New study reveals the macro-trends set to impact the future of Business Events

One size no longer fits all in business events
New study reveals the macro-trends set to impact the future of Business Events

Biodegradable meeting spaces, artificial intelligence and serendipity will all play a significant role in the future of meetings and business events.

Those trends, along with others, were discussed by leaders from a wide range of industries for a recent study supported by the PCMA Foundation and Marriott International. The “Future of Meetings & Events” identified five trends with the potential in the next five years to dramatically disrupt the business events industry. The study was presented during 2019 PCMA Convening Leaders “Disrupt + Deliver” program taking place Jan. 6 -9 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The five trends identified by research firm Fahrenheit 212, which conducted the study, were:

  • Emotional Intelligence: How to design events with the end user in mind.
  • Orchestrated Serendipity: Engineering unexpected, but meaningful moments.
  • Multi-modal design: Creating adaptive spaces such as one that is a biodegradable, and 3D-printed.
  • Bigger than Oneself: Think social impact, sustainability and meaningful.
  • Clear Sense of Place: Leveraging the surroundings where business events are held.

“PCMA’s vision is to drive global economic and social progress through business events. Supporting valuable research like this project is paramount to our organization’s ability to help professionals within and outside our industry better harness and understand the power business events have around the world,” said Sherrif Karamat, PCMA president and CEO. “We want to help our audience stay ahead of the curve and embrace the disruptors that will shape the business events industry.”

Tammy Routh, senior vice president for global sales at Marriott International, added: “The meetings and events industry’s future is being shaped by so many factors — from people’s desire to be part of a broader community to their expectations when they travel. This study brings a real-world and provocative lens to where planners, attendees and suppliers will be heading in the years to come.”

In addition to Karamat, research participants included A Hundred Years Senior Advisor Amy Blackman, Sharebite CEO Dilip Rao, Eight Inc. Partner and Chief Experience Officer Wilhelm Oehl, Local Projects Creative Director and Head of Visual Experience Design Elle Barriga, and WeWork Vice President of Product Development Cory Clarke.

Download the full report at

For media queries from the Americas, APAC, EMEA, and requests for interviews with Sherrif Karamat, please contact: Meghan Risch, PCMA Chief of Staff, Vice President, Corporate Communications

About PCMA

PCMA, PCMA Foundation and CEMA educate, inspire, and listen, creating meaningful experiences where passion, purpose and commerce come together. We are the world’s largest community for Business Events Strategists, providing senior-level education, networking, and market intelligence for the global business events industry. Our mission is to drive social and economic progress through business events. Headquartered in Chicago, IL PCMA has 17 North American Chapters, regional communities in APAC, EMEA and LATAM, and members in 59 countries. The Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA), a PCMA subsidiary, advances strategic event marketing and marketing communications for senior-level event marketers and industry professionals. Visit us at

About PCMA Foundation

The role of the Foundation of PCMA is to support the mission of PCMA through fundraising and grant-giving focused on scholarships, education and research that will advance the business events industry. Annually the Foundation funds over $700K in impact, and since 1985 has funded over 2,500 scholarships, 100 research studies and education programs, and $2.7M in charitable giving.

About CEMA

The Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA) is the eminent community for senior event executives, association peers and industry partners and is an integral component of the Professional Convention Management Association’s (PCMA) brand collective. CEMA promotes professional networking opportunities, facilitates peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and drives industry standards. Through strong relationships with strategic partners, CEMA fosters both finding innovative solutions to business issues and continuous focus on members’ career growth. For more information, please visit

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