Face-to-face meetings and events are expected to hold strong out to 2020, but to attract customers will require significant innovation in meeting formats, business models, organizational capability and the use of technology, according to initial findings from Convention 2020.
The forecast was prepared by Fast Future Research with sponsors such as IMEX and International Congress and Convention Association. It also will be a "hypercompetitive" environment.
Here are a few of the insights. For more details, go to www.convention-2020.com.
The Industry Today
• The biggest current barriers to event effectiveness are the cost of attending, poor organization and a lack of focus in the design.
• The quality of content, interaction, technology and networking are the main drivers of an effective and exciting event.
Events in 2020
• Reasons to Attend - The quality of networking (76%) was the biggest single factor that encourages delegates to attend events.
• Meeting Demand - 74% said their organization will likely maintain their investment in live events in 2020, while 46% indicated cost pressure might deter from sending delegates and 59% said their organizations will be investing more in alternatives to live events.
• Meeting Supply - 49% said there would be fewer but larger events, 79% expected a growth in smaller more specialized meetings and 48% predict there will be a big jump in free or very low cost evening-only meetings held in low cost venues.
• Personalization - 79% expect a totally personalized technology experience and 70% said individual customization would extend to areas such as food and seating.
• Convention Center Challenges - The greatest competition to convention centers is expected to come from schools, universities and colleges (63%); museums, galleries and libraries (56%); and meeting facilities in office buildings (50%).