The meeting professional’s role is changing from educator/trainer/promoter to creator of immersive experiences that focus on personal development for delegates, on networking and on creativity. That’s according to a survey of 180 corporate, association and third-party meeting planners in Australia, Canada, North America and the U.K. conducted by Meeting Professionals International and the International Association of Conference Centers.
The Meeting Room of the Future study found that in 2017, 80 percent of meeting organizers feel more responsibility to create impactful experiences for delegates than they did five years ago and feel that attendee engagement is now critical to meeting success. As primary drivers of this transformation, meeting organizers cited always-on technologies, younger delegates with shorter attention spans and immediate access to information.
Survey respondents identified four key changes they made in 2017 to capture attendee attention:
- Integrate new technologies.
- Offer more opportunities for interaction, collaboration and stimulation.
- Design shorter, quicker sessions to replace long-form presentations.
- Provide more emphasis on creativity as opposed to productivity.