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Melbourne Convention Bureau paints the face of future meetings
Karen Yue, reporting from AIME 2017, Melbourne, February 21, 2017

Melbourne Convention Bureau’s (MCB) new publication, The Future of Business Meetings Industry Report, has discovered that meetings will evolve in the next 25 years to become more interaction-focused, more tech-heavy and more personalised to satisfy individual attendee, see a greater element of voluntourism, and attract a broader range of attendees.


The study, commissioned by the MCB to celebrate the 25th anniversary of AIME, was conducted by McCrindle Research. It is the collation of qualitative data gained through 14 in-depth interviews with industry experts as well as quantitative data collected through a survey of the Bureau’s industry contacts. The survey, conducted from December 15, 2016 to January 23 this year, yielded 206 commenced responses and 147 completed responses.



Karen Bolinger, MCB CEO, who shared a gist of the findings with the media on Monday morning, said: “(The findings are) very good for our meetings industry. Despite the plethora of online meetings taking place around the world, it has not disrupted the core desire of people to meet and interact face-to-face. Eighty-six per cent of (respondents) value face-to-face meetings, and see these as a very important part of their professional development.”


Bolinger added that while meetings today are attended by top-tier professors and corporate executives, associations and companies will increasingly see the benefits of “up-skilling” a broad range of employees. “So delegates (in the future) will range from junior to mid-level and executive level,” she said.


Some interesting figures to emerge from the study include:


• 89% of respondents believe that delegates will expect to acquire more knowledge from events
• 88% believe that delegates will want a more personalised event experience
• 76% believe that delegates will want events to be more socially responsible
• 53% believe that delegates will want to co-create programme content
• 64% believe that the length of networking time at events will become longer over the next 15 years
• 57% believe that the length of conferences as a whole will shorten over the next 15 years
• 43% believe that destination experience in promoting a conference/business event will be extremely important in the future
• 69% believe that multi-space programme formats that combine exhibition and conference will be extremely and very important in the future
• 77% believe that live information feed leading to instant presentation adaptation will impact business events in the future
• 73% think that delegates’ lack of time to travel and attend meetings will be the industry’s biggest challenge in the next 15 years while 70 per cent believe that destination cost is the key obstacle


For the full report, enquire with the Melbourne Convention Bureau.

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