Before you blast into the new year, it’s time to take a look back at some of the most important lessons from the past 12 months. As we’ve covered the news that impacts meeting planners and suppliers throughout the year, here are five of the most important lessons we believe you should carry with you on your site visits and to your status meetings in 2016.
1) Your attendees aren’t afraid to think outside block.
As hotel rates continue to rise in 2016, the new generation of convention attendees may be more willing to break away from the traditional hotel experience in favor of alternative lodging with an Airbnb rental. The peer-to-peer rental company is currently valued at over $25 billion. The massive valuation is due to its massive popularity. Over the past year, the convention industry has seen a leading DMO launch a new marketing partnership with Airbnb and another major name in convention solutions sign on with the company to help meeting planners in need of additional housing. There’s no sign of the Airbnb train slowing downing 2016, so meeting planners must consider its potential impact on housing numbers.
SEE ALSO: Why It’s Time To Start Thinking About Airbnb’s Impact On Your Room Block
2) Protecting your data needs to be a top priority.
The government has been hacked. Hotels have been hacked. Basically, every organization is susceptible to a battle with online thieves, and that includes conferences. “Hacking and stealing of data at conferences has been professionalized,” Michael Robinson, CCE, Senior Cyber Threat Analyst & Professor, Stevenson University, said at the 2015 PCMA Education Conference in Florida. “Your attendees are targets.”
As 2016 approaches, meeting planners must discuss steps to strengthen their organizations’ plans to fight off potential data breaches.
LEARN: Use This New Resource To Make Your Meeting Safer Next Year
3) Live streaming is going to make your meeting available to everyone.
The year kicked off with plenty of headlines about the power of Meerkat and Periscope. Now, Facebook is making its Live Streaming video tool available to any organization with a verified page. In 2016, more and more smartphone holders at meetings will be using their devices to do more than text or track their steps. They’ll be streaming the content on stage and offering their social circles a chance to be part of the action — without paying to be part of the meeting.
SEE ALSO: Legal Issues & Streaming Apps: 8 Great Takeaways
4) The old approach to education is finally going away.
Talking heads, 45-minute lectures, Powerpoint slides — what do these have in common? More attendees are turning away from them. While it seems like the meetings industry has been talking about the need for more engaging sessions for the past five years, the conversation has been supercharged with scientific proof. At the PCMA Education Conference, John Medina, Ph.D., Developmental Molecular Biologist, Affiliate Professor, University of Washington/Seattle Pacific University, highlighted that every education department needs to recognize that shorter snippets are more successful. “The brain wants information delivered to it in specific chunks,” Medina said. “Every student’s attention tends to wane after 10 minutes.”
SEE ALSO: Deep Thoughts With John Medina
5) It’s time to get more creative with your content strategy.
In addition to finding ways to shorten education into bite-sized chunks, it’s important to make sure your organization is leveraging all that information long after attendees return home. The four action-packed days of on-site education represent a mile-long list of resources that can be added to a digital OnDemand library for members and customers who couldn’t attend the live meeting and for attendees who could only participate in four sessions each day. As you look ahead to capturing audio and video at upcoming events and conferences, remember to think about the most effective way to offer the material to a digital audience hungry for continuing education.
SEE ALSO: 4 Lessons Every Meeting Planner Should Take From TED’s Content Strategy
Want to get a head start on your education in 2016? Click here to register for Convening Leaders. You’ll return home from Vancouver with more takeaways to transform your approach to meetings.