How changes in the meetings industry can benefit event planners
Despite the current economic climate and the negativity caused by unending uncertainty over Brexit, one sector that’s thriving is the UK meetings industry.
Businesses will always need to hold meetings and whatever happens when we leave the European Union, this isn’t going to change.
Advances in technology mean that the meetings industry is constantly changing and event organisers can capitalise on this by staying ahead and taking advantage of any new opportunities.
One trending change is the demographics of the 21st century, as more digital natives are now entering the workplace. Younger people who have grown up with the latest technology are starting work and this is the first time the people known as “Generation Z” are ascending the lower steps of the management ladder.
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The older members of Generation Z (those born in 1995) will be 23 years old now and will feel very comfortable using technology at work. They increasingly expect it and enjoy being provided with online tools to help get the job done.
This love of technology can be translated into meetings and make life easier for event organisers. Apart from organising a venue online, the catering and technology requirements can be ordered at the same time, streamlining the booking process.
It also means that the latest, more complex technology can be used to enhance the quality of the meeting, with organisers feeling safe in the knowledge that this won’t create a barrier for some delegates who have only a limited understanding of the most up-to-date tech.
This isn’t being ageist, it’s simply stating a fact! Many older employees who grew up before the digital age have now retired and a new tech-savvy generation is beginning to make up a larger percentage of the average workforce.
Another potential outcome of an increasing number of Generation Z employees in the workplace is the rise of less formal meetings. This doesn’t mean that meetings will descend into chaos! On the contrary, employees are more open to having last-minute break-out sessions if an issue needs to be brainstormed, or a topic requires urgent discussion.
Events today are all about the whole experience. Maybe it’s because of social media, but not every meeting today involves a group of people simply sitting around a table holding a discussion.
Do something different!
Companies are planning events that have something different – whether it’s the use of artificial intelligence to identify guests or offering extras such as a massage room or the use of a gym during breaks in the conference, everyone is aiming to do something more memorable.
This gives planners enormous scope to make their event special, particularly if it’s going to appear on their Twitter feed, or on Instagram. Creating a complete experience is the key to the success of a meeting, and with plenty of new tech at our fingertips, just about anything is achievable!
Today’s attendee experience can include pre-meeting preparation work and post-meeting checks. Organisers will endeavour to ensure their delegates engage fully with the content. A trend is for events to become slightly shorter, but with a more intense experience for the attendees.
Boost for charities
One sector where there are massive changes is the charities market. Statistics show their fundraising gatherings have increased by an incredible 700% since 2007. They have transformed from small, private meetings to huge annual galas.
This benefits the charity immensely, since it gives them more publicity, showcasing their work and attracting more people to attend the event, or to check it out on social media. Ultimately, this means more money in the coffers.
Event planners must keep on top of the changes in the industry to take full advantages of them. One of the most successful ways of doing this is to build personalisation into their data for every event.
For example, if a particular group of delegates arranged an event with specific dietary requirements, this information should be stored electronically, so that when the same group wishes to book again, the organiser has the information at their fingertips. It may seem a simple touch, but it can make all the difference when there’s a lot to organise.
According to events industry insiders, the biggest single change forecast for the meetings industry is the growing use of artificial intelligence. Event planners are urged not to bury their head in the sand when it comes to AI, because it won’t go away. Learn more about it and how it can help put you at the forefront of organising events that stand out from the rest.
Data and AI are a big part of our professional life and will change the way we do things in future. Get on board now and prepare to take advantage of the increasing growth of the meetings industry. Embrace its changing needs to make sure you stay at the front of the pack.
&Meetings can help your business keep pace with the changing face of the events sector. We’ll help you to hire affordable meeting rooms in prime city spots. We cater for all types of requirements, including meetings, training sessions, conferencing and networking.
Give us a call on 0800 073 0499 and we’ll help you choose the perfect venue.
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