This time next year, let's review my list and see how accurate or wrong my predictions were.
1. Marketplace consolidation will continue, even accelerate. I predicted this would continue in 2016, and I was right. Indeed, the very company I worked for before retiring -- Lanyon -- will soon merge with Cvent to create the largest meetings and event technology platform in the industry. The economies-of-scale advantage that newly merged and acquired companies are going to have is going to force smaller and midsize companies to compete more aggressively. Keep your eyes on what happens in the hotel and meetings/events technology space. Mergers and consolidation in those areas will have both positive and negative impacts for corporations, associations, planners and the supplier community.
2. The changing political landscape for the United States, with a new president and a Republican majority in Congress, is going to require our industry to remain vigilant and united to ensure that we aren't impacted by new laws and regulations created by uninformed government bureaucrats.
3. The sharing economy is here to stay whether we like it or not. Consumers are flocking to new technology-driven innovations, and companies that remain mired in brick-and-mortar assets with layers of consensus governance will find it increasingly difficult to compete and remain relevant. The new year will see more integration and innovation as businesses that work within the sharing economy become more mainstream.
4. The security of meetings and events data will become more important in light of all the recent headlines about security breaches at all levels for myriad industries. Current data-security standards, contract liability clauses, corporate review processes and other potentially vulnerable areas in our industry haven’t kept up with the real threat that exists from both domestic and global hackers.
5. Duty of care for meetings and events will finally get the relevance and attention it deserves. With global instances of disease outbreaks, natural disasters, terrorism threat, and political unrest, our industry has got to become more proactive in safeguarding our attendees and staff.
In closing, thank you all for a great 2016. I’m looking forward sharing my thoughts and commentary for our industry in the new year. Have a happy and safe one, and I’ll see you on the road in 2017!
Kevin Iwamoto is senior consultant at GoldSpring Consulting. You can follow him on Twitter@KevinIwamoto. His book, Your Personal Brand: Your Power Tool to Build Career Integrity, is available from Amazon (including a Kindle version), as well as from CreateSpace.