We’re moving at an incredible pace. As the world around us is becoming smart and connected (Google Car, Wearables and smart buildings, just to name a few!), many industries are restructuring and digitizing their processes.
What about the events and exhibitions industry? As technology makes us more flexible, booking requests and client requirements are changing: Short notice enquiries, spontaneous requests or changes on site… Everything is happening faster.
This creates new challenges for venues and event planners:
- Venues need to be quicker and more versatile than ever.
- Event planners need to seek the best possible event ROI to be successful.
The future of events: The perceived ROI is changing
We’ve all heard of “Gen Y”. A new generation of leaders, exhibitors, delegates and visitors is shaping the way events are designed. Meeting formats of the future will be much more interactive and increasingly combine face-to-face with virtual. Engagement of participants and a “flipped” learning experience will be key to deliver an incredible event experience. The GCB recently worked on a great project about future meeting formats and pictured potential future scenarios.
With these changes, collaboration of venues and event planners is becoming more important as we move away from the traditional “supplier-customer” relationship. Creating synergies and working together on the best possible event ROI will make the organizer more successful and at the same time allow the venue to stand out of the crowd.
Supporting the Event ROI
As a venue, you can directly impact the event ROI by supporting event planners and helping them to meet their goals.
Take a moment to look at your strengths and weaknesses, and ask yourself:
- Where can you provide support to planners?
- Where can you improve?
- Which one could be your area of expertise?
Put yourself in the planner’s shoes to see where you can provide support and help them to meet their goals. Customer-centricity can become your unique competitive advantage and serve as the foundation to a successful business cooperation with event planners.
Innovative meeting and event formats
The future of education requires interactive meeting formats and small groups. There will be an increased demand for flexible spaces, state-of-the art event technology and equipment to support these formats. And still, it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune: Open spaces are cost-efficient ways to engage audiences and use spaces in a flexible, creative way.
Altogether, the idea of space is undergoing a change. Future meetings won’t necessarily happen in one and the same location. They will increasingly consist of meeting participants that are located in different places and time zones. Meeting spaces therefore require state-of-the-art video and conference technology to facilitate these formats.
Catering and well-being
Ok, a meeting is not a spa. However, learning experiences and knowledge transfer work best when everybody involved is happy and focused. And this requires an environment of “well-being”. Especially for young professionals (Generation Y and Z), health is an important topic.
And with that, food is THE topic. Everybody wants to be healthy, and everybody is on a different diet: Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, lactose-free…. Does your in-house caterer react to these food trends and allergies?
While F&B certainly is a crucial topic, the possibility to relax and withdraw from the crowd for some minutes is another important aspect. How about offering comfy corners, blogger areas or spaces where event participants can meditate in a calm environment? These may be convincing elements for planners and in the end, it could be your hip and healthy venue that will be the new place to be!
More tips for flexible and agile event venues
I will shed light on more strategies in my session at IBTM World in Barcelona. I am looking forward to discussing with you how venues and planners can collaborate in the Digital Age and create a new dimension of knowledge transfer for the events and meetings industry!
In the meantime, feel free to send me your ideas and views – I would love to discuss them in my session at IBTM World.