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Do You Plan Meetings for Your Ministry? Here's the Top Trends in 2023 Coming Your Way

Though there are still some lingering effects of COVID-19 , UMC Support’s Travel and Meeting Planning Department is preparing for a busy year as many groups throughout the connection return to hybrid and in-person meetings! We’ve identified the 5 top trends that Travel and Meeting Planners throughout the UMC can expect to see in 2023:

1. Higher Costs → Higher Spend

According to Business Travel News, the overall spend for meetings is predicted to increase by 3.1% on average globally. The cost per attendee for all meeting types is also predicted to increase by 1.5% for small and internal meetings, and up to 3% for larger conferences and trade shows.

2. Decreased Attendance & Increased Fees

It is critical that Meeting Planners consider how vastly event attendance has evolved. While attendees continue to ask for virtual offerings, guests who are interested in attending an event in-person might require an additional push. Planners who experienced no-show rates of 30% at events pre-COVID are now seeing no-show rates of nearly 50%. In addition to decreased event attendance and increased no-shows, lofty last-minute cancellation rates are expected.

3. Diversity, Sustainability, and Mental Health

Although the pandemic triggered many tragedies and difficulties, it gave us important lessons in diversity and sustainability, as well as the gravity of mental health. When planning meetings and events, it is vital that these principles are considered and embraced.

4. Bringing the Family

With remote and hybrid workforces on the rise, families are increasingly tagging along for business and meeting travel. This boost in flexibility around physical work locations creates more opportunities for spouses and young children to attend events alongside primary attendees, which may help your attendance.

5. Shifts in Negotiation Power

With increased labor costs, operating expenses, inflation, and the lingering fear of cancellations, hotels are less willing to negotiate as aggressively as they once did pre-pandemic, or even last year.

While the top 5 meeting trends are listed here, the UMC Support Travel and Meeting Planners are gathering and analyzing the latest industry complexities daily. Ultimately, our top priority is ensuring the utmost success and productivity of all your meetings and events.

As you can see, meeting planning and the accompanying travel is complex as ever. Ease your burden and gain peace of mind by working with a meeting planning professional! Contact our UMC Support team today to see how we can help with any or all aspects of your event. Drop us a line at or call us at 866-367-4232.


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