Technology Trends in Meeting and Events Industry

Monday, 9 August 2010

When people attend a meeting or event, they generally feel more satisfied if they are able to participate in an interactive manner. Sitting in an audience listening to a series of talking heads gets old fast, and as a meeting planner it's important that you change things around to keep your audience engaged and motivated. There are many ways to vary your meetings, from presentation styles to activities. The most common way is how we use technology to help drive efficiencies around the organisation of the meeting, as well as using different technology solutions to help drive the content of our conferences. 

Technology continues to advance at exponential rates and is changing the face of the Meeting, Incentive, Convention and Exhibition (MICE) industry in astonishing ways. There are many developments in our industry, which are having a huge impact on how we manage our meeting and event business. Some of these developments include:

  1. Procurement and strategic meeting management programs will drive more meeting purchasing decisions, especially for large corporations. Combined meetings consolidation/attendee management software will save large companies millions of dollars annually due to increased efficiency, reduced liability exposure (centralising meeting contracts), and better buying leverage by more accurately knowing actual meeting spend by vendor from previous years. 

    World Travel Professionals Conference Division, The Conference Team, has developed a unique meeting and events procurement and tracking solution, which will provide our clients with a readymade, competitive management solution of meeting and event spend and measures the cost saving. Not only will you be able to see reduced spend, you will also benefit with a consistent approach to your meeting management, with one central point of contact for your entire calendar of events.
  2. The meetings and events industry is a highly social, mobile and collaborative one. It is also one where often thousands of details are tracked and needed at a moment’s notice in settings away from the standard office and with multiple parties. The web is having a profound impact on the overall way that we are conducting business and promoting our events.
  3. Wireless broadband internet access is becoming available everywhere from many sources such as Wi-Fi hotspots. Hundreds of cities around the globe are developing municipal wireless broadband networks. Meeting planners, exhibitors, attendees and business travellers are the comparative early adopters of these types of technologies. 

    With wireless broadband enabling them, many mobile applications are being developed using mobile phones and other handheld devices, which will have direct meeting and travel applications. Using mobile phones to provide a range of tradeshow and event applications, attendees can have access from their handheld to conference agenda, exhibit product directories, event feedback and surveys, SMS audience polling, group announcements, networking capabilities, travel information and more.
  4. HDTV (high-definition television) is becoming broadcast standard, with significant global impact. This is pushing the technology limits in many ways for processing, storage, bandwidth, wireless throughput, video recording/editing and more. One of the impacts will be the improvement in the quality of video conferencing.
  5. Online Surveys – not only post programme but pre-programme, to help drive the content of the conference. We are seeing more and more companies wanting to gather more information on clients or staff expectations of content at conference or event.
  6. Matchmaking programmes, popular in the singles scene, will continue to work their way into the meetings arena to bring people of like interests together. One good contact at a meeting can often pay for the price of the entire trip. Using today’s technologies to assist people connect can increase the value of the event significantly.

We are living in exciting times. These technology developments are just a few in the digital revolution that will help meeting professionals work faster, better, and cheaper while helping to personalise the interactions between planners, suppliers, and attendees.

If you are interested in hearing how The Conference Team can increase the productivity and value of your events through different technology solutions, please contact Pamela McMurtry 02-9302-0700.

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