3 Megatrends Affecting Meetings in 2018

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Frankfurt has emerged as the destination of choice for many London banks looking to relocate staff in order to continue serving European customers.

Three economic and demographic megatrends that will shape the locations for meetings in 2018 and beyond.

These 3 megatrends identified in the fourth annual Future 100 report from J. Walter Thompson’s Innovation Group will influence where organizations choose to meet in the future. In addition to travel trends, the report covers areas such as beauty, culture, F&B, luxury, tech and more. It can be downloaded for free here.

Immersive hospitality

Spooked by stagnant audience figures, film companies are taking their franchises out of the confines of the big screen, and creating immersive theme parks and hotels inspired by the movies. Disney recently announced the opening of a Star Wars hotel in 2019 as part of its Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge theme park at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida. Bob Chapek, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman, described it as the park’s “most experiential concept ever…where a luxury resort meets a multi-day adventure.” The hotel will reportedly allow guests to mix with Star Wars characters, take part in missions, and learn to drive a spacecraft during a two-day narrative experience.

New cultural hubs

Locating new cultural hotspots will be less about finding undiscovered locales than regarding established cities through a new lens, thanks to the emergence of exciting new neighborhoods and cultural institutions. In Los Angeles, the 2017 opening of the Institute of Contemporary Art in the city’s downtown area created much buzz. Under the guidance of director Elsa Longhauser, the museum aims to “reflect the diversity of Los Angeles and the world, fostering critique of the familiar and empathy with the different.” Designed by wHY Architecture, the stark yellow and gray building makes an impression on the landscape. Koreatown has also received an infusion of cool with the opening of the Line Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard.

New Brexit capitals

As Brexit proceedings continue, new cities in Europe are set to gain prominence as financial and cultural capitals. Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Madrid and Dublin are all vying to become hubs for financial services ahead of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union in 2019, and its possible demotion from the position of the world’s leading financial capital. Frankfurt has emerged as the destination of choice for many London banks looking to relocate staff in order to continue serving European customers. Deutsche Bank predicts that 5,000 new residents might settle in Frankfurt as a result of Brexit-related job moves. Goldman Sachs and Silicon Valley Bank are both focusing on the German city. Not to be outdone, Paris is also vying for banks that are relocating. Where banks and people relocate, hotels will follow.

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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.