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Future Meeting Space scenarios revealed by German Convention Bureau

Interactivity, co-working and hybrid events will all be found in the meeting scenarios of the future, according to a new report by the German Convention Bureau (GCB). The GCB has launched a series of meeting scenarios as part of its Future Meeting Space research project in partnership with the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC) and the Fraunhofer Institute of Industrial Engineering (IAO).

The Future Meeting Space project aims to give planners, delegates and service providers a preview of the best practices for meetings, conferences and events incorporating design, technology, format and knowledge sharing approaches.

The six meeting formats, showcased in a new infographic* include The Interactive Forum, Multisite Conference, Co-Working Conference, Unplugged Conference; Hybrid Conference & Virtual Goes Live

The Interactive Forum ~ Large to small to large again
Meetings of up to 200 participants start with plenaries which provide stimulus for discussion. The participants then break into small groups to work through, debate and build on the topics. Reactions and ideas are then aggregated and shared with the group to create connections, highlight common challenges and opportunities and identify next steps.

Multisite Conference ~ Unified Purpose with Local Customisations
A main meeting held across several venues at once – with about 50 people per venue – so that people still connect face-to-face but don’t need to travel extensively. Live video transmissions connect the meeting satellite locations and people with a unified agenda, while tailoring some of the programme to their regional topics of interest. Event specific online platforms, holograms and robots could also be used to enable knowledge sharing and connection.

Co-Working Conference ~ The unconference which gets the job done
A co-working conference spreads the modules of a meeting over a number of days and provides dedicated working spaces to catch up on work in between sessions. This format lengthens the time of the meeting or conference, but creates more time and space for people to attend to daily work and overcomes the difficulty of stepping away from the office for an all-day meeting. A co-working conference incorporates multiple opportunities to network and share knowledge in a relaxed setting. The groups meeting in this style are more autonomous yet have a very set focus for why they are meeting and what they want to achieve.

The Unplugged Conference ~ Getting away to get things going
As opposed to staying tightly tethered to the office, the ‘unplugged’ meeting takes place in a remote location where up to 50 participants can disconnect– literally and figuratively - from daily work demands and outside distractions. Remote locations can be in rural or off the grid urban venues. Not surprisingly the participants exhibit precise focus on the topic in hand and knowledge sharing is very concentrated.

The Hybrid Conference~ Physical & virtual are on the same page
With this model there is a physical as well as digital meeting space where both sets of participants are linked to the same contents and elements of the program in realtime. BlueScape connections are in place for various locations and people are tuned in via laptops, desktops, mobile phones or tablets. Time and cost savings are a major focus here as is unified content. Group discussions and networking are still very much in the mix.

Virtual Goes Live ~ from online to face to face
In this approach a group that only exists online, for example a social media interest group, comes together in the “real world” to meet and gather face to face. The purpose is to create deeper individual and group connections that will then enrich ongoing, online interaction.

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