MEET THE ROCKSTARS OF CONVENTA CROSSOVER 2021
Every year, Conventa Crossover invites world-renowned meeting planners, marketers, entrepreneurs, and creatives to share their knowledge in Ljubljana, Slovenia. This year won’t be any different – inspiring individuals who have helped co-create and transform the meetings industry will come together from 26 to 27 August 2021. At the same time, we will be opening the stage to a new generation of young and talented meeting planners and marketers. You will learn from keynote speakers who have successfully transformed their events and are recognized as the pioneers of our new reality.
Joining the 6th Conventa Crossover conference is Jens Oliver Mayer, Managing Director of Jack Morton Worldwide. Before you meet him at Conventa Crossover 2021, we wanted to hear his thoughts on the future of the meetings industry and see what surprises he has in store for us.
Interview with Jens Oliver Mayer
Q: What do you think about the theme of this year’s Crossover -The Meetings Industry AC/BC (After Corona/Before Corona)?
This year’s theme sums up the explosive changes that have happened within our business in the last year. At no other time has our industry transformed so drastically and quickly. On the positive side, we have learned so much and these lessons will fuel our industry moving forward. What we did before is no longer relevant, it’s evolved and we’ve digitally transformed in ways we never could have imagined. Some could say we’ve truly crossed over!
Q: What is your forecast for the meetings industry in the coming year (2022) and beyond?
It’s a really exciting time for brand experiences, especially meetings. There is going to be an explosive need for live events after almost two years without them, so we really expect the industry to not just bounce back to pre-covid levels, but to exceed it. As the pandemic has encouraged more use of technology, it’s also created a labor shortage and the competition to find the best talent is fierce, as a result we can expect to more thoughtful uses of technology and more automated processes at in-person events, as well as an increase in employee engagement and recognition events from companies looking to reward and retain their top talent.
Q: How do you envision agility and innovation in overcoming the corona crisis? Can you share some examples of best practices?
“EVERY EXPERIENCE NEEDS TO BE ADJUSTABLE AND SCALABLE”
Agility and innovation are two of the more important factors we all embraced during the crisis and will continue to lean into in the next year. Agility is key because the circumstances around coronavirus continue to change. Every experience needs to be adjustable and scalable – an all-virtual event might move to be a small hybrid one, large in person events might need to be scaled down if the situation requires, etc. It is likely to be this way for a while so as long as you plan in advance for possible contingencies, your meeting will go smoothly. Innovation plays a significant role, particularly to engage audiences especially ones in different locations (online and in person). Innovation allows us to create equal experiences without prioritizing or limiting one audience’s experience. Virtual experiences can’t just be a Zoom meeting anymore. They need to be TV production quality with engaging moments that bring people together. Technology like AR or XR stages can be used to enthrall audiences and keep them entertained. People now have a lot of choices for content so when they choose your experience, you need to wow them so they remember it.
Q: How would you comment on the following statement? “Coronacrisis has shown the need to organize events that are responsible to the environment, the participants and the community as a whole”
“PURPOSE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER”
Covid has accelerated many things, especially the emphasis on sustainability and social impact. Purpose is more important than ever and creating experiences that are diverse, equitable and inclusive is now a priority for most brands, because audiences expect it. Sustainability falls under that category. It’s important for loyalty. Consumers want to know your brand is doing good for the world especially by being environmentally conscious and when they do, they feel better about buying your products. But change has to come from the inside out – agencies need to echo the importance of it to our clients because it is everyone’s responsibility to create cleaner and greener experiences.
Q: What will you surprise us with at this year’s event?
Jack Morton’s take on how experiences have changed with Covid.
Jens has built his career helping brands build strong relationships with the people that matter most to them, through live and digital marketing. He leads Jack Morton offices for the German-speaking market, working with clients including BMW, Mini, Škoda, Samsung, Novartis, Adidas, Electrolux, SABIC and HERE. With more than 25 years of experience in the brand experience industry, Jens has a special passion for integrating live events and the digital world.