There’s no doubt about it.
Events are big business — it’s reflected in event planning trends for 2019.
Conventions and events typically amount to about 14% of most company budgets. Trade shows and conferences account for most of these events, with the average return on investment for the events ranging from 25% to 34%. In Boston, many event planners routinely put together events for 100 people or less.
However, despite adding a significant amount of profit to a business’s bottom line, not all events can be a conference and trade-show size. If you’re planning an event for your group, department, leadership team or an entire company, here’s a look at five of the most significant trends in event planning for next year.
1. “… And the food was REALLY good!”
The 2000’s may likely go down in history as the era of the foodie. Food trends such as digestive-tract-friendly food, vegan desserts, farm-to-table menus, specialized teas, and designer doughnuts with non-traditional fillings count as just some of the trends that dominated personal and restaurant kitchens during 2018.
But it’s not just fine dining restaurants that are getting the foodie-fan overhaul. Many of these food trends have made their way to the world of event planning for organizations. It’s not unusual to see gourmet food trucks parked in front of an events venue. And many event venues are taking a close look at their fare in response to feedback from attendees.
At the Endicott house, our in-house chef Eddie Cerrato continues to impress our guests, using fresh produce and herbs from our own garden and locally-sourced ingredients as much as possible. Even the honey we use in recipes and at tea time is gathered from hives here on the property, kept by the MIT student beekeeping club.
2. Technology Counts for Boston Conference Centers
It’s the digital age and event planners are turning to technology to spice up events. More event planners are turning to chatbots to answer basic attendee questions swiftly through an event app before the event, including platforms such as Facebook Messenger. Additionally, virtual reality devices have been growing increasingly more popular at events. A virtual-reality headset allows the user to view three-dimensional imagery, transporting them to places and into experiences that are otherwise unreachable.
The MIT Endicott House’s Brooks Center, adjacent the Mansion, offers an 90 seat amphitheater with the latest conference and computer networking technology, and three seminar rooms.
Download our brochure and learn what makes Endicott House Boston’s Smartest Destination.
3. Multipurpose Swag
Society is into re-purposing or multi-purposing if at all possible. Handing our useless tchotchkes won’t help your reputation with today’s environmentally conscious groups. Ideally, the items that you bring in to support your event should serve more than one purpose. For example, if you’ve printed up name tags, why not print the event schedule on the back of them? After all, they might lose a printed list of activities, but it’s harder to lose a name tag that’s attached to a cord and hung around their necks. The most successful events incorporate many items that support two-in-one functions like these.
4. Event planning Boston: Alternative Setting
Use outside activities to your advantage. At the MIT Endicott House and grounds, we have an adjacent ropes and obstacle course outfit that groups use all the time to team build or just get out and play. There are many cultural offerings nearby as well, including museums, concerts, tours and parks. A survey by event planning group Cvent indicated that about 28% of event planners have added such activities to their events schedule to increase memorability and participation.
One of our distinctives at the MIT Endicott House property is our distraction-free setting. Event planners also increasingly look for extensive grounds, filled with greenery and scenery. can add some mindfulness elements to their events. Yoga or meditation breaks, lunchtime walks, or other wellness activities can add a deeper dimension to an event. And as it turns out, mindfulness in general counts as one of the most popular trends in event planning for 2019.
5. Group Size
Demand for Boston conference centers and retreat centers abounds. The length of time for most gatherings remains at two days. As demand increases later in the year that number may creep up. MIT Endicott House offers packages for one-day, weekend or any duration, with the longest stays usually lasting one week. While transportation to our site is very easy from the Boston metro area, we often host visits from much further away.