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While there’s been a huge shift in conversation among the industry over the last few years about new meeting design and event technology strategy, there has been challenges in terms of widespread implementation.
Dr. George Fenich at East Carolina University authored the aforementioned PCMA report: “What the Millennial Generation Prefers in Their Meetings, Conventions & Events.” He feels the industry at large has both an opportunity and responsibility to better engage Millennial meeting attendees, because the research and technology revolving around how to do so already exists.
“All of the research I have done has shown that Millennials want a lot of opportunities when they’re coming to an event to network, and one of their biggest issues is, what are those opportunities exactly when you’re throwing 5,000 people in a room,” says Fenich. “I’m not seeing a lot of change in terms of implementation. There’s a lot of buzz, but from buzz to implementation takes activity and effort and maybe some money. I just don’t see a lot happening, and there’s a bunch of technology that could enable it.”
According to Jessie States, manager of professional development at Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the primary reason for the gap between the ideation and implementation of next generation meeting design is most often a matter of time constraint.
“The biggest challenge is time, I don’t think we as meeting professionals spend enough time in the design process, because we’re always being forced into where we’re going to choose our venue, or figuring out what kind of space we’re going to need, and we need to decide all of that quickly,” says States. “We’re not spending enough time in the design process so that we’re able to incorporate these new ideas into our events. So it’s really about taking a step back and looking at the challenges your audience is facing. And then really asking yourself, how can I create unique experiences for each and every one of my attendees?”
She suggests that the best way forward to create enough time to implement and experiment with new meeting design is by collecting enough data around potential deliverables to show meeting owners the ROI.
Recently we launched a FREE Skift Travel Trends Report, What Millennials Want in Meetings, brought to you in association with Meetings Mean Business. Above was an extract from it. You can download the full report here for all the insights.