to hold them safely. So here are a few key components to having an in-person gathering that ensures the safety of your guests:
- Smaller groups in larger spaces – meeting in a larger space allows for proper social distancing for all of the guests.
- Offer testing beforehand – mobile testing stations are becoming more and more affordable and offer a level of health assurance for attendees.
- Stay local – rather than traveling, meet at a local meeting space right in your community.
- Digital registration and contactless check-in – this technology has become much more available and affordable in the past year, making it a viable option for everyone
Here are a few types of in-person meetings we’re predicting for 2022
- Executive team seminars and in-person/virtual conferences
- Executive retreats and incentive programs
- Golf, and other outdoor, events
- More intimate appreciation events
- Celebrations of organizational milestones
- Team building events – think outdoor and small group events
- Hybrid product launch events
- Board meetings & shareholder meetings
BE PREPARED FOR HYBRID MEETINGS
If you haven’t already, it’s time to prepare for hybrid meetings. Hybrid meetings allow for key team members to meet in person while allowing for virtual members to be on-site in separate rooms or alternate locations, even meeting from a hotel room, their office, or home while staying connected with meeting planners and participants through technology.
From working remotely to meeting remotely, technology has allowed companies to move forward successfully while navigating the challenges of the past couple of years, and continue on with “business as usual.”
Modern meeting facilities embracing hybrid meetings are skilled at developing best practices that are mindful of health and safety concerns. For example, The Inn offers four meeting rooms with the same equipment and capabilities found in the University’s leading-edge classrooms. This technology, which produces high-quality meetings, will assist in both in-person meetings as well as hybrid meetings, where some participants are on-site and others are connecting virtually from around the country or world.
BEYOND THE SPACE – More Meeting Trends
The days of grit and hustle are waning as companies start to understand the value of a healthy team. Wellness and mindfulness breaks are now commonplace in meetings, as are mental health breaks. Statistics show that if you start to make this a part of your meetings to show your staff you care about their health and wellness, you’ll see your team thrive like never before.
As the world heats up, corporations will continue to refine their practices to decrease their carbon footprint by keeping meetings local (meaning less travel) and hybrid or virtual meetings (less waste).
Technology (VR, AR, and AI)
- Virtual Reality – VR is still expensive and cutting edge but can virtually transport attendees to a shared virtual location. Some games also use VR technology and can be fun for teambuilding exercises.
- Augmented Reality – AR is an alternative to VR that is much more affordable albeit less robust. Examples of using AR are interactive product demonstrations, interactive and personalized venue maps, engagement.
- Artificial Intelligence – AI is now commonly used at most events for event chatbots, automated follow-ups, digital and contactless registrations, and check-ins, event analysis, and marketing.
At The Inn at Virginia Tech, we offer meeting space with state-of-the-art technology and ample space for your in-person and hybrid meeting needs. We’ve refined our meeting practices over the past couple of years to ensure your team’s safety and maximize your meeting ROI. These trends in corporate meetings will help your organization stay relevant in the coming year. Be sure to book your 2022 meetings now.