by Loren G. Edelstein | September 07, 2016

Ten years from now, organizations will hold more events with bigger budgets, partly because technological advantages will dramatically reduce labor and other costs. These are among the predictions shared by Dan Berger, founder and CEO of Social Tables, during this morning's keynote session at Destination Florida, the hosted-buyer event sponsored by Northstar Meetings Group, which includes M&C. The event began with an opening reception Tuesday evening at host hotel Sheraton Sand Key Resort. 

In his engaging presentation, Berger said the "golden age of travel" will continue, even in an expected economic downturn, which will not adversely impact meetings and events. The hospitality industry will be more profitable than ever, even with continued consolidation. Among other projections:

• Robots will set up and tear down rooms, among other physical tasks that will reduce labor costs for meetings, allowing planners to allocate those funds in other ways.

• Artificial intelligence will make events better for everybody.

• We won't be able to tell the difference between real and virtual events.

• Complex productions will be easier to organize.

• Small meetings will be booked mostly online.

• Second-tier cities will become premier destinations

• The annual meeting will become endangered, as more organizations opt for multiple regional meetings instead.

Destination Florida's agenda today continues with face-to-face appointments, a smartphone-driven scavenger hunt led by Resort Sports, and an evening cruise on Yacht Starship, sponsored by Eventions.