4 ways to move meetings forward now
We are in the middle of the age of digital transformation. Every industry is rethinking the way they do business. Homes are being bought without ever stepping foot inside the door. Museums are expanding their global reach and creating revenue streams they never thought possible. And events are being held entirely online and venturing into the hybrid space. Digital, virtual, metaverse…it is all happening right before our eyes, and with it, expectations are changing.
The way events are produced will never be the same, and planners, venues, production companies and decorators must focus on the new normal and keeping their meetings impactful, the content relevant, all while being focused on creating an engaging event for both a live as well as a virtual audience.
Significant advances have been made in the last 2 years, and we will need to continue to work on improvements to meet the needs of our audiences. Virtual audiences want to feel as immersed in the meeting as they would if they were part of the live audience. That means focus on the visual, as well as the sound, not only in the space, but also in the way it is broadcasted out. Networking needs to be built into the virtual experience just as it is in a live situation and entertainment and other activities built in for breaks and lounges.
Dare to experiment with the latest ideas and technologies. By taking a thoughtful approach and incorporating personalized technology advances into the production, we can achieve our goals, increase our global reach and audience size, and even perhaps create new revenue streams.
Over the last several years, technology changed with lightning speed, new products, and ways of producing an event were developed and event managers are now required to be experts in areas in which they do not specialize. Collaboration has always been necessary in the events industry, but never more than now. By pulling together partners who are experts in their field, a union of creativity, experience, and innovative ideas is created to cohesively execute a full-circle event.
Collaboration gives rise to fresh perspectives and innovative offerings that stir up the pot of usual expectations. It allows us to create bold new experiences because the bench is deep with differing experiences and expertise.
Take advantage of emerging trends, but don’t be afraid to buck the system.
Smaller events, or micro meetings, are a leading trend right now. These more intimate gatherings arose out the need to create opportunities for idea exchanges in smaller groups online. The result has been deeper conversation, more dialogue, and the ability to move the conversation forward. By providing more frequent opportunities for subgroups to engage with each other, more focused work has been accomplished than would have at one large conference.
People are craving meaningful connections – whether online or in person. Creating and providing space in the agenda for transforming conversation, profound experiences, and consequential entertainment regardless of the size of the meeting, will be a challenge necessary for event producers to meet head on.
Remember, though…. every event is not like the other! Offering a virtual option may not be the right idea for every meeting. Breaking your meeting into several small events may not work for what you need to communicate. This event may not have the budget or time in the schedule for a meaningful experience.
Be bold and be daring but understand the goals for the meeting you are focused on so the team can best determine which trend to experiment with, or not.
Mix it up when it comes to venue space. Instead of conference centers or hotel ballrooms, use less traditional spaces such as giant warehouses or museums. Be prepared to overcome the unique challenges that present themselves in these unique venues, though. Once again, identifying the right partners will not only help you to change things up and bring new life and excitement to your event, their experience in producing events in unique venues will help to alleviate unwelcome surprises.