Managing Evolving Dietary Needs and Other Trends
1 – Accommodating Vegans and Vegetarians
As society increases its focus on improved health and wellness, more and more people are adopting plant-based diets. A recent study by the Imperial College of London reported that 7.8 million premature deaths could be avoided worldwide every year by increasing daily fruit and vegetable intake to 10 portions a day. While much of the population still eats animal-based products, millennial consumers are driving a shift in dietary needs at events. Event planners will need to work closely with F&B to provide innovative vegan and vegetarian options to remain relevant.
2 – Offering Health and Wellness Programs
Attendee well being can be directly linked to event engagement. Simply put: happy, healthy attendees are more engaged. Wellness programs go beyond F&B. Opportunities for attendees to “unplug” are essential. Whether this simply includes downtime incorporated into a busy agenda at a venue that hosts a spa, or if it consists of organized meditation or yoga sessions, event planners must encourage attendee well being. Other ideas include massages, tech-free zones, 5-k runs/walks, etc.
3 – Combining Business and Pleasure
“Bleisure” Travel is a hotter concept now than it ever has been. Business travelers are stressed with meeting goals and being away from home; so incorporating a little pleasure in their trip is a great way for event planners to ensure successful results. With the right level of business, fun, and rest, everyone can perform better. VIP lounges, bars, and massage stations are quickly becoming regular fixtures at most events. Many resort-style venues take care of the “bleisure” atmosphere for you but planning optional tourist excursions and cultural interactions are also a great way to meet your goals. This is why selecting the perfect event destination is essential. The fusion of the business trip and the leisure trip means that event planners must serve a dual purpose: meeting coordinator and travel agent.
4 – Sustainability is now a Given
Environmentally-conscious attendees are becoming the norm. Therefore, sustainability needs to take the forefront in event planning and execution. Large-scale events benefit the most from sustainable initiatives. Going paperless, environmentally-friendly transportation, and recycling are just a few programs that can make a big different when part of a large event. F&B can also be a part of a sustainability program. Having a sponsor provide reusable coffee mugs and water bottles not only provide sponsorship revenue, but also cuts back on waste. Visiting with your venue on ideas for sustainable action is a great way to do your part in protecting the environment.
5 – New Rules for Influencers
Finally, one of the 2019 top trends for event planners includes new rules for utilizing influencers in marketing your products and events. Through podcasts and video channels, influencers have certainly grown more relevant lately. They improve social media followers and can steer entire communities towards your events. However, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently released endorsement guidelines that apply to influences across all forms of media, from social to traditional. The ruling states that all influencer activities that relate to a paid campaign of a brand or website must be accompanied by a full disclosure explaining the extent of their involvement in any marketing campaign. This includes everything from posting a video, reposting and image, or “liking” a brand’s post.