The meetings and events industry evolves at such a rapid rate, necessitating a dynamic and flexible approach to create the perfect event. Most importantly, the desires of attendees must drive the conference in its entirety, combined with the ability to stay ahead of market trends. We’ve pulled together some of our key insights around 2020 market trends.

1: Plant-based diets

We’ve all heard it being talked about – plant based diets have become more popular than ever. We are seeing preferences move towards plant sources for food including nuts, seeds, beans and legumes. Our Executive Chef, Craig Robertson has monitored these emerging trends carefully, noting that event planners must change their menu focus to accommodate this emerging trend. Such a shift in focus could revolutionise Food and Beverage to heights not seen before.

Delegates are now expecting healthier food options at conferences that are both innovative and unique. After all, the way to a millennial’s heart is through their stomachs. This emerging trend has influenced our day delegate package menus which feature both vegan and non-vegan items to cater for differing group preferences. Further, we source our produce from sustainable suppliers operating out of the Hunter Valley region.

 

2: Shift toward wellness initiatives

Modern day travellers are not only seeking healthier food options, they are embodying the wellness concept (including both mental and physical health). Delegates are expecting ‘bleisure’ time – time to reconnect, to recharge and to experience a real work/life balance.

Happier and healthier attendees will always be more engaged, encouraging time within the event agenda for mindfulness, rest and exercise. With multiple breakout spaces available at the resort, we can accommodate yoga spaces, meditation spaces and more. Further, our extensive range of resort facilities including day spa, golf course and tennis courts will give your delegates many activity options for onsite leisure time.

 

3: Sustainability focus

We understand that travellers are looking for hotels that look after the environment within their operations. Further, travellers are looking for solid implementation of environmental practices, especially given the carbon footprint of an event from conception to completion. We are proud to implement a number of sustainable practices at the resort, including our onsite solar farm, co-mingling waste system and harvesting of honey onsite.

 

4: Face-to-face time

Networking is a major drawcard for delegates, they are craving both face-to-face meetings and those spontaneous conversations over morning tea. The need for meaningful ‘collision spaces’ is highlighted, with many planners now opting to provide fewer chairs than delegates to encourage both association and communication. Further, delegates are now seeking unique locations such as rooftops, lobbies and other communal areas for these networking moments which promote natural and organic conversations, rather than forced conversations around a U-shaped table.

 

5: Event personalisation will soar to new levels

In 2020 we will see an increase in desire of attendees to have more control over event agendas. Delegates are seeking personalised event experiences, with the ability to tailor what this looks like themselves. Venues must be more flexible regarding event spaces, allowing delegates to conference where it suits them. This trend may also involve venues offering multiple event options each day for delegates – promoting diversity in activities and the space to network with a wider number of fellow event attendees.