As is usual on entering the new year, my colleagues ask me what innovations and trends will affect the meetings industry in 2017.
Over the last decade we have witnessed the rapid progress of different technologies that have driven a transformation in business meetings. The winners of the coming decade will be those who can intelligently connect creativity with innovation and the use of technology, as the latter is mainly an aid rather than a lever for change in business meetings.
According to the views of our readers, we must be particularly attentive to change and especially to generational change. Below are the 5 trends we have selected for 2017 on the basis of interviews and in-depth analysis:
- Niche congress destinations and products: Niche congress destinations with a specific product are more and more coming under the spotlight because of their unique competitive advantages. Given its unique green story, this also includes Slovenia.
- The power of quality content marketing: To exploit the full potential of digital media, it will be essential to better understand the habits of business meeting participants and the kinds of stories that inspire them. Using and understanding content marketing will therefore be key to success.
- More value for event participants: We live in an era when every link in the business meetings chain must offer better value. Thinking in the new framework is focused on the participant and his or her needs, i.e. the “customer journey”.
- Architecture of meetings and new event formats: Successful meetings are those that allow more interactivity between presenters and participants, and between the participants themselves. Meeting architecture is therefore becoming more important than event logistics and there are notable developments towards the creation of a new profession of congress architect.
- Millennials on the move: Millennials have excellent knowledge of technology, do not believe in institutions, and confidently want to change the world for the better. Soon they will be the largest target group of participants at events. Do we really know how best to listen to them? And how well do we really know their habits?
In the world of the new economy, whether shared or disrupted, changes don’t take place within existing structures, but on a completely new platform. If we continue to consider the MICE industry under the same set of generalizations and models as twenty years ago, it is highly likely that we will no longer be deciding on our own business and the doors will open for others. Therefore, a good event organiser will be the researcher who is interested in the various professional fields and is not simply yielding to the stereotyped, predictable solutions of yesteryear.
You will read some stories outside of the box in this year’s first issue. We continue to heartily wish you “Power to the meetings” in 2017!