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 and EMEA and requests for interviews with Sherrif Karamat, please contact:
Meghan Risch

For Asia Pacific media inquiries, please contact:
Jessica Kauffman, Senior Account Manager, ZADRO

About PCMA

PCMA believes that business events can economically and socially transform communities, enterprises and individuals. As the world’s largest platform for business events strategists and their business partners, PCMA’s success is driven by a commitment to providing provocative executive-level education, face-to-face networking and business intelligence to its membership of 8,400 professionals and students and global audience of over 100,000 business event stakeholders.

Through its Ascent leadership initiative to promote inclusion and diversity across the business events industry and beyond, PCMA seeks to empower those challenged by gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or disabilities to find success.

Headquartered in Chicago, PCMA has 17 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico with members in more than 40 countries and regional offices in Northern Ireland, Australia and Singapore. Visit us at or on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.