Event Design

Marriott Shares Event Trend Predictions for 2024

Waterside view of Marriott's Muir Autograph Collection property in Halifax, Canada.

Skift Take

Another glance into the crystal ball for events in 2024 this time by Marriott International predicts a few grand trends including the return of large meetings, appealing to Gen Z, an ongoing bleisure love story among others.

Marriott shared its top meeting and event trends and also the priorities that will shape the hospitality industry in 2024. Is this set of predictions just wishful thoughts, or does it really get to what planners should expect to encounter going forward? Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, U.S. and Canada, Marriott International Julius Robinson, breaks down the trends for us.

Non-traditional Event Spaces 

Non-traditional venues topped Marriott’s list of 2024 trends. Vacant malls, unexpected outdoor spaces or even a yacht have the potential to elevate an event. Fittingly, Marriott’s Muir, Autograph Collection in Halifax, Canada, offers groups access to the property’s 36-foot yacht.

Large Meetings Make A Comeback

Marriott is clearly seeing an uptick in large meetings. This is a shift from the recent past when small and medium-sized companies were leading recovery in group demand since the Covid pandemic. According to Robinson, the demand for large meetings has grown so much that “we’re currently working with customers to secure availability into future years during peak times in key markets.”

Renewed Focus on Networking

If the events industry were a person, then networking would be its lifeblood. A return to networking is made the cut of 2024 event predictions, as attendees relish coming together following the Covid pandemic to share knowledge and success. 

Inclusive Experiences

Inclusivity remains an important topic among planners and other event professionals. Creating inclusive events will remain a key event design trend. This includes inclusive menu planning, neuro-inclusive meeting practices, and a sound approach to general accessibility to become standard operating procedures.

Generational Shifts

The generational shift in the U.S. workforce observed during and following the Covid pandemic continues to cast its influence over event design. Robinson predicts that event design will cater to Gen Zers by shortening sessions and adding gamification, among other engagement-driving changes.

Bleisure Travel Isn’t Going Anywhere

Bleisure travel isn’t going anywhere, according to Robinson. He points to the uptick in demand for family-friendly amenities at Marriott resorts and attendees booking additional days before and after events.

Local Connection 

Attendees wanting to connect with and experience the community surrounding their event made the list of Marriott’s 2024 event predictions. “We’ve seen a perspective shift in the way hotels view their meetings and events offerings, prioritizing unique spaces and cultural traditions to provide a memorable experience for attendees,” said Robinson. He highlighted how attendees staying at Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa can take part in the ʻauʻaukai ceremony, which stems from early Hawaiians’ belief in renewal and connection via ocean water.

Photo credit: Marriott Bonvoy Meetings and Events / Marriott Bonvoy Meetings and Events