Happy New Year from the ProMeetings team! Let’s kick off 2017 with a roundup of what we see on the horizon in the fast-paced and ever-changing world of meetings. We’re looking forward to an exciting year with these trends, ideas and buzzwords shaping meetings and events in the months ahead: Space continues to be reimagined, and that’s because engagement is a hot topic. People expect to be active participants, and innovative formats are the key to keeping everyone involved, connected and alert. So don’t settle for the same old meeting set-ups. Mix it up with novel configurations that inspire discussion, ideas and teamwork. Cafe-style formats, buzz groups and relaxed lounge-style areas with comfy furniture are all popular alternatives for groups meeting at Kiawah. (For more about evolving space, check out this recap of the Meeting Room of the Future presented by IMEX America back in October.) Personalization matters. Increasingly, people anticipate experiences tailored to their preferences in many areas of their lives, including personal and business trips. (Read more about personalization and travel here.) When your team attends a conference, they want to be treated as individuals and have opportunities to customize their sessions. So make sure any venue you’re considering not only shares this mindset, but can deliver on personalization. Is the venue ready with dynamic ways to customize details for the individuals in your group? Does it have the flexibility to give your team choices about how they configure and use the meeting space? Can it create authentic experiences that let your group discover unique aspects of the destination? (The ProMeetings team invite you to challenge us with all these questions!) “White space” is the antidote to our hyper-connected world. when attendees are immersed in busy routines and constantly tied to their devices, they need opportunities to unplug and re-energize, mentally and physically. So schedule some white space – those all-important pauses between sessions and activities. Seek out a destination that offers seamless ways to build in dedicated downtime for quick breaks or leisurely group relaxation. On Kiawah Island, for example, guests can reboot with morning yoga or stretch breaks, energizing bike rides, paddling trips, spa treatments or golf on five championship courses. Face-to-face is here to stay. Even as technology for virtual meetings leaps ahead, we continue to hear our conference guests confirm the value of in-person meetings. They tell us, and we agree, that nothing surpasses interpersonal connection in a focused setting for learning, brainstorming and teamwork. In face, in a world jam-packed with distractions, many business leaders believe that meeting face-to-face is the best way to get business done. Check out this quick read from Forbes about the benefits of in-person meetings. Let us help you discover Kiawah in 2017 – or welcome your group back to the island again. Our team looks forward to supporting your success in our exceptional conference setting and to introducing you to Charleston, winner of the coveted World’s Best City Award from Travel + Leisure magazine in 2016. To learn more about meeting at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, contact our Director of Group Sales, Marty Couch, and his team at 800.576.1585. Act quickly to enjoy these savings and start this New Year off with the best meeting ever.