So far, 2024 is getting off to a great start for the speaking industry. Every year several companies put out a yearly speaking industry forecast. If you’ve been working as a speaker for any length of time you probably already have a good gauge at how things are going. However, trends do still exist and change according to the economy and other disruptive issues.

Speaking industry forecast

Obviously Covid disrupted the meeting and event industry like nothing we’ve seen in a long time. But according to meeting and event professionals we are back on track to at least tie with pre-pandemic levels of face-to-face meetings. According to Knowland’s Hospitality Group and Business Performance Index we’re at close to 90%. During the pandemic many industry professionals left the business. But the good news is that more are staying and entering now. And their optimism for the future is high.

According to the American Express survey, 84% are optimistic about the future of the meeting and event industry. 81% expect their meetings to have a face-to-face component and 63% expect them to be totally face-to-face. Face-to-face meetings offer more opportunities for team building and collaboration.

Meeting and event spending

Meeting spending in general is expected to increase 4.2% in North America. Unfortunately, inflation is putting a damper on things and most don’t think the extra budget money is keeping up with inflation. Therefore they are looking into ways to cut costs across the board.

Maximizing sponsorship

With budgets being cut and inflation on the rise, more interactive sponsorship is being sought out. There have always been free speaking opportunities but during tough times you tend to get more of those. Speakers who have their own sponsors have tons of opportunities to make money by taking those free jobs and having their sponsors pay the bill. It increases the number of jobs out there and decreases the competition.

Diversity and sustainability

Almost a third of planners said they would try choosing diverse suppliers if they could. 70% said sustainability was very important to their organization. A majority want to incorporate it into meetings and events where they can.

Business and leisure travel

Another upcoming trend I happen to like is the blending of business and leisure travel and the opportunity to explore outside of the conference venue. This trend is expected to continue. Hopefully this will attract more attendees who might not think of traveling for business.

AI for meetings and events

AI is helping meeting and event planners better customize the event experience. It can analyze attendee demographics, track engagement, and monitor social media. This helps provide valuable insights to make better decisions. Strategies can be altered to maximize success and time-consuming tasks can be streamlined.

Experiential meetings

Another trend that will continue from last year is more experiential events. This includes interactive technology and immersive environments through sensory elements. As a speaker, how can you add more of this to what you offer?

Hybrid meetings

The majority of planners expect to have more face-to-face meetings, but they are still keeping hybrid on the table to attract more national and international attendees.

Almost half of planners expect to see more internal meetings and local meetings as being on the rise. As a speaker, I’ve seen this too. A lot of those meetings are still in offsite locations. I’ve noticed this too. Planners can also save money on speakers by booking ones who live close to the conference venue.

Speaking industry forecast 2024

These are some of the trends that meeting and event planners will be implementing as part of the speaking industry forecast for 2024. How can you help improve the experience for them as a speaker?



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