Reality check: meetings are
still a safe bet
Outgoing Vienna Convention Bureau chief Christian Mutschlechner might not have been entirely serious when he claimed people would be printing their own convention centres before long, but his words reflected a sense of unease among industry suppliers about their role in a world where the frontiers of technology appear to be pushed a little further every day.
During a session at the ICCA Congress in Dubai recently, the feeling in the room was that suppliers needed to rethink their value propositions if they were going to survive the new – or ‘fourth’ – industrial revolution – the name given to the fusion of digital technologies with the physical and biological worlds, in areas such as AI, biotech, nanotechnology and the Internet of Things.
Natasha Richards, advocacy and industry relations manager at IMEX, worried that too many venues were old and therefore limited in terms of their adaptability to the demands of the new economy. Heike Mahmoud, CEO of Congress Centre Hamburg Messe, related how organisers of a large tech-conference had come with their own technology.’ ‘Do they need our expertise anymore’ she asked. ‘Are they moving too fast for us?’ ...