By Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group
The days when conference, meeting and event organisers could take a one-size-fits-all approach are well and truly gone. With the rise of technology and the rise of electronic communications, people are rapidly becoming saturated by messaging.
Generic communication just doesn’t achieve cut through – if I receive a communication from a company that is obviously not tailored to me it is immediately sent to junk mail – it’s the only way nowadays to manage my inbox.
A customised experience – whether buying a coffee, booking a holiday or attending a meeting – is now the norm. And the meetings and events industry should be the epitome of this.
Delegates now expect both the communication about an event and the live experience to be tailored to them in some way – people want to feel that the organiser knows who they are and what they want and need. From travel arrangements to scheduling, attendees are keen to craft their own experience of an event to ensure it meets their needs.
Data analytics has been around for a long time, but it is only really now that technologies are adapting and evolving to enable the ‘lay person or average meeting planner’ to interpret and really use this data to create more powerful and customised event experiences.
A customised experience is exactly what we offer our hosted buyers at IMEX – how do you want to travel to the show? How long do you want to stay for? What do you want to achieve at the show?
Via our Hosted Buyer programme, buyers can create tailored schedules to fit their exact professional and personal needs. Recent research  has shown that 9/10 UK business travellers, and 86% globally, agreed that a meeting conducted in person is more effective and productive than a virtual connection.
With networking always a key objective for attendees of IMEX exhibitions, we’re introducing a new initiative at IMEX America 2016 to help buyers to make valuable peer connections before and at the show. Using a data matching algorithm, Zenvoy will facilitate introductions between buyers who share common attributes. Zenvoy will match the buyer with other registered buyers whose business profiles have similar features, share these profiles and suggest that they make contact before potentially meeting at the show.
Outside of the meeting room, people still seek a personalised experience as a way to decompress, and value having a choice of ways in which to relax in between the hard work. With busy professional lives it is easy to forget personal needs, yet it’s crucial to stay on top form. That’s why wellbeing is a strong theme running through this year’s show and we’re offering a range of options to delegates as part of this.
From business meetings, education, to relaxation, personalisation is powerful and is a hot trend in our industry that looks set to stay.
For information on IMEX America 2016, visit: www.imexamerica.com