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Rohit Talwar - Convention 2020

A total of 1125 respondents from 76 countries completed the global online survey which ran from November 2009 to January 2010. The key findings of the survey were that:

The Industry Today

  • The biggest current barriers to event effectiveness are seen to be the cost of attending, poor organisation and a lack of focus in the design
  • The quality of content, interaction, technology and networking were seen to be the main drivers of an effective and exciting event



For events in 2020

  • Reasons to Attend - The Quality of Networking (76%) was the biggest single factor that would encourage delegates to attend events, less than 50% cited price as an influencing factor and only 1% said they would not attend live events in 2020
  • Meeting Demand - 74% felt their organisation would maintain their investment in live events in 2020, while 46% felt time and cost pressure might deter organisations from sending delegates and 59% felt their organisation would be investing far more in alternatives to live events
  • Meeting Supply - 49% said there would be fewer but larger events, while 79% expected  a growth in smaller more specialised meetings and 48% thought there would be an explosion in the number of free or very low cost evening only meetings held in low cost venues
  • Business Models - 77% believe events will need to offer strong price based incentives to attract the desired delegates, 60% expect to see a rise in pay as you go / pay per session type models and 76% think there will be far more opportunities to conduct transactions at events
  • Event Technology – The most commonly expected developments are ‘Live video streaming to remote participants ‘(75%), ‘A social network  before, during and after events’ (70%) and ‘All event content downloaded to our mobile phones’ (64%). Whilst more advanced immersive and experiential technologies were not ranked highly as individual developments, there was strong support for their potential applications when discussed subsequently in scenarios for personalisation.
  • Personalisation – 79% expect a totally personalised technology experience and 70% felt this individual customisation would extend to areas such as food and seating. 93% believe that technology will enable capture and analysis of every activity, presentation and conversation
  • Sustainability – 70% say ethical and environmental factors will continue to influence the decision to attend
  • Convention Centre Challenges – The greatest competition to convention centres is expected to come from ‘Schools, universities and colleges’ (63%), ‘Museums, galleries and libraries’ (56%) and ‘Meeting facilities in office buildings’ (50%)

Martin Sirk CEO of ICCA said “The results highlight that demand for live events is expected to hold strong out to 2020, but to attract customers will require significant innovation in meeting formats, business models, organisational capability and the use of technology.”

Carina Bauer CEO of IMEX said “With an expected proliferation of smaller and more specialised events, convention owners and venues will need to develop a range of business models and event funding approaches to succeed in a hypercompetitive environment.”

Rohit Talwar the project director and CEO of Fast Future said “Far greater focus on ‘enabling business’ will be expected – ranging from ensuring the right people are there to facilitating on the spot transactions and proving the return on investment”.

Talwar added that “The next decade promises an uncertain economic climate where optimism and growth will be unevenly distributed across the planet, and where technology will offer an ever wider range of alternatives to live events. The challenge for the industry is to recognise the shifts taking place and embrace the need for innovation in event design and business models and to develop the professional capabilities required to survive and thrive in turbulent times.”