Are City Planning Conferences the Next Big Thing?

Urban growth can be defined quite simply as the increase of the population of a city or urban area. But that’s a pretty simplistic statement and in reality it’s goes much deeper than that. With the world population rapidly increasing, urban growth and sprawl is a continuing problem. As a result, City Planning Conferences are happening with an increased frequency to address this growing issue. (no pun intended)

City Planning Conferences – The Numbers are a Little Surprising

On there were over 100 meetings, conferences and events scheduled in “Urban studies, architecture and related fields”. And that was  just for 2011; there are already 15 planned events on the schedule for 2012. The events are worldwide, occurring in over 30 countries including Canada, Thailand, Italy, China, Germany, Mexico, the UK, and South Africa.  And the focus of the events is on urban planning, education and addressing the growing issues affecting research, bio diversity, transportation and sustainability.

City Planning Conferences – A Growing Industry

Photo courtesy of Cliff1066 on flickr

I can’t claim to have any of the answers, or quite frankly even understand all of the questions. But as the population continues to grow, I do know that urban planners, engineers and other specialists are being forced to meet on a more frequent basis. And quite frankly, while it doesn’t bode well for our planet, those numbers are really good for business.

There are over 100 City Planning Conferences, meetings and events occurring in the next six months. And those kinds of numbers require a lot of industry professionals,and urban planning jobs to make it happen!

City Planning Conferences – How are They Different?

When surfing through a page of conferences on, one fact is very apparent. These city planning conferences are about education, education and education, with a serious concentration on workshops, lectures, paper presentations and seminars. There are a few side events, a cocktail party or reception, but these delegates are there to work. Just have a look at the American Planning Association  and APA conference and you will see all that is involved. These meetings are far more serious and academic than your average incentives program or annual conference.

City Planning Conference – How Academics Became the Next Hot Thing in Event Planning

Every industry has cycles, including event and conference planning.

In the flush ‘90’s incentive programs and big gala events were the thing. Things changed with the new century. The political and financial climates were in a state of flux. Companies weren’t looking to spend a lot of money on what may be perceived as frivolous or needless events. Incentives were cut back and teleconference grew in popularity. But the pharmaceutical companies had the money and continued to have research meetings and incentives and are still an important part of the industry landscape today.

It’s still tough out there for meeting planners. A lot of companies are hesitant to spend too much money because of finances and appearances. Conferences with a focus on education are perceived as more practical, and therefore more acceptable to many, than a high cost incentives programs

As the world continues to grow, so will the need for urban planners and meeting planners who specialize in City Planning Conferences. And although the game plan may be changing, solid meeting planners will have no problems getting on board and taking advantage of all of the new opportunities available in this segment of the industry.

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