Are trendy, new digital tools or unpredictable economic conditions threatening meetings and events? A recent study conducted by International Live Events Association (ILEA) and Visit Scotland Business Events has identified a few possible culprits that may impact the future of international meetings.

Event Horizons is a report that highlights findings from the ILEA Global Event Summit 2016, which was hosted in Scotland in April. The summit was a collaboration between ILEA, Visit Scotland and IMEX Group, with support from technology providers Cvent and Events are Great Britain. It was hosted at multiple venues in Scotland, including Gleneagles and  Edinburgh International Conference Centre, and preceded IMEX in Frankfurt.

“Our delegates came together with open minds, ready to engage in discussions and activities, aiming to identify the challenges and opportunities faced by today’s industry,” says Jodi Collen, CSEP, president of the ILEA. “They left with their minds exhausted, yet filled with ideas and inspiration.”

International Meetings Threats

The report calls attention to 4 threats to the meetings sector, including:

• Networked digital communication devices
• Unskilled practitioners
• Fear of terrorism
• Unpredictable economic conditions

Besides providing space for creative discussions, Scotland officials were thrilled to show why it’s an ideal place to meet.

“It was great to be involved with such a unique event, and to have the chance to show this influential group why Scotland is the perfect stage for live events,” says Neil Brownlee, head of Business Events Visit Scotland. “The purple paper will act as a crucial outlet to help us meet our shared ambition of keeping the summit’s conversation going within the wider industry, helping to promote the true values and address the challenges currently surrounding live events.”

ILEA (formally the International Special Events Association) was founded in 1987 to foster enlightened performance through education while promoting ethical conduct. ILEA works to join event and meeting professionals to focus on the “event as a whole” rather than its individual parts. ILEA has more than 5,500 members in 52 chapters throughout the world.