In our busy social media crazy world we often forget the importance of being in a live face-to-face setting with others from the business community. There is power in being connected to other people who are active in your line of work. Many falsely believe that since they can now access industry information via the Internet that the days of the live meeting are gone. A plethora of online meetings take place all over the world, however it has not disrupted the core desire of people to interact face to face. The truth is, meetings are more important than ever. The value in meetings comes from the human-to-human connections that occur. Often people cite the conversations that they have with other attendees as the most valuable parts of attending an event. When two or more people begin to discuss topics on a deeper and personal level, the success of the event to those involved becomes irreplaceable. It is the people that bring the ROI to your time at a conference. Many experts expect the time for networking at meetings to increase, “content will become less information focused and more interaction focused, where people will get to know each other”.
Audiences have evolved from wanting passive experiences in which they were listeners, to wanting to be active participants; learning and applying what is being taught to them. The event experience itself is changing, with attendees desiring an immersive experience. Both industry experts and participants believe that the destination experience is extremely or very important for promoting a conference/business event, and will continue to be in the future. Industry experts also suggest that voluntourism will soon be incorporated into business events.This provides attendees an opportunity to experience the local culture and give back to the community as part of the meeting. Customisation and personalisation are a growing expectation among attendees. Technological changes have been integral to the evolution of the conference and will continue to be an essential tool for the future of the business events industry. It will be integrated into every aspect of the event, enabling customisation of the program for the delegate, facilitation of active participation, enhancing interactivity of presentations, and the opening of a whole new world of exhibition halls. To facilitate this interactive and technologically advanced meeting, venue architecture is required to adapt. Experts expect meeting spaces to become increasingly flexible, purpose-built for connection and networking, with break out spaces to encourage active participation and collaboration.