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August 2, 2016

6 Meetings of the Future From the German Convention Bureau

The German Convention Bureau (GCB) has released a new look at the future of meetings, with six conference formats that could become popular in the years to come. 

The new meeting scenarios are the latest development in the GCB’s Future Meeting Space research project done in partnership with the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC) and Fraunhofer Institute of Industrial Engineering (IAO).

The six scenarios are:


Interactive Forum

Here meetings of up to 200 participants start with plenaries which provide a roadmap for discussion, then participants break into small groups to dive deeper, debate and build on these topics. World Cafés and gamification could be a fit here. Reactions and ideas are then aggregated and shared back with the group as a whole to create connections, highlight common challenges and opportunities, and identify next steps.


Satellite Conference  

In this instance a main meeting is held across several venues simultaneously -- with about 50 people per venue – keeping face-to-face connections but losing long distance travel. Live video transmissions connect the meeting locations and people with a common core agenda, but individual locations can then also break off and discuss local and regional needs and interests as well. Event specific online platforms, holograms and robots could be used for knowledge sharing across locations.


Co-Working Conference  

On the flip side, knowing it’s hard to step away from responsibilities back at the office for concentrated knowledge sharing, this format spreads meeting modules over a longer number of days and provides dedicated working spaces and time to attend to items back at the ranch. Attendees are more autonomous in this unconference-like format yet still focused on meeting goals. Extended stays mean more opportunity to network and share knowledge informally. 


Unplugged Conference

Versus staying tightly tethered to the office, the unplugged meeting deliberately picks a remote location where up to 50 participants can disconnect from daily work demands and outside distractions. Locations can be rural, or “off the grid” urban venues. Not surprisingly, the laser focus doesn’t encourage a lot of technology and device use during the meetings and knowledge sharing is very concentrated.


Hybrid Conference

With this model there is a physical meeting and conference space as well as a digital meeting room for individuals or groups with both sets of participants linked into identical content, knowledge sharing and program flow in realtime. BlueScape connections are in place and people are tuned in via laptops, desktops, mobile phones or tablets. Time and cost savings are a focus here as is unified content. Group discussions and networking are still very much in the mix.


Virtual to Physical Conference

In this approach a group that has only existed online thus far comes together face- to-face to meet and share knowledge. The purpose is to create deeper individual and group connections that will then enrich ongoing, online interaction.

These scenarios build on the Future Meeting Space Innovation Catalog launched last year as an online idea book for planners and suppliers.

Visit www.gb.de

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