CWT M&E Future Trends Report 2020: rigorous optimism despite a turbulent context

CWT M&E Future Trends Report 2020: rigorous optimism despite a turbulent context

The weight of millennials and the arrival of centennials will have significant consequences for the Mice segment in 2020, according to the latest Future Trends report from CWT M&E. With growing concerns for companies, especially related to the environment and safety.

The 8th annual CWT M&E Future Trends Report covers the year 2020. It mobilized data and experts from eight countries on all continents. CWT Meetings & Events, the global meetings and events division of CWT, forecasts industry growth of 8% in 2020, despite a turbulent geopolitical and economic environment. Globally, the report highlights the fact that the protracted trade war between the United States and China is giving way to uncertainty in the business world. In Asia, the protests in Hong Kong are likely to have a strong regional impact if the protest continues.

In Europe, the future of Brexit and its repercussions on the European Union are causing concern, even if the fall in the pound has paradoxically favored tourism across the Channel. London also retains its top spot among the top ten cities for 2020 meetings and events forecast trends in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as we recently announced in our article Meetings and events Paris and Frankfurt find colours.

On the content of the events themselves, CWT M&E notes that the time to organize an event is still decreasing (50 days today), that the event brings together fewer people (45 people on average), and that the cost per participant and per day drops further.

Security is clearly a growing business concern. “We can clearly see the impact of the Yellow Vests in France. This is also partly the reason why secondary cities are increasingly chosen for the organization of events, often considered safer.notes Saskia Gentil, Vice President of Global Sales at CWT M&E.

On incentive trips, the report shows an evolution “towards authentic experiences, releasing more meaning, allowing participants to live a unique moment. And to satisfy them, we need to be more inventive, creative“, continues Gwenaël Mulin, General Manager France of CWT M&E, citing among other examples the “learning expeditions” to discover other corporate cultures.

This trend is accompanied by the growing attraction for less usual destinations. Among the most cited destinations in 2020 on the incentive: Nepal, Namibia, Colombia, Lebanon, Costa Rica… These choices sometimes raise security issues. Thus, 42% of travelers were subject to a risk assessment before their departure, as part of the travel validation process, an increase of 5% compared to the previous year.

Aside from security, the other growing business concern is the impact of climate change. Green incentive travel thus ranks first for 2020, according to the findings of CWT M&E. Other sustainable initiatives include tree replanting and interventions in schools.

Gwenaël Mulin also underlines the growing weight of millennials, who will be the largest group of business travelers in the world from 2024, and on the arrival on the job market of centennials (born from 1996). These represent the first digital native group, having never known a world without the Internet, smartphones and applications.

Not content with just attending events, millennials and centennials are using technology to actively ‘participate’ in the experience – before, during and after the event. Organizers are responding with innovations that emphasize the ability to personalize experiences and measure the resulting engagementsays Derek Sharp, Senior Vice President and Managing Director at CWT M&E.

The smartphone is of course the flagship tool of the new Z generation. Thus, we will highlight the new functionalities developed for mobile devices, with for example applications that go beyond the search for routes, in order to allow organizers to create a higher degree of personalization for participants. CWT M&E estimates that the number of event apps created since 2017 has jumped 83%, while the percentage of attendees downloading apps has increased from 50% in 2017 to 74% in 2019.

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