25 Event Venues and Destinations To Watch in 2019 [Report]

Skift Take

At EventMB we are all about rewarding innovation in the event industry. This is why we are introducing a new tool to select destinations and venues for your event. Click here to open it.

Destinations and venues are playing an increasingly important role in the success of your event. Attendee experiences are growing collectively. As the event industry steps up its game, attendees expectations evolve.

Picking up the usual venues or selecting unimaginative destinations is often perceived as a limiting factor impacting your registrations and event evaluation. In the age of live experiences, selecting a location that helps deliver your innovative message is sometimes the detail that will mean unparalleled success.

The current economic, political, and environmental climate is dramatically changing how we choose our event homebase. Traditionally safe choices are not so safe anymore. Smaller destinations are growing aggressively. Venues are stepping up their game with an unprecedented race to refurbish, expand, relaunch, and rebrand.

How Do You Choose Then?

This incredible wave of change results in great confusion for you, dear event professional, trying to make the best choice for your attendees. Whenever there is confusion in the industry, we step in. We have done that with The Event App Bible, The Event Tech Bible and all of our other resources.

This is the reason why we reviewed hundreds of venues, cities, and countries to bring you 25 to keep an eye on in 2018. This report is a valid starting point for you to understand who are those ‘on trend’ and who is approaching the market with a new or refurbished offering.

Understanding what these places and spaces are doing to match planners’ needs will help you to develop stronger decision making when it comes to such an important part of your event-planning process. In other words, knowing that some venues or destinations are doing such amazing things will rewire your brain. It will make you more demanding towards suppliers, which is something event professionals definitely need to be to keep pushing boundaries.

Yes, event professionals are the clients in this situation, let’s not forget that. Despite what some venues try to make us think.

Keep an Eye on These 25

As we are preparing our annual trends report, we wanted to give you a strong antipasto to what you can expect when it comes to venue and destination selection.

We identified some categories of locations that really matter. These suppliers and communities make event professionals’ lives easier — they please attendees, they take care of eventtech on a whole new level, and they take sustainability seriously. Can you build an infrastructure for your event? Of course not. That is something the location you work with should supply. What if you are looking for a human-friendly environment for your event? Do you have the time and budget to change the whole city to accommodate that? We all know the answers to these questions. We are here to recommend what to do about it.

The Decision-Making Process

We put out multiple calls on all social networks. We also involved group members of our LinkedIn Group. We received north of 100 submissions. Our editorial team got together with our friend and contributor Padraic Gilligan, the most influential person when it comes to Destinations and Venue trends.

We made a purely personal and subjective decision based on the trends we identified and the information supplied. This is an editorial project — as opposed to our technical guides, this has a lot of judgement. This is why you want to read it to begin with.

It is all about EventMB, our taste, how we look at the industry, and our perception of the market. So take it as a very personal project. Of course there may be other venues and destinations doing more, but we engage only with those who want to speak to one of the largest audiences and communities for the event industry, you dear reader.

If your venue or destination has been left out, you can be considered for the report or similar opportunities next year. Please complete the survey at: This is a free opportunity.

What Modern Destinations Should Offer to Event Professionals

Our experience at IMEX America was an eye-opener and a great confirmation of the submissions we received. We had a chance to confirm in-person our gut feeling. Here are the categories we identified for destinations that are really innovative:

  • Reinvention
  • Human-Friendly
  • Tapping into Local Intellectual Capital
  • Future-Proof

Get the report here.

What Modern Venues Should Offer to Event Professionals

Understanding trends in venues is probably one of the most difficult challenges in our industry. Venues can be really fluid and change rapidly. On the other hand, we also wanted to expose new and newsworthy venues that are rebranding, relaunching, or expanding. These are the venue trends we focused on:

  • The Age of All-Inclusive
  • New and Newsworthy
  • Boutique
  • Iconic
  • Forward-Thinking
  • Immersive
  • Sustainability

Get the report here.

In Conclusion

We hope you enjoy reading 25 Event Venues and Destinations to Watch in 2018. Do get in touch with the CVBs, DMOs, or venues we listed in the report. Tell them you read about them in our report, they will have higher regard for you.

The main difference is that they care. They cared to spend the time to submit an incredibly long form to be selected. They spent their time over the phone explaining to us their offering. They sent us extra materials and followed up with emails. They care and want to meet you, they are not there just for the free mention.

We hope you reward such attitude and consider them as partners for your next event.