Sometimes, beginning-of-year predictions don’t pan out, but it’s always fun to see what the experts say will be the biggest event trends for the new year. They say that in 2014, meetings will… 1. Have slightly bigger budgets. In a Destination Hotels and Resorts study, 26 percent of respondents think their budgets will increase this year (up from 20 percent last year), and 55 percent expect them to remain the same. That means that less than one in five meeting planners expects to see any sort of decrease in meetings spend. 2. Stay close to home. Demand is expected to continue to increase this year, which means hotels and venues will likely boost rates because of increased competition, according to another forecast. That means that in order to offset costs, organizers might look at destinations closer to home, a trend also supported by the American Express Meetings & Events 2014 Global Meetings Forecast. 3. Be happier. At least that’s what keynote speaker Jenn Lim of Delivering Happiness aid at the IMEX America 2013 event in Las Vegas. Organizations have caught on to this idea of the importance of a work/life balance, ad Lim suggests that they should embrace happiness as a science—and one that can be measured—at the office and during events. “When values, vision and purpose in individuals and organizations come together, the impact can be so positive, and it’s about much more than a happy worker being a productive worker,” she says. 4. Be underprogrammed. “The concept that ‘less is more’ is everywhere,” says David Adler, founder and CEO of BizBash Media. Events should be simpler and more flexible and fluid, yet still maintain high-quality content. “You don’t have to cram everyone in and program to the last second. Leave people a little space,” he says.