Meetings and events are constantly changing, but one thing remains constant – the need for experienced planners and managers. Whether you are in charge of corporate conferences, weddings, non-profit events, or team-building activities, you can be a part of creating entertaining, informative, and impactful meetings and events.

As new innovative ideas emerge, staying current on meeting and event industry trends is crucial for your projects to thrive.

Here are four meeting and event management trends you can expect to see in 2024.

1. Sustainability 

Sustainability has emerged as a top priority in various aspects of life, including meetings and events. Businesses, organizations, and individuals value sustainability efforts and seek ways to implement them whenever possible. Changes don’t have to be drastic. Consider taking some extra time to tweak your event details, and you’ll gather your group in a much more eco-friendly manner.

A few changes you can make to up the sustainability level of your events include sending paperless invitations, limiting excessive giveaways, minimizing single-use tableware, and separating your waste into appropriate bins. You can also vocalize your sustainability goals to your group. Everyone can be on the same page and feel good about contributing to a more eco-friendly event.

2. Virtual and Hybrid Events

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen incredible creativity from groups and individuals hosting virtual gatherings. With more people working and studying from home, there has been a rise in the use of online meeting platforms such as Zoom or Google Meet. People have adapted to this way of meeting and appreciate the benefits.

Virtual meetings are cost-efficient, flexible, and minimize commute. As a meeting manager, you can relieve some of these stresses for staff and guest speakers by choosing this virtual option. For multi-day meetings and events, a hybrid schedule can be beneficial. An event’s first day can be virtual, with in-person activities taking place the next day or days.

3. Wellness and Mindfulness

Everyday life can be stressful. People appreciate when their business or organization prioritizes their mental and physical well-being. Meetings and events that these groups put on should also reflect those priorities. Individuals will be more willing and eager to attend if they know they will be in a safe and welcoming environment. There are simple steps you can take to ensure a great experience for everyone involved.

For example, food and beverages should be one of the highlights of an event, not something for people to worry about or be left out of. By asking for dietary restrictions ahead of time and having a variety of healthy options, guests can be happy and fueled for tasks ahead.

4. Artificial Intelligence

Recently, artificial intelligence has been a popular and sometimes controversial topic of discussion. Regardless of whether you are a fan of artificial intelligence or not, AI can save you a lot of money, time, and effort. From planning the event, analyzing data post-event, and everything in between, use this tool to help ease some of your tasks.

AI can be used to enhance meetings and events by answering pre and post-event questions, translating languages in real-time, suggesting topics, managing registration and tickets, and more. With a little bit of research and some trial and error, you will find an AI software that best suits your needs for whatever aspect of your planning you need assistance with.

Advance Your Meeting and Event Management Career

Whether you are new to meeting planning or looking to move into a higher role from your current position in the industry, there is a program for you. SDSU Global Campus offers a Professional Certificate in Meeting and Event Planning and an Master’s in Meeting and Event Management for students at various stages of their careers.

The Professional Certificate in Meeting and Event Planning is a fully online program that can be completed in as little as six months. The certificate program teaches you essential skills in your core courses, such as catering, contracts, finance, and site selection. You will also be able to customize your curriculum with 10 different elective courses to choose from, including weddings and social events, technology, event design, and contract management.

The Master’s in Meeting and Event Management is also an online program that features a two-week, in-person segment on the SDSU campus. This graduate-level program is designed to help you advance your career and your profession as a whole. You will expand your network, become a leader in the industry, and learn new skills.