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Delegates want ‘CV-changing events’ tailored to them, survey finds

Delegates want ‘CV-changing’ events that combine learning with ‘disruptive’ elements that bring about tangible change, according to part two of a report by the German Convention Bureau.

The results of the second phase of the Future Meeting Space project follows an online survey, conducted between September 2017 and June 2018, called ‘How to create successful events?’

They showed event planners should focus on knowledge transfer, incorporate an element of surprise, and, as far as possible, respond to the requirements of different delegate types.

Six ‘attendee types’ were identified from the survey, which was carried out by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO and funded by the PCMA Foundation.

They had different degrees of tech-savviness, differed in their communication behaviour, were either more or less career-focused, and could be found in different levels of their organisation. Depending on the attendee type, age and gender also come into play.

The survey identified six ‘success factors for events’

Above all, satisfaction as the ‘meta’ factor is largely influenced by the two other factors knowledge transfer and disruption: attendees are happy with events if they learned something new that they can apply in their everyday work and if events surprised them or triggered changes. Networking, interaction and use of digital technologies are further success factors.

 Recommendations for actions: checklist for meeting and conference planners

  • Dedicate support for more introverted or less tech-savvy attendees
  • Use new formats and technologies as well as visual aids to foster learning
  • Incorporate ‘disruptive elements’: events that change CVs create lasting memories

 

“We’re glad to be partnering with the German Convention Bureau’s innovation alliance to define how participants will engage with future meeting design. Education is key to success for our industry and this research projects tackles an issue that will shape our industry today and for the future,” says Meredith Rollins, executive director of the PCMA Education Foundation.

“The study has identified realistic attendee types as they currently exist. It also highlights the most relevant success factors and reviewed some common assumptions about the effects of certain factors,” adds Stefan Rief at Fraunhofer IAO.

Matthias Schultze, GCB managing director, said: “As our analysis has proven, knowledge transfer is important for events. Building on that, the planned third ‘Future Meeting Space’ research phase will look at the primary role events play as trendsetters for business and science.”

*The GCB presented the results at the 2019 PCMA Convening Leaders conference in Pittsburgh to an international audience.