Emerging technologies, localisation and compliance are predicted to be key meeting trends in 2018, according to the American Express Global Meetings and Events Forecast.

Across the globe, the continued localisation of meetings programmes will be key trend, as meeting professionals seek to add flexibility and nuance to offerings that address specific market needs and drive programme adoption.

American Express Meetings & Events senior vice president, Issa Jouaneh, said: "Following the shifting sentiment in 2017, next year should be more positive around the world in terms of spend, number of meetings and attendees.

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"Meanwhile, meeting owners are prioritising attendee experience and engagement over scale. As a result, we expect to see shorter, more focused meetings."

The link between compliance and security in today’s geopolitical landscape is another area of focus, particularly with regards to compliance challenges and risks associated with corporate meetings in China.

Jouaneh added: “Economic and geopolitical influences will continue to create uncertainty, but we anticipate ongoing industry resilience and continued focus on successful experiences."

Technology is expected to continue its transformation of meetings and events in 2018, with a focus on the attendee experience.

Immersive technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI), and the ongoing development of mobile-app and hybrid-meeting solutions will continue to add value opportunities for both meeting owners and attendees.

In Asia Pacific, the forecast predicts robust growth for Australia with an increase in both the amount of money spent on meetings and the number of attendees.

Elsewhere, other countries in the region have expressed reservations. The combined rise of hotel rates and falling meetings activities have led to budget constraints and the predicted increase in cost per attendee. As a result, meetings management and support will be prioritised to better control meetings investment and showcase value.