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by Allen J. Sheinman | December 4, 2014

It's that time of year when media outlets present their forecasts for the coming year based on collated input from experts in their respective fields and a careful calibration of economic, political and social data from myriad sources. The List, however, prefers to take some glaringly obvious trends and run them into the ground, like so:

Budgets will get even tighter. Planners will find even more creative ways to stretch their budgets, like by hiring a hypnotist to make a group believe they're eating top-drawer filet mignon ensconced in a gourmet hoe-cake alongside a savory pile of pommes frites, instead of a hamburger special.

Increasing global unrest will hamstring site selection. By the end of 2015, most of the world's meetings and events will be forced to take place in only the safest destinations. Look for an explosion of new hotel construction in Bread Loaf, Vt.

Flying will become even more of a drag. By mid-2015, the major carriers will develop a form of "stacked seating" whereby one passenger sits in the lap of another. The fee scale will run to basic lap, premium lap and extra-padded (which will become known in airline slang as "the Santa"). And you'll need to use most of your frequent-flyer miles just to get off the plane.

Attendee tracking will become increasingly intrusive. Upon entering an exhibit hall, attendees will be made to don garments outfitted with technology that not only can track their every movement but also perform a continuous MRI. A headset will transmit messages such as "Thanks for visiting our booth; by the way, you have gallstones."

Tech will do it all. By next fall we should see an app that can pre-register what it estimates to be the most likely attendees to a meeting, run and attend the meeting on its own, and then determine the ROI. While this bodes ill for human participation as planners and attendees, even worse will be the development of an app that can automatically generate Lists.