Study: Meetings Are Higher-Tech Than Ever in 2015

The International Association of Conference Centres recently revealed a list of the top-10 meetings-related technology trends that are affecting venues and planners. Bottom line: Technology is enabling everything from site evaluation to connections with remote participants.

Drones, mood lighting, and street-view technology may all be coming to a meeting near you in the not too distant future, if they haven’t already.

That’s according to the International Association of Conference Centres, which just released a list of the “Top 10 Meeting Tech Trends for 2015,” based on a survey of its members—small- to medium-sized event venues.

“Meeting planners are seeing their role influenced more and more by technology, not just for the meeting itself, but in researching and booking venues, how planners interact onsite, and how they communicate following the meeting,” IACC CEO Mark Cooper said in a statement. “The balance between technology and in-person relationships is an interesting one, with a need to attain a balance of the two in order to plan and deliver successful meeting outcomes.”

For example, more conference organizers are using drones to capture photos and map out venues for GPS-integrated conferences, IACC reported. Meeting planners are also taking advantage of user-controlled LED mood lighting and high-tech furniture arrangements to quickly change a venue’s look and feel. Street-view technology is providing planners with opportunities to scope out venues virtually if they can’t travel to the site to evaluate a space—this is especially evident given the rise in part-time meeting planners.

“When a planner cannot conduct an in-person venue inspection, technology is fast evolving using the Google Street View concept to provide valuable virtual venue tours, multiple room images showing different meeting layouts, and even property video footage,” IACC said on its website.

Meeting planners are also incorporating technology to create more seamless virtual experiences for those who cannot attend events.

Who knows? The next step in virtual meetings may even be robots. Educause has tried this tactic at its Learning Initiative 2015 Annual Meeting, where several remote participants were able to take control of a Suitable Technologies BeamPro robot and maneuver it around the conference to attend poster sessions, check in at registration, and participate in small-group discussions.

What new technologies are you implementing at your meetings? Please share in the comments.

(David Ramos/Getty Images)

Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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