The corporate world as we know it is changing dramatically – with flexible work hours, emphasis on employee wellness and the need for more engaging means of communication to break out above the clutter and distraction of the technological world in which we work and live.
As much as every day work environments have had to adapt and change, so should the way corporates engage with delegates when it comes to conferencing. Two major trends on the rise that conference planners should take into account include the need to create a memorable experience for delegates as well as keeping wellness and wellbeing at the forefront of conference decisions.
Creating Memorable Conference Experiences
Gone are the days of conferences being restricted to boardrooms and classroom style seating in large halls. Conference organisers and corporates with vision are moving away from the traditional and setting their sights on unique venues and engaging content to create memorable conference experiences.
Planners should look to create experiences that touch as many of the 5 senses as possible – sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. Where previously “themed events” relied heavily on eye-catching design elements, the focus for conferences in 2019 is on creating immersive, participatory guest experiences which include everything from the lighting, the catering, the program, the speakers and the venue itself. Think conference room meets Circque du Soleil!
Forbes, for example, is one of the leaders in innovative conferencing with a move toward ‘festivalisation’ and creating engaging experiences for delegates. The theory is that an adequate mix of business-networking opportunities and cutting-edge entertainment will encourage more attendees to participate and attend.
Emphasis on Wellness
2019 has seen a rise in the notion of wellness and ‘self-care’ and conference planners need to take this into consideration at all stages of the event. Conference catering has moved from steak and red wine dinners to healthier, organic, locally sourced menus with greater selection and choice for meals. Special dietary requirements have gone from the odd exception to the new norm with many delegates requesting vegan, gluten and dairy free, low sugar and low GI menu choices.
Planners are also seeking innovative ways to ensure their guests’ wellbeing during the conference. It’s not uncommon to see yoga or “Secret Sunrise” type stretching classes as optional activities on conference agendas as well as a shift in demand for outdoor meeting spaces and breakout areas. Planners are going to require creativity and vision to create useable spaces traditionally not equipped for conferencing to accommodate the need for inspired spaces.
If you require assistance with conferencing technical requirements – not matter the location or venue – please contact MStarr productions and events on firstname.lastname@example.org