Sustainable Events 2012: Bold (and not so bold) predictions

As 2011 becomes 2012, lists and reviews abound (including this frightful recounting).  In this spirit, and to bring a focus to meetings industry issues, we consider the influence sustainability will have on the organizations that comprise the industry.

This time last year, we created a list of predictions.  While a few examples were perhaps a bit optimistic, we maintain that the list remains viable (it’s just ahead of it’s time!).  Because they are poised to be trends, some appear again in this list for 2012.

A thoughtful review of international business trends (recent relevant random sampling here, here and here) shows clearly that sustainability, and sustainable business practices, are more relevant and, indeed, more important to business than ever before.  Return on Investment (ROI), risk reduction, cost containment, stakeholder engagement and innovative  initiatives to increase revenue streams are terms which are not only near the top of every business leaders ‘to do’ list, but also characterize sustainable business results.

Given the increasing import of sustainable business practices in a difficult and ever more competitive marketplace, it’s appropriate to look more closely at the most influential of sustainability trends which will inform the 2012 landscape of meetings and events internationally.  Identified are 8 total trends.  To ring in the New Year and to make things even more enticing, we’ll portion these out just 2 at a time over the next few days (suspense!).

Trendspotting 2012: sustainability is smart business

  1. Fewer actions, greater results: Rather than struggle to integrate multiple new actions, ideas or processes, planners and suppliers will focus on 2 or 3 specific and measurable tactics which can yield tangible returns or progress.  In 2012, more planners will mature in their approach to sustainable event management and find concrete results by narrowing their focus to improve areas most material to their unique conference or business.   This approach will help underscore the business case for actions taken and inspire additional actions which provide value.
  2. Destination Marketing Organizations as sustainable business hubs.  As a first point of contact for many planners, DMO’s and CVB´swill become increasingly responsive to demand for sustainable suppliers and activity options for events.  Through their connections with regional membership, DMO’s have the opportunity to gather industry leaders around the topic of sustainability and facilitate training to bring mutually beneficial business returns to the region.  (This finding is based, in part, on the projects in which we’ve been proudly involved in with DMO leaders in Gothenburg, Copenhagen and the Costa del Sol.)

Share your thoughts on these and any sustainability related predictions of your own.  Stay tuned for more soon!

1 Comment

  1. […] (this post), our list of predictions for 2012 was introduced. The thinking is informed by many conversations, […]

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