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GCB launches new resource for planners

New formats, virtual spaces and digitalised services are all set to make an impact in meetings of the future according to a new study. The German Convention Bureau (GCB) along with the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC) has partnered with the renowned Fraunhofer Institute, Europe’s largest application-oriented research organisation, on an extensive research project, creating a compelling new toolkit for meeting planners.

This free toolkit is the first outcome of the "Future Meeting Space” study, examining trends, innovations and developments in society as well is their potential influence on the events sector.   

The results so far of the two year study have been compiled into an innovation catalogue highlighting 30 key innovations that are of vital importance for meetings and events. These include trends which are set to impact the industry immediately as well as insights that will shape the future:
• Sharing economy – this increasingly impacts on the way people travel and do business. This shift towards a more collective mindset has resulted in delegates wanting to share experiences and interact, with networking no longer a fringe activity but increasingly becoming the main focus of events.
• Personalisation – traditional programme formats don’t cut it, participants at meetings and events expect the programme and content to be tailored to their individual needs along with opportunities for participation. For example, delegates want to input into the choice of speakers and follow a personalised schedule at the event, helping to boost both professional and personal development.
• Multi-generation content sharing - the inter-generational exchange of information and experience between industry veterans and newcomers is becoming increasingly important in order to maintain the existing level of knowledge and foster new ideas.
• Technology - technological innovations will continue to shape the meetings and events sector: 3D presentations, digital interpreters and holograms all enable communication and co-operation across vast distances, create virtual spaces and expand the reality that people can experience.
• Security - participants at events will give greater consideration to the issue of security in the future, both in virtual and real settings.
• Mobility - alternative mobility concepts and means of transport, for example car-sharing, electric mobility (including public transport) or even drones, are set to make an impact. 
• Infrastructure - sustainable materials and designs, remote area Wifi access, innovative payment systems and entrance controls will play a major role in the future in the infrastructure for events.  

Matthias Schultze, Managing Director of the GCB, explains: “In order to build on our expertise and continue to provide a relevant offering for meetings and congresses, it is vital to look ahead to trends and developments that will affect our sector. Our extensive study has delivered some truly insightful results which will prove to be a valuable resource for planners, enabling them to build new thinking and best practices into their upcoming programmes.”  

EVVC President Joachim König adds: " 'Future Meeting Space' has gathered comprehensive material which event professionals can put into practice straight away as well as provide them with ideas for future planning.”  

The parties involved in the innovation network include the consortium leaders GCB and EVVC, the project manager Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO as well as research partners KFP Five Star Conference Service (event management and AV leadership), SevenCenters of Germany (marketing alliance between the seven largest conference centres in Germany including Berlin, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich and Stuttgart), visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office, the National Tourist Board of North Rhine-Westphalia and Drees & Sommer (architecture).

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