Did you know, boredom is often confused with the word boardroom, and unfortunately, we believe it is a reasonable comparison. Conferences with a big round table and a flashy hall are all in the past. In this digital era, conferees and meetings are not the same anymore. The event industry is continuously evolving into creating new experiences for their audiences.
It does not stop at the visual, No. The innovation in the Conference industry is about incorporating ways to maximize learning in exciting and refreshing ways. Gone are the days of drowsy, mundane meetings in an enclosed hall with a swarm of LED lights and long silk drapes. Events and Conferences have become ever more exciting and exhilarating.
Smart ways to incorporate top event & conference trends in 2020
With the year 2020, came a new surge in technology and event industry trends that opened up new horizons to engage attendees and offer them ultimate learning experiences. Here are the top 4 ways to address new trends in your conference and stand out from your competitors.
Mindful Meetings and Menus
Conferences and Hotels around the world have started to cater to the overall wellbeing of the guests by offering “customized mindful meeting packages.” It is all about customization and personalization; for example, conferences offer gluten-free options or plant-based vegetarian diet for their guests according to their individual preferences.
Some brands also offer extracurricular activities as part of their events, including yoga classes, Zumba sessions, Zen talks, group meditation to de-stress. Similarly, menus matter and professional event planners know that creating an ideal menu for the attendees is crucial to the success of the conference.
Another new trend in catering is the use of robots to prepare food for audiences and serve them. It not only helps in the reduction of food waste but also makes your event into a tech-savvy gathering. According to BCG, the global market for robotics technology is expected to reach around $87 billion by 2025. Let’s spice up the event by using these robots to serve up the food.
Align with Eco-Friendly Initiatives
Eco-Friendly, sustainable initiatives were quite popular in 2019. Still, Greta Thunberg, a climate activist may have increased the expectations when she refused to attend a worldwide climate meeting due to “air travel’s carbon footprint.” Events are switching to digital marketing and ticketing to eliminate excess use of plastic and paper and using recycled material and donating leftover food to charities that often ended up in landfills.
As the number of Generation Z attendees increases at the events and conferences, event planners need to incorporate sustainability into their events as much as possible, especially after this ‘flight shaming’ concept. According to Deloitte’s Survey, Gen Z and Millennials are greatly concerned with climate change. Therefore, they have no issue in shaming and abandoning businesses that do not meet their expectations regarding environment-friendly standards.
Move Away from Conventional Q&A
At any conference or corporate meeting, speakers struggle to get their audience’s attention, in the lure to check social media or a short-term sleep in the midst of the busy day, which is hard to resist. It’s not just presenters, though; attendees also don’t want to sit in the meeting passively. One conventional way to turn these passive listeners into active participants is to incorporate Q&A sessions.
However, it is 2020, and the world has moved towards a better method of Q&A called ‘Conversations and Input.’ The concept of C&I is simple: break participants into small sets and insert a small ‘C&I session’ after every 20 minutes by asking short discussion questions related to what they have learned. After a few minutes, each representative can give their inputs before moving onto the next part.
C&I is still a new concept, and the majority of the events have not caught up with this format of engagement. To incorporate this feature in your events for maximum engagement, you should consult corporate event management companies in Dubai for a great event. Maarten Vanneste says,
The goal is not just to learn, because you learn a lot from the speaker, but also to learn from conversations. The main value lies in the fact that you now have networking, and you get to know new people in a powerful way.
AI for Personalization
One thing that has for sure changed in the events and attendees is their expectation for a personalized experience. This expectation begins ahead of the event from the ways events are marketed to their needs so they will be compelled to attend. And once on-site, the whole experience should be customized to their interests, including app notifications, follow-up, and discussions.
According to Forbes, 72 percent of customers expect companies to personalize communication. It shows to your audience that you consider them as individuals and pay attention to their preferences. This results in a robust engagement within the brand and event.
Thankfully, artificial intelligence has made this possible by machine learning, which not only analyses data but also seeks out patterns from various social media platforms. But it all depends upon how we choose to use AI in the event industry. Janelle Shane, author of “You Look Like a Thing and I Love You” in her blog says,
AI end up leaning even more heavily on the bias that they see in their training data, a phenomenon known as ‘bias amplification.’ So AI is great at uncovering simple, shortcut solutions…what we need to do is to take a hybrid approach – one that combines the strengths of AI and humans.
Go Beyond Boring Boardroom Meetings
Full day corporate meetings in monochromatic, dull rooms tend to leave the attendees feeling uninspired and looking for ways to get fresh air outside. This takes a direct toll on their focus and decision-making process, which ultimately overrides the overall purpose of the conference.
Be sure to make your next event appealing and successful, so the guests keep coming back each year for more experiences.