Home Publisher's Point of View Key Meetings & Events Trends Revealed in New CWT Report

Key Meetings & Events Trends Revealed in New CWT Report

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Glenn Hasek

CWT Meetings & Events, the global meeting and events division of CWT, just released “The Future of Sustainable Events.” Within it are nuggets of information worth sharing to the entire meetings and events community. Be sure to take a look at the report.

First, CWT Meetings & Events concludes that sustainability will continue to be an ever more important business consideration for the $840 billion meetings and events industry in 2020.

“The sustainability of the meetings and events industry, in fact of the entire travel industry, is at the forefront of companies’ and planners’ minds in 2020,” said Derek Sharp, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, CWT Meetings & Events. “It’s driven by news coverage of climate change but, more importantly, it’s supported by the next generation of travelers—the millennials who are poised to become the biggest group of business travelers globally from 2024 onwards, and the centennials who are right behind them.”

“These are people for whom travel has become commonplace and accessible in a way that it wasn’t for older generations,” Sharp added. “They want to continue meeting in popular destinations, but they are also hyper aware of the need to adopt sustainable practices that respect the environment and local communities wherever they go.”

Much More Than Just Recycling

The report states that sustainability is no longer just about recycling, but taking a meticulous approach to all sustainability aspects, from environmental footprint and how to reduce it, to reducing risks in supply chains, tackling modern day slavery and gender equality, as well as diversity and inclusion. This level of focus requires a specific set of skills from your meetings team.

“There is a huge opportunity for meetings and events to embed and showcase sustainability and responsibility,” the report says.

“There is a market incentive to develop and implement a sustainability program,” adds Francoise Grumberg, Vice President, Global Responsible Business and Diversity & Inclusion, CWT.

Those companies and properties that lead the meetings and events industry in sustainability practices will draw the most attention and win the business of increasingly green-conscious meeting planners.

The following are some additional highlights from the report:

  • Copenhagen is aiming to become the first carbon neutral city in 2020. More than seventy percent of its hotel rooms already hold official eco-certification.
  • Congress Center Hamburg is set to re-open in 2020 as the largest convention center in Germany, with state-of-the-art exhibition halls seating up to 12,000, all with low energy consumption, and designed to let light flow in.
  • Socially responsible incentives are top of the agenda for 2020, with team-building activities, including carrying out work in hospitals, schools or with community groups becoming an important way for companies and their incentive guests to leave a legacy in the destination.
  • In line with its focus on responsible meetings and events, which are increasingly important to its clients, CWT Meetings & Events Italy took the initiative to certify to ISO 20121: 2013 for Sustainable Events. With this certification—which addresses all stages of an event’s supply chain—CWT Meetings & Events Italy is able to offer tailored sustainable meetings and events solutions to its clients to manage the social, economic and environmental impact of any event.
  • The report includes a “Five ways to plan a more sustainable event—without increasing your costs” section.

For more information, access the CWT Annual Responsible Business Report.

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