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Delegates want it small, fast and interactive, says latest research

Study also shows most delegates place strong importance on face to face meetings
21/02/2017

Delegates want short, interactive meetings

Conference delegates are increasingly socially responsible, tech savvy and time poor, according to a new market research project commissioned by Melbourne Convention Bureau.  And attendees are looking for collaboration and networking, not just information. These were some of the results of the survey carried out by McCrindle Research on Melbourne CB’s behalf.


To celebrate the 25-year anniversary of Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME), Melbourne Convention Bureau commissioned McCrindle Research to conduct research into the mega trends affecting the future of meetings.


The aim of the research is to understand how the global meetings industry is changing, through the influences of social trends, new technology, and changing attendee expectations.


Fears that the meetings industry may experience a decline due to the rise of online meetings were offset by the fact that participants indicated that this only increased the value of meetings as providing a place for human connection. Four in five respondents (86%) believe attendees will continue to place a strong importance on face to face meetings.


As the younger generation of attendees begin to come through, they are increasingly technologically savvy, bringing with them the expectation for technology to be integrated throughout the event.  There is also an emphasis for the future delegate on social responsibility with 76 per cent of respondents believing that attendees of the future will want events to be more socially responsible.


“As our younger generation starts attending more and more of these, they will definitely want to see environmental sustainability. They will definitely want to have involved in the format of the event, wellness programs and networking programs, it won’t all be about learning there will be some kind of fun as well,” said the survey.


As attendees become increasingly time poor, it is likely they will attend less events. In saying this, when a decision has been made to invest their time into attending an event, their expectations on return for investment are significantly higher. Almost 89 per cent of respondents believe that attendees in the future will expect more acquired knowledge from events.

To summarise, tomorrow’s delegates want:

  • Digital connectivity.
  • More socially responsible events
  • More personalised events
  • More knowledge and ROI.
  • More participation and interaction
  • More fun in a conference
  • More small group presentations
  • More collaboration
  • More augmented reality



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