Staying abreast of shifting trends in the meeting and event industry can feel like chasing a moving target. This quick summary brings together the most prevalent predictions and recommendations in one place so you can hit the mark every time.
Bring work-life balance into the agenda
Work-life balance might be a buzz word, but the statistics don't lie: millennials will soon comprise 75% of the workforce and millennials are looking for work-life balance. The desire to find balance doesn't end when employees attend a meeting or conference, so looking for ways to build rest, socialization, fresh air, and self care into the agenda will show a high ROI. Some components to consider that might create the desired balance include:
- a 15-minute guided breathing exercise mid-day
- an early morning group walk for those who are interested
- flexible scheduling, where attendees can come early and leave early or start their day later and leave later
- opportunities for socialization
- on-site drop-in childcare
- clean, private areas for expressing breast milk
- private, fully-equipped workstations for those who need to step away for their work responsibilities
Create opportunities for remote attendance
While remote attendance is common in the meeting world, it hasn't transitioned to events yet. Take your event to the next level - and improve event attendance - by allowing remote attendance. This opens the doors for many more attendees who were facing barriers: caregivers who can't be gone overnight, those employed by start-ups and small business that don't have the budget for travel and lodging, and those who were unable to attend due to a quick but unavoidable meeting that fell at an inopportune time and made the trip impossible. Ensure there are benefits to attending in person, but extend at least part of the conference to those who can't.
Offer immersive experiences
Personalized, data-driven experiences aren't a new trend in events, but it's important to remember to continue to leverage social media and technology to offer inclusive experiences. Some examples include an application that recommends sessions for attendees based on the sessions they've already attended, an opportunity to take social media photos and hashtag the event, and interactive polls throughout sessions.
Be intentional about diversity and inclusion
Your commitment to diversity and inclusion should be evident throughout all aspects of the meeting or event:
- panels should be comprised of speakers with diverse backgrounds
- all experiences should be available to those with disabilities and limitations
- food options should celebrate diversity and include meat-free dishes
- commitment to diversity and inclusion should be spelled out in conference materials
When it comes to venue, think outside the box
Meetings and events have been hosted by hotels since the beginning of time, which is a good indication that it's time for change. Explore unique venues with participant comfort and engagement in mind. Natural light, comfortable seating, and great design can take your meeting or event to the next level.
Be thoughtful about speakers
The single most impactful barrier to event attendance is often the agenda. If you invite HR professionals, for example, and schedule keynotes and breakouts on diversity, ADA compliance, FMLA management, and how to address the need for gender-binary restrooms, those invited have heard it all before. And although this is the most common-sense recommendation on the list, most industries miss the mark every single time. It's critical that you think outside the box to provide new information or a new perspective on old information and make it worth the investment for attendees.
For a fresh perspective that your attendees haven't heard before, engage Scott Foster of Wellco for your next meeting or event.
Scott Foster is President of Wellco, based in Michigan. Scott is a frequently-invited expert and speaker regarding leadership, engagement and high-value health & wellness. Wellco has provided award-winning solutions to measurably improve health engagement and outcomes. For more information, contact Wellco.
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Scott is an engaging speaker that connects well with attendees. He invests time and effort into fully understanding who his audience will be and designs content that is relevant and impactful. I have been hiring speakers for many years and Scott is the only I have hired more than 3 times!
Scott Foster is President of Wellco, based in Michigan. Scott is a frequently-invited expert and speaker regarding leadership, engagement and high-value health & wellness. Wellco provides award-winning solutions to measurably improve health engagement and outcomes.
For more information, contact Wellco.