Meetings and congresses |  Five trends to follow

Meetings and congresses | Five trends to follow

Eco-responsible organization, immersive experiences and healthy menu: conventions and meetings are more than ever connected to the interests of participants in order to attract them. Here are five trends observed by event planners.

Posted at 12:00 p.m.

Emilie Laperriere

Emilie Laperriere
special cooperation

Welfare

Well-being has become an important issue in the world of work, and it is also reflected in conventions and meetings. “Participants want to be able to do meditation or yoga during breaks,” illustrates, for example, Carol Damiani, team leader, business development and strategic alliances, at Tourisme Montréal. She adds that we now see time slots devoted to free time.

A sign that the theme is popular, conferences on well-being or other related subjects, such as healthy eating, are now appearing in more traditional congresses.

Eco-responsibility

Are styrofoam cups and cheap corporate gifts on the way out? Eco-responsibility is in any case a major trend.

The organizers seek to create responsible congresses and to surround themselves with partners who have the same environmental concern.

Carol Damiani, Team Leader, Business Development and Strategic Alliances, at Tourisme Montréal

Some compensate for the greenhouse gases generated by their event, and recyclable or compostable elements are preferred.

Ann Cantin, director of communications and marketing for Québec Destination affaires, points out that the organizers are trying to compensate for the impact of the pandemic during their event by recovering, for example, the masks of the participants.

Healthy food

The plates served in Quebec’s convention halls have changed a lot. Of course, the traditional chicken breast in sauce with “mashed potatoes” and green vegetables remains, but it now has competition.

“Some organizers offer meatless menus. Local ingredients are also featured. It goes with eco-responsibility,” says Carol Damiani.

There are more and more requests for vegetarian options, but also vegan options for snacks and meals.

Ann Cantin, Director of Communications and Marketing, Québec Destination Affaires

To meet demand, some organizers retain the services of health street trucks.

New technologies

Contactless technologies made their appearance during the pandemic to ensure distance between delegates. In Carol Damiani’s opinion, they are here to stay.

But to convince people to participate in the events in person, new activities are proposed. “The immersive, unique experiences allow you to experience something that would not be possible behind a screen,” she notes. Virtual and augmented reality as well as the metaverse are essential technologies.

Networking platforms now make it possible to make contacts before, during and after the event. “Many organizers start networking upstream, by giving the possibility of making an appointment with a speaker, for example. »

New kind of travel

As telecommuting and hybrid working have been widely adopted during the pandemic, some employers are imaginatively competing to cultivate team spirit. “Several companies that no longer have physical offices now organize trips with their employees during which they organize team building activities,” notes Carol Damiani.

These stays allow workers to get together – or even to meet for the first time – while seeing the country. “We see it with local and foreign companies,” says the expert from Tourisme Montréal.

The mix of work and sightseeing also appeals to convention-goers, who crave local experiences.