Now we’re well and truly into the new decade, we’ve asked our leadership team to share what they think will be changing the industry and what we should look out for in 2020. From destinations and venues to CSR and employee wellness, here are Top Banana’s predictions…
- Less Travel, More Local
With all eyes on sustainability in 2020, event planners are looking for ways to lower their carbon footprint and there’s nothing greener than staying local and avoiding travel abroad. Aeroplanes contribute to around 20% of greenhouse gasses globally and flying 100’s of delegates from all across the globe for a 2- or 3-day conference definitely isn’t sustainable. Plus, with air prices expected to increase by 1.2% (in USD) in 2020 – it’s going to become even less cost effective.
“Hearing the words ‘Climate Crisis’ as opposed to ‘Climate Change’ is really going to hit home for event planners in 2020, and because of this, we think we’re going to see more virtual attendees (thanks to VR and AR) and localised events. These ‘micro’ versions of the real deal will allow people to still feel involved, without sacrificing the planet or delegate engagement. That being said it’s not just the attendees and events that will be localised; everything down to food suppliers, seasonal produce and AV production will be kept local to avoid unnecessary air miles – all in a bid to be eco-friendly and protect the planet.”
Jade Ball – Operations Director
- Personalisation for Delegates
Making an event a personalised experience is top of our list for 2020. Technology is continuing to advance and we’re getting more scope than ever before to create bespoke experiences.
“Personalised experiences aren’t necessarily new to the world of events and we’ve been doing it at Top Banana for some time. However the way we do it is becoming incredibly advanced and in 2020 we’re going to see technology really enhance personal experiences, allowing event planners to create jaw dropping moments that resonate with each and every person in the room. It’s important to note that personalisation isn’t just a novelty – and making something connect to a delegate’s heart will mean they remember important messages in their head. Events work best when they have real emotional engagement, and personalisation is the perfect way to make delegates feel important, valued and purposeful – even though they’re in a room of 300 other people.”
Richard Bridge – Founder and CEO
- Employee Purpose
More than wellbeing, employees need to find value and purpose in their work and feel that what they do matters. A sense of fulfilment can be hard to find, and workers become demotivated and unproductive when they feel like what they do has very little meaning.
“We’ve always given attention to wellbeing and mental health at Top Banana and it’s vital to us that our employees feel happy and secure in the workplace. In 2020 we really want to ensure employees also feel purposeful, needed and fulfilled. This year we’re committed to helping people find the right way of working for them and changing aspects of their job if they feel like it’s not helping them grow or succeed, and as we say feed their souls as they work. A happy workforce is a strong workforce and the most successful companies, both in profit and staff retention, are those who care about their employees on a deeper more meaningful level. We want everyone to be the best versions of themselves and love the work they do – and I think a lot of companies will be saying the same in 2020”
Jemma Peers – Commercial Director
- Off the Grid Destinations
Delegates of 2020 are a well-travelled bunch. Generation Z are now a well-integrated part of the workforce – and a lot of them have done gap years and travelled more than we ever did 10 or 20 years ago. Destinations such as Thailand and the Maldives doesn’t cut it for this lot, and we’ve got to look at off the grid destinations for incentive travel programmes that will still wow delegates.
“We had to deep dive into the atlas in 2019 – proposing destinations to clients that we can (nearly) guarantee their delegates haven’t been to before. Rwanda, Colombia and The Galapagos are some our favourite spots for 2020 and we’re continually looking for up and coming locations that have the infrastructure to hold scalable events and incentives – but still feel untouched and authentic. This of course comes with the sustainability and CSR tag- ensuring that we’re not tapping into negative tourism or making trips further away than they need to be.”
Elliott Grant – Director of Incentives
- Venues that are outside, in.
More venues are popping up over the UK that are making a conscious effort to connect the outside and inside space – meaning we can focus on the greenery around us and re-connect with the outdoors even when we’re at a conference.
“2020 is going to be a great year for new venues – with 65 opening in London alone. A range of sustainability initiatives will be bought into new properties but look out for living walls, green rooftops spaces and lots of natural light as venues try to bring the outdoors, in. For those with the space to do it – the properties will go one step further. The brand-new ICC Wales is a prime example; with outdoor terraces on all levels, a woodland setting and outdoor events options – it’s the perfect way to encourage event planners to engage delegates with the outdoors and re-connect them with nature in campfire style breakout sessions and walking meetings – ticking all the sustainability and wellbeing boxes.”
Louise Goalen – Director of Venues