As we begin 2023, we look forward to a bright and exciting year in the conferencing industry. Last year was a good year at Brackenhurst Conference and Retreat Centre, we were very happy to welcome a return to in-person meetings and it was fantastic to see so many people back on site, especially in the second half of the year.
Change is inevitable, and the conferencing industry is no exception. The team at Brackenhurst are energised by some of the changes we expect to see is in the industry this year. Here are our top predictions:
The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the rise of virtual meetings. The positive, it enabled people to continue working, meeting, planning and strategising despite being unable to travel or leave their houses. However, we also knew that something was lost and people craved in-person interactions. As in-person meetings resumed in 2022, the conference and event industry overall recorded an increase in numbers, and this was also the case for Brackenhurst.
The American Express 12th annual Global Meetings and Events Forecast suggests optimism for growth, ‘centered on dramatic improvements in technology and a renewed focus on sustainability, wellness, and inclusivity. The 2023 Forecast shines a light on the vital role of in-person meetings in building corporate culture.’
While Brackenhurst adapted to meet the challenges of COVID, putting in place the technology to support hybrid and virtual meetings, we are delighted to be able to return to our core offering, high-quality conference and retreat spaces across a wide range of serene indoor and outdoor adaptable venues, supported by a range of accommodation options and high-quality catering from our Dining Hall and the Muna Tree Café.
As the climate crisis climbs the agenda, being eco-friendly is no longer an option but a necessity. We predict a top trend for 2023 will be a shift by event planners towards venues that prioritise the environment and sustainability.
Protecting the environment in which we are located underpins everything we do at Brackenhurst. Our first conservation project began in 2000 with the restoration of the beautiful indigenous forest that surrounds us. Our day-to-day activities include developing and maintaining sustainable practices that challenge historical approaches to consumption, for example treating and bottling our own water in reusable glass bottles, using solar heaters to reduce energy consumption and so much more.
The Global Wellness Institute has projected a ‘huge’ annual growth rate of 21% in the wellness tourism industry over the next 2 years. This reflects a revival of interest in being close to nature and incorporating mental and physical wellness into our everyday lives. This shift can also be felt in the conferencing and retreat sector.
Our guests tell us that spending time in our green and forested spaces is one of the key benefits of holding a conference or retreat at Brackenhurst, giving them the opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle in a way that is not possible in a city-bound conference venue.
This anecdotal feedback is supported by scientific evidence. The health benefits of spending time in nature, especially forests include lower cortisol levels and blood pressure, a stronger immune system and a decrease in anxiety and depression.
Max Frenzel, AI Researcher and writer states ‘Excellent work, particularly of the creative and innovative kind, needs rest and relaxation just as much as it requires time actively engaged in work.’ Conference planners are taking this into account and looking for venues that offer leisure activities in addition to conferencing facilities, ensuring attendees have the perfect ‘productive’ balance between work and rest.
Within Nairobi and its surrounds, there are very few conferencing venues which offer this work/relaxation balance. Brackenhurst is an exception, our extensive grounds and forest, located next to the tea fields of Tigoni, open the possibility for conference breaks that include walking, bird watching, sitting in nature, mountain biking, team sports and more!
So what are you waiting for? Contact us to learn more about Brackenhurst and book your next conference or retreat: +254 748 199 552 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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