Want to know what to expect from meetings in 2016? Here are 10 trends to look out for this year…
- Mobile apps for meetings
Mobile app use at business meetings and events has exploded and is set to continue to grow in popularity. For the most part, many of the apps available to date offer features that replace existing processes like registration, agenda, notes, surveys and feedback. Further to that there are apps with features that include social media engagement, peer-to-peer messaging, business contact exchange and social networking.
Online video is here to stay and it absolutely must be a core tool in your business operations kit. Real time video events generate a significantly high level of audience engagement and synchronization, which is highly useful in meeting settings.
It’s not a trend so much as a necessity. It seems redundant to mention because we all assume (safely most of the time) that meeting venues will offer wifi access. It is not a ‘nice to have’ anymore, it is a ‘must have’ for any business meeting. Always enquire with your chosen venue as to wifi accessibility, and if there is no wifi available either select a new venue, or take steps to making if available yourself by purchasing a wireless router, turn your PC into a wireless hot spot, or, buy a 3/4G Access Point.
Forget paper surveys use mobile apps to extract vital information and feedback from your guests. There are a number of apps that allow you to track audience/attendee feedback in great depth. Get feedback on everything from what was the most useful aspect of the presentation, what was least useful, who was the best presenter, who was the worst and what can be improved. Again, these analytic capabilities in combination with the other features of event apps will provide greater personalisation to participants and greater insight into their behaviour.
The modern human attention span is decreasing and that is changing the way events are marketed, managed and experienced. Generally, presentations are shorter and more interactive with more engagement tools, more images and more video. Short, sharp and punchy promotional videos, no longer than a minute, are proving to be a big hit business meetings because they communicate quickly and effective and maintain audience attention.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) using the internet to make phone calls around the world at little or no cost, is an asset for business travellers and overseas interests to be able to conduct meetings. VoIP calls on your mobile phone and your notebook computer will be able to emulate and serve as your office phone on the road (with all of the office phone features) simply by connecting to a broadband network.
There has been a marked increase in the use of drones in conferences or business meetings to show/evaluate/explore outdoor spaces. For example, the use of drones to survey a proposed site for a development or event and demonstrate its limitations and weaknesses in real time.
- ‘Hybrid Meetings’
A hybrid meeting is one that has a real-time, face-to-face component as well as a virtual component. Such meetings could include a webinar with an in-person presentation, or an event speech broadcasted on the Web to attendees who can’t make it. A lot of larger events are being streamed live with backchannel conversations on platforms such as Twitter.
- Social media
Social media will continue to integrate in the meeting planning process to engage attendees with new products continuing to emerge. We have only scratched the surface of using social media to enhance networking at events with a host of specialized social media apps on the rise.
- Mood control
New developments in technology have allowed organisers to instantly change the look and feel of a meeting room with user controllable LED mood lighting, high-tech furniture groupings and more.