Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

June 10 2014

The Trends That Will Change Your Meeting, Your Attendees And Your Job

By David McMillin

Attendees are changing — where they’re from, how they like to learn and what they expect to take home from a meeting are all shifting at a very fast pace. To understand how new trends will transform the future of the meetings industry, Freeman and FreemanXP reviewed multiple show audits, interviewed clients and conducted in-depth research to help meeting professionals recognize the key components that will continue to create long-term opportunities. The Freeman Connections Report looks at what attendees want today and how those desires will change tomorrow, too.

Audiences arrive at events today with higher expectations for meaningful engagement and interaction,” Toby Purdy, CMO, Freeman, says. “They expect useful and customized experiences, on-demand and on-the-go content, engaging formats and participatory experiences.

Talk About Tech.

Designing those experiences relies on new tools and technologies, and the report highlights some of the biggest devices and platforms that will change the game.

The big story here is not what has been done [with technology] but what could be done,” Purdy says.

Purdy and Freeman are already working on painting a portrait of the possibilities with plenty of clients.

Imagine medical device companies joining forces to leverage audiences to crowdsource 3D printing for creating next-gen prototypes and upgrades of prosthetics,” Purdy says. “Imagine using augmented reality to explore, as a group, the inside of a human heart. Imagine a giant real-time digital infographic display of critical life measures of millions of diabetic patients by country and age who are all wearing wearable tech.

However, the conversation surrounding technology is not just about what can happen in the future. Purdy says that some forward-thinking clients are already using technology to transform their experiences.

“We have already been using augmented reality successfully,” Purdy says. “Most recently, we incorporated AR for a university that was trying to help its most influential donors understand how their contributions will help to build an entirely new wing. During our events, students interacted with the donors and talked about the impact that the school’s new facilities will have.”

Think Beyond The Screen — And Beyond Traditional Borders.

While technology is clearly a key piece of the puzzle for elevating face-to-face experiences, the Freeman Connections Report focuses on two additional areas of disruption in the industry: educational delivery and globalization. From flipped learning and bite-sized sessions to the rise of the global middle class, the report outlines which changes will matter most.

Take The Quiz!

Freeman’s Connections initiative is more than a report to read; there is also an interactive 20-question quiz to help gauge whether you’re ready for the future. (Good news for time-starved readers, the quiz takes less than seven minutes.) Click here to get your score.

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