Customised content, meaningful participation are key for future events: industry leaders


BUSINESS events of the future will need to be highly customised to satisfy delegates’ desire for active and meaningful participation, concluded industry leaders speaking on a panel during the 11th Asian MICE Forum which kicked off yesterday in Taipei.

The CEO Discussion: The Future of MICE in 2025 panel sought to understand how the MICE industry would be in 2025.

Talley Management Group, president and CEO, Gregg Talley, opined that one of the earliest trends to emerge and affect event management two to three years from now would be “move towards customisation of everything, including (event) experience”.

Talley said: “Our job is to create experiences and content, so this is (a huge impact) on how we think about events from an organiser’s standpoint. Given clients’ rising expectations, it is vital for destinations to present their assets and align them with what is expected.”

Authentic experiences are also noted as a critical requirement future events must satisfy.

Maritz Travel Co., vice president of experiential design, Greg Bogue, said “authentic experience is the new status symbol and personal value will drive decision and behaviour”.

Bogue explained: “There is a value shift in future event design. It’s no longer an experience-based design but value-based and personalised. It’s not B2B or B2C but B2me.”

He added that the push for personalisation in event design is already happening today.

Adam Charles, senior vice president, Asia-Pacific with Freeman XP, also pointed to the growing emphasis on authentic creativity in events.

Said Charles: “People are no longer passive (when participating in events). They want to participate and be part of the (content) creation, part of the change. Meaningful experience cannot be copied and it’s vital to make sure the experience touches delegates’ heart.”

Meanwhile, UFI’s managing director/CEO, Kai Hattendorf, shared that the confex model – a blending of conferences and exhibitions – will continue to be adopted by more event owners and organisers as they come to realise that delegates increasingly expect to listen to and learn from industry thought leaders at events.

Hattendorf said: “Tradeshows are no longer just about product/branding presentation but increasingly have content (to present). Though the traditional show floor will remain, the confex model will (grow in prominence) as more conference content finds its way into the exhibition space and vice versa. We’ll see some kind of merging between conferences and exhibitions.”

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