5 trends for meetings and professional events
Time does not stand still, and this is equally true for the meeting and event sector. As the official convention bureau for the city of Bruges, Visit Bruges Convention Bureau is right there with you. We will list some interesting novelties and notable trends for you.
Hybrid is the new normal
The corona crisis forced companies to convert events into online meetings. Training courses became webinars, product presentations happened via streaming and team meetings via... Teams. Meanwhile, we are now allowed – thank God – to meet again in person. Still, the digital component remains in place.
Physical and online support and reinforce one another. This makes hybrid events the new norm. Logically, too, they combine the flexibility and reach of a virtual event with the interaction and human connection of a physical event. This is how you combine the best of both worlds. But of course, nothing beats actually seeing and experiencing Bruges!
Technology plays a major role
At a contemporary business event, technology is here to stay. And we're not just talking about a big screen on which you present something or fancy sound and lighting. Modern technology gives you a lot of options. For example:
- a VR experience for sample product demonstrations
- a chatbot that answers visitors' questions, takes surveys or announces that the next speaker is coming
- an app for your event where you share practical information and enable interaction
Festivals are opting for reusable cups and take-aways are increasingly coming in cardboard packaging. This trend is also continuing in the professional segment. You can bet your guests will appreciate it if you choose to organise your conference in an eco-friendly manner. That starts with the little things, like local partners to reduce your event's footprint, digital invitations, minimising waste and recyclable or reusable decorations. In Bruges, it is also easy to choose an eco-friendly venue, such as Green Key hotels, or to serve a plant-based menu to your guests.
These are small interventions with a big impact. You will also gain a great deal of goodwill from your audience with social engagement. Are you supporting a charity or, for example, using a custom-work company for the construction? Say it loud and proud.
Attending is making way for experiencing
You want to make your corporate event truly memorable and create a genuine, deep connection between your attendees and your message? One way to do that is with a total experience that goes beyond a speech and lunch. In essence, this means all the senses. Delicious smells from the kitchen, pleasantly upholstered chairs for a homely feel, or a décor that catches the eye? That will make the picture a perfect fit.
Opportunity to collect data
Skillfully use your event to collect data on the participants. What do they think is important? How did they find your conference or meeting? What would they recommend for a future edition? It provides valuable information for improving your own services and/or products. That makes your return on investment higher.