Three Trends Transforming Hotel Meetings Spaces

By Karyl Leigh Barnes Executive Vice President & Partner, Development Counsellors International | September 06, 2015

Co-authored by Daniella Middleton, Director, MICE Division of Development Counsellors International

The economic recession and the demands of a new generation of professionals – the Millennials – have inspired a move towards collaborative, creative meeting spaces. Across the industry, how are hotels rising to the challenge?

Something magical is happening in the meetings industry.

Perhaps the transformation is a byproduct of the downturn of the global economy and the rise of millennials entering the workforce at the same time. In 2009, the economic crisis hit swiftly and the meetings industry was persecuted in the media and among policymakers as an "unnecessary luxury." There was a lack of understanding about the facts, and of the true importance and value of meeting. This negative chatter resulted in drastically decreased budgets for events and meetings, along with much tighter restrictions on how budgets were allocated and where money was spent.

Around the same time, America's newest generation, the Millennials, was coming of age. Millennials, otherwise known as Generation Y, have been raised in a socially connected world, are visual learners, and are on track to become the most educated generation to date. A recession that induced minimal spends on corporate meetings combined with an emerging generation with distinct learning and socializing preferences provided a much needed spark of innovation to the meetings industry.

The old adage proved true - economic downturns do breed innovation and creativity. But we can thank Millennials, who prefer casual and interactive meeting environments, for the connectivity, convenient, and communal spaces that are at the forefront of meeting space transformation.

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