Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

January 05 2016

This Is What The World Will Look Like By 2030

Michelle Crowley


While meeting planners and trade show organizers focus on attracting attendees, exhibitors and sponsors, a wide range of factors fuels their success or failure, and many of them are well beyond their control. Global security, interest rates, opportunities for the middle class and more — what’s happening around the world plays a pivotal role in what’s happening in the industry’s convention centers and hotel ballrooms.  At the 2015 PCMA Dubai Meetings Forum in December, Afshin Molavi, Senior Global Advisor at international consulting firm Oxford Analytica, offered a high-level perspective of how some of those factors will impact the globe by 2030. Here’s a look at some of the most compelling predictions for 2030 — and what they mean for your meeting and your organization.

1) Three out of four people will live in Africa or Asia.


Looking for where your organization can engage new members, customers and attendees? Those opportunities may not be as easily found in traditional parts of the world. By 2030, Europe is projected to shrink by 4 million people while North America will only add approximately 60 million people. Elsewhere, it’s a different story. In Africa, the population is expected to grow by 500 million, and Asia will add 600 million.

For meeting planners uncertain of how to navigate the complexities of doing business in unfamiliar destinations, there is good news: hoteliers are ahead of the curve. Marriott has already added more than 10,000 rooms in South Africa, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

2) The global middle class will have 4.9 billion members.

The middle class is always looking for exactly what meetings are meant to deliver: new career opportunities and new knowledge. By 2030, the middle class is going to be huge, but the map of the middle class will dramatically shift. Brookings Institution scholar Homi Kharas forecasts that the European and American middle classes will shrink from 50 percent of the global total to just 22 percent. Instead, many middle class professionals will live in China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. In fact, by 2030, Asia will account for 64 percent of the global middle class.

As meeting planners look to connect with prospective attendees across the Asia-Pacific region, PCMA is working to deliver the essential tools for building relationships. If your organization is carving out an APAC strategy, be sure to read and share “10 Essential Lessons You Should Know Before Hosting APAC Attendees” with your colleagues. 

3) The middle will be spending $56 trillion.

Today, the middle class accounts for approximately $23 trillion in consumer demand. That number will surge by the time the next decade comes to a close. With much of the $56 trillion annual spending set to come from Africa and Asia, meeting planners must take steps to determine how their registration fees can be part of the purchasing pattern.

Crafting your organization’s global strategy starts with knowing how to communicate. Check out “5 Tips To Improve Your Communication With Attendees Around The World.” 

To learn more about hosting meetings in Dubai, be sure to read the recent Convene feature on the gateway to Asia and Africa, “‘Dubai, This Is Your Time.’”

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