Conferencing In The 21st Century

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Conferencing In The 21st Century

A truly great conference contains excellence in every aspect: brilliant speakers, outstanding food, a magnificent venue and a schedule containing steps that are so perfectly timed, it can impress a prima ballerina.

The question, however, is how exactly does an organiser get from the client brief to the most unforgettable conference they’ve ever arranged?

“What people remember the most about any event is the experience.k And the experience needs to be one that evokes emotion. Innovation is key to finding ways to delight and surprise delegates, and that’s what any event planner needs to keep in mind. It’s the memorable moments that may make people want to return for something different and even more magnificent the next time,” explains Jeanine Smith, Marketing Manager, Special Projects for Legacy Hotels and Resorts.

Luckily, there are exciting changes in conferencing trends that will certainly reshape the belief that conferences are boring and without any adventure. While many of the team building activities that that have become popular remain, there is so much more available in order to make a conference memorable. One of the main trends in conferencing is the use of technology from the invitation through to post-conference follow-ups. It’s no longer enough to simply provide free Wi-Fi for the conference – delegates expect something more.

“It’s not just about having the right kind of video conferencing equipment, which is essential. It’s about using technology to build the experience, to make it far more interesting, not to mention making some tasks simpler,” Smith says. Some event planners even have specific apps created for their conference or event. This means that delegates have everything available to them electronically, from the invitation, to the schedule of events and directions to the venue. They may even check into the conference using tailor-made apps.

Audience size has decreased as well, which may have to do with economic factors on the whole. The cost of sending a delegate to every conference is prohibitive, and delegates have had to become far more selective in choosing which event they will attend.

“The food served at conferences has begun to change as well. Everything has to be on point as far as food goes and these days, more and more delegates are demanding healthier options. A savvy venue will respond with providing exciting healthy options such as wheat grass shots or a Banting option, for example,” Smith advises.

Even breaks between sessions can be capitalised with a quick yoga recharge in between, or even a mini dance workout in order to keep delegates energised. “It’s about keeping delegates interested and invested in the conference. Quirky and unusual events during the day serve to provide a break. Innovation is the way forward to transforming the conference industry,” Smith says. 

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Source: Anti-clockwise Consulting for Legacy Hotels and Resorts. Image: Pixabay

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