Should delegates expect more than a series of presentations?Should delegates to meetings be treated more like incentive award winners? The current distinction is that incentive organisers aim to deliver an unforgettable experience, whereas meetings hosts ply delegates with information. Yet, people are beginning to claim, the whole trend of education today is towards providing students with experiences that drive knowledge home and stimulate interest and therefore memory, rather than the old-fashioned approach of simply feeding data to students.
Why should delegates be seen so differently? Why should they be expected to sit through a series of presentations? Surely, the argument runs, it is vital for delegates to learn the maximum from conferences and the best way to learn is from an experience rather than a lecture.
How can a meeting become an experience? Mainly, runs the argument, through site visits to highly advanced locations that actually illustrate the topics being discussed at the meeting.
That is why there is a universal move towards seeing the facility for a meeting as not just the hall in which it is held, but the whole local region.
If green energy is the topic, make sure there’s a wind farm nearby. If endangered species are to be discussed, hold the event in a zoo. Cologne attracts space research events by having a centrifuge installation that creates weightlessness.
Convention Bureaux should look deeply into their localities to see what unrivalled attractions lie within their reach and then look out into the world to match them with events waiting to happen.
Pictured: Cologne’s centrifuge is a big space research attraction