Nine Convention Center Trends For 2013

Convention Center Hall G

Recently I participated in the Convention Sales Professional International’s Annual Conference “Tool Box For Success 2013.”

I moderated a panel called “Current And Future Trends” with three meeting professionals and two CSPI members.

Don’t worry! If you know me, you know it was not a traditional panel. I purposely included audience peer discussion on the key issues identified by the panelists.

Nine Trends Meeting Planners Should Watch

Here are nine trends that the panelists identified.

1. Convention sales professionals must be chameleons.

They have to be nimble, agile and easy to adapt to any circumstance that may come their way.

2. Meeting professionals are asking for more space for less money.

Meeting professionals are looking for ways to be more innovative and often that requires more space than they traditional have secured.

3. Selling venue space based on the old tradeshow model no longer works.

Convention sales professionals have to find new and innovative ways to sell space.

4. Buildings and bureaus have to partner together to win key contracts.

Meeting professionals are looking for convention centers and CVBs that work together to provide a great package for their event.

5. Technology continues to move forward at fast paces.

Meeting professionals are looking for better and more economical WiFi packages, if not free, to provide for their attendees. Their attendees are becoming increasingly sophisticated with technology and expect free WiFi or will go elsewhere to get it.

6. Global meetings are increasing and competing with traditional conferences.

The traditional marketplace is expanding to include international competition.

7. Collecting and interpreting data is critical to understand past, present and future customers.

Convention centers and CVBs must collect better data as well as interpret it better to fully understand their present and future.

8. Convention centers are adding unusual meeting space for niche markets.

Some convention centers are securing nearby buildings for additional, unconventional space. Some are entering the events arena and offering nontraditional space for weddings, special events, etc.

9. Uncertainty is certain!

In the past, convention centers and CVBs have relied on business as usual. Certainty and predictability no longer exists.

What are some other trends you’ve witnessed regarding convention centers and CVBs? How are some of these trends going to affect your conferences and meetings?

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  1. OH, I so agree. Funny thing is they have been (industry) pushing back hard on these very ideas.

  2. MoblTabl says:

    I live #9 the best, its not business as usual. This is valid even in other businesses, always be ready to transform yourself to survive.

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