Reshaping Meetings in 2017: Part 1

Event tech is yesterday’s news. So what’s hot for 2017? Reshaping meetings is on the docket for many planners.

“Staying relevant means watching the trends, and even being ahead of those trends,” said Beth Gendler, vice president of sales at Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism. “In 2017, our staff and the planners we work with are taking a hard look at what’s considered the festivalization of meetings.”

Meetings in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama

It’s a given that events will boast the latest technology. If they don’t, they may be dead in the water. But now, adding more elements to an event to garner your attendees’ attention is a top priority for many planners. Planners are on a mission to engage all the senses and are finding festivalization to be the answer. Festivalization is the combining of events and adding new methods of collaboration, including entertainment, amped-up trade shows with demonstrations, and other consumer elements.

The festivalization of events appeals to those seeking experiences rather than lectures during a conference. Backtrack a moment and know that those lectures, keynote addresses and breakout sessions are the meat of your event and everything else serves as the side dishes that complement the main course. Today, it’s hard to have one without the other.

Event Center Attendees Orange Beach, Alabama

Planners considering a destination conference on the Alabama Gulf Coast enjoy the benefit of having the onsite Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism sales team in their planner toolbox.

“Our staff offers a variety of resources to assist in planning an event of this type, including vendors, local personalities and entertainment,” Gendler said. “In the end, this type of event is about engaging your attendees, meeting their needs and ensuring their return registration. We can help make that happen.”

In March, watch for Part 2 of this series on reshaping meetings when we discuss experiential brand marketing.


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