Singapore-based Pacific World, included on the latest Special Events 25 Top DMCs,” in collaboration with ACCESS Destination Services has released its 2017 Annual Destination Index, offering insight on the top industry trends for both clients and events professionals.

“Each year, our cohesive team around the globe comes together to develop the Annual Destination Index, providing invaluable knowledge on meetings and events,” said Pacific World global managing director Selina Chavry. “The compelling information includes details on the most popular destinations for meetings and events worldwide, types of requests we can expect, and prepares us to execute successful and innovative campaigns throughout the year.”

The 2017 findings:

1.Take me off the beaten track: Second-tier and emerging destinations are becoming more popular event choices, such as small villages in Tuscany, or Lyon and Champagne as opposed to Paris.

2.Giving back to the destination: The meetings industry has seen an increase in corporate social responsibility initiatives focusing on local communities, such as “Making a Balinese Barong,” where attendees work with villages in Indonesia to create a local craft.

3.Events with a purpose, incentives with a meaning: More and more groups are requesting a return on engagement in addition to investment, creating an impact and everlasting memory.

4.Sharing memories with the world: Creating engaging experiences is as important as providing high-speed WiFi access and designated creative hashtags for social media engagement.

5.Keeping it small, unique and tailored: Creating an event based on specific interests and group profiles is increasing in popularity. Personalization is key to guarantee group engagement. For instance, an ultra-high-end experience featuring unique and creative types of transportation works particularly well for small VIP groups, while design-inspired workshops with world-famous athletes or musicians match well for young audiences.

6.Feeding the culture vultures: More than a trend, experiencing the culture of a destination makes an event truly exceptional and is now key to its success.  

7.Catering: Farm-to-table, organic, healthy and wholesome: Groups are looking for healthy food elements, local and nutritious cuisine, farm-to-table options, and special dietary requirements.

8.Networking--less formal and more dynamic: Event and meeting planners are putting an emphasis on sharing and networking, whether with locals, colleagues, conference speakers or industry peers. Engaging reception-style dinners opposed to seated dinners are on the rise, and interactive experiences where attendees and guests have the chance to learn and experience the destination from different perspectives are trending.

9.Mobile applications are on the rise: Mobile apps have become a must-use tool for planners and guests, not only during the events but also in the planning process.

10.Technology remains an essential: Incorporating technology such as drones in events and meetings is on the rise, although sometimes challenging to implement. Groups continue to use technology often, including live video streaming and geo-location games.