Meetings and events organisers are looking to knock down ‘barriers to entry’ and create more inclusive spaces for attendees not historically used to attending such occasions, according to new research.
The research has been undertaken by Lime Venue Portfolio in response to event professionals who are increasingly looking to understand what is coming next for meetings and events, not 20 years in the future but in the next three to five years.
The Meeting of the Future campaign is a cross industry and collaborative initiative that has already included focus groups at International Confex, insight sessions at the ABPCO Festival of Learning, Roundtable discussion at The Meetings Show, and collaborations with Lime Venue Portfolio’s clients, customers, and venues.
The findings also showed more emphasis is being put on sensory accessibility, and that this will move into the presentation rooms, and not just the entrance to the event, as traditional ‘accessibility’ will move towards becoming a hygiene factor rather than a USP.
The Meeting of the Future report also shows that breakout areas and syndicate rooms will cater for a ‘new’ delegate, from ‘Quiet’ rooms for neurodiverse attendees to exercise rooms for those looking to fit in workouts.
The Meeting of the Future also showed the inclusion of ‘wework’ style workspaces for companies looking to recreate the office environment during the event, or for individuals looking to connect with their day-to-day responsibilities. It underlined that there will be an increasing move by many organisers to recreate networking and ‘watercooler’ moments within the traditional meeting environment.
Onsite streaming was also signalled as another area of evolution, not just broadcasting to the ‘out-of-room’ audience. Again, this touches on the need to deliver content to guests who may not like large, crowded rooms, and instead look to take in content from central screens, placed in less intimidating communal areas at the venue, where they can watch in privacy.
The results have been collated into a simple to navigate and highly interactive design experience that walks viewers through the Meeting of the Future, from pre-event communication, to the onsite experience, and post event measurement.
“We’re once again happy to adopt our role as the self-appointed cheerleaders for better meetings. But also, to act as the go to brand for new thinking, challenging opinion, and inspiring interesting ideas about how these meetings could look,” commented Jo Austin, Sales Director, Lime Venue Portfolio. “The findings from the Meeting of the Future, while not being rocket science, point towards a really responsible industry that is taking subjects such as sustainability, inclusion, diversity and accessibility seriously. If only half of the potential we’ve seen comes true, we’ll be looking at some incredible events to come.”