The Fontenay Hamburg

Meeting space: the future

The Future Meeting Space programme is a multi-year research effort undertaken by the German Convention Bureau (GCB), European Association of Event Centres (EVCC), and the Fraunhofer Institute of Industrial Engineering (IAO). It is designed to provide planners and suppliers with insights and hands-on tools to make their meetings more futuristic, and to stay ahead of the curve on developments in knowledge sharing, design, technology and more.

Part of the wider project is Future Meeting Room, an online toolbox for mapping out and implementing meetings with heightened engagement, innovation and creativity in mind.

The Future Meeting Room toolbox works against a backdrop of six Future Meeting Space scenarios introduced by GCB, including: Hybrid meetings – with face-to-face and virtually connected participants; Virtual to Live meetings – taking online created communities face-to-face, and Co-working meetings – lengthier but allowing for live collaboration, in-
depth networking, and time to attend to work back at the office. 

Building on these scenarios, or creating combinations to meet goals for delegates, planners can use the toolbox to guide them through ideas on a number of areas including space, geography, technology and organisation. 

The toolbox helps planners to consider various aspects of location – whether to have traditional closed-door sessions or an open learning layout; whether to have seating in the round, classic theatre style or a more informal set up.

Planners can also run through different technological elements – adding crowd sourcing and polling technologies and devices; real-time cloud access for content sharing and data transactions; 3D or 4D immersion projectors; gamification and digital translation in order to expand delegate value and engagement.

In all, the Future Meetings Space programme has delivered three tools so far. They include the online Innovation Catalogue providing hands on ideas, examples and inspiration; the six Future Meeting Scenarios, and the Future Meeting Room.

German Convention Bureau chief Matthias Schultze said: “The way we are using technology, sharing knowledge and engaging with each other is constantly evolving. The Future Meetings Space project is designed to help planners, destinations and locations address this change and opportunity as they come to Germany to meet and do business. We hope our newest hands-on tool, the Future Meeting Room, continues to help them think in new ways, put new ideas into action, and drive innovation and creativity for their clients and delegates.”

Schultze also noted that the GCB in 2017 will focus on showing the regional convention bureaus how to develop more sophisticated meetings-specific content. The goal is for German cities all to be delivering the same messaging across their local channels, which can then be shared to a wider audience on the national platform.

“We’re trying to educate our partners in content marketing, because since we know that planners are interested in learning about our industry expertise, now it’s about what our partners need to do to reach planners to really show it,” said Schultze.


Paul Colston

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Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World. Write Paul an E-mail



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