Skip to main content

Caught in the same boat as many other industries, events are adapting to be part of the solution in terms of climate change, health, and inclusion. While these issues are hardly new, the industry–and the world at large–has reached a tipping point. The results should make for more innovative gatherings that benefit attendees and host destinations.

Here, we examine how headwinds coming from outside the industry are shaping corporate and incentive-based events.


Planners are wasting no time cutting down on their event’s carbon footprint. These efforts go well beyond CSR projects that have been a staple for years. Sustainability practices begin at site selection, where eco-friendly venues and locally sourced food and other goods are a top priority. Several hotel chains did away with single-use straws and toiletries, and event companies are actively suggesting attendees bring reusable water bottles to stay hydrated while remaining green. Speaking of water, one issue to watch is how events adapt to the ongoing drought in the western U.S. destinations.

The social responsibility element of sustainability is taking on greater importance. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential elements of events. Dietary restrictions are taken into account by most organizations, but venues and events are striving to improve accessibility for attendees with physical impairment and neurological challenges. Companies like Wheel the World are proving that being in a wheelchair should not limit attendees from enjoying an event, including incentive trips.


Companies have now settled into a post-Covid workplace environment. For many, this means a hybrid solution in which employees split the week between home and the office. Some notable organizations have gone all-remote. This is where hybrid and virtual gatherings remain important to communication and teamwork. Video calls are now ubiquitous in the daily work culture. Companies with a global workforce offer regular town halls, organizational updates, training sessions, and more via device-based programming.

Meanwhile, event planners are further employing technology with robust data collection to measure ROI, update databases, and develop more effective marketing strategies. And, of course, AI will be further integrated into all facets of events. Right now, the technology is most commonly used for appointment matchmaking and content generation. What’s next?

Personalized Experiences

This is a big trend, particularly for incentive programs. Nothing says “reward” like a tailor-made itinerary for star employees. Look for planners to individualize surprise gifts, cocktail and meal offerings, and excursions that make attendees’ dreams come to life. We’re well past the days of a few days at the beach for some R&R.

Cost Effectiveness

This is a nicer way of noting inflation and other global economic challenges remain a thorn in the side of planners. Competition for hotels and venues is fast and fierce, driving up prices. Food and beverage is another pain point with the dramatic rise in prices. The good news is innovation is bred from difficult circumstances. Incentive planners may opt to pack in more in less time to cut down on hotel room nights. Corporate meeting planners may lean on hybrid and virtual solutions in certain circumstances. When face-to-face meetings are the priority, companies can opt for regional destinations that cut down on plane travel and help boost environmental efforts.

Health and Wellness

Yoga, meditation, and spa treatments are gradually moving from fun excursions to the star attractions of corporate and incentive offerings. Hiking among picturesque natural landscapes is another popular option to clear attendees’ heads while working off calories. Mocktails are another method to provide a tasty treat without alcohol’s side effects. It’s likely health and wellness retreats will see an uptick as the trend continues.

Planning meetings and incentive trips is never easy. Look for continued creativity as planners find a path toward memorable experiences despite obstacles.

If you’d like to learn what our team can do for you, get in touch with us.

Call us at 800-290-0311.