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Thoughts on “Top 10 Meeting Trends for 2010” Webinar

In August, I took a few digital-days-off to celebrate my 10 year wedding anniversary in Croatia. While I was off-the-grid, Corbin Ball of Corbin Ball Associates and David Nour of Relationship Economics hosted a webinar on the 10 Meeting Trends for 2010. (Watch)

I finally got a chance to watch that webinar this week. It is loaded with links to new technologies that are guaranteed to dazzle your mind and send attendees dancing in the aisles. The data, examples and web links were protein enriched and packed with healthy goodness. The Q&A – which was spread throughout the session — was managed brilliantly. One criticism of the presentation – the Top 10 list was biased toward technology. So, it should have probably been a Meeting Tech Trends List.

CC Image by Balakov

CC Image by Balakov

The Top 10 Meeting Trends for 2010

10. Mobile Platforms

9. Social Networking Meeting Applications

8. MicroBlogging

7. Social Review Sites

6. Strategic Meetings Management

5. Video Options

4. Telepresence

3. Audience Response

2. Mobile Lead Retrieval

1. Power of Face-to-Face

(Source: Top 10 Meeting Trends Webinar by Corbin Ball and David Nour)

Bottom Line

Now that you are aware of the event technology trends – how will you integrate this information into your 2010 event planning? If you are not sure, try asking yourself the following questions:

1.  Which trends & tools improve my attendee experience and allow the attendee to achieve his/her objectives?

2.  Which trends and tools will help me extend my event experience and create attendee value beyond the face-2-face event? (Before – During – After)

3.  Which event objectives become easily (or cheaply) achievable with these tech tools?

4.  Does my team have the right skills to flawlessly execute the tech at my event(s)? or will I need a good vendor partner?

What Does Your  Crystal Ball Say?

Did David and Corbin hit the nail on the head with this Top 10 List? Or did they miss something in your opinion?  Or maybe they got the trends right and the order wrong?  What do  you see when you look into your crystal ball?

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Hi Samuel and CONGRATS on your 10th anniversary! Croatia, very cool.

    I have to be perfectly honest here…and maybe I’m the only one, but I don’t really find this top ten trends list all that forward looking. Personally I feel these are 10 topics we’ve been discussing the most in 2009 on our eventprofs group. And I saw this same presentation at the beginning of 2009…so perhaps it needs some updating.

    I’m going to push back a bit on how “new” a few of these technologies are purported to be.
    1. Sure telepresence is really cool and exciting to see, but with systems estimated at $500k per room, I can’t see it as exactly the best answer for remote collaboration. Instead, look for more realistic solutions in videoconferencing from companies such as Tandberg that can operate from any camera. PLUS this technology has been widely available since the mid 2000’s…
    2. As for Audience Response Systems (ARS), I daresay it’s been a trend for the past two years. 2010 would just be a continuation of their use.
    3. I think social meeting applications were an advance trend for 2009, while 2010 marks their widespread use.
    4. Is video promotion that new? We’ve been helping to connect clients with online video options for at least the past two years.
    5. QR Codes…hmmm.
    Remember when we would beam our virtual business cards to each other on our handheld devices (ie Palm Pilot)?

    Here are a few trends they missed:
    1. Virtual meetings – and I mean virtual presence, not videoconferencing or telepresence – ie 2nd Life. As we frequently discuss on Twitter, this is a HUGE trend that will be explored more in 2010. I’ve never seen any numbers, but this has to be one of the fastest growing segments of the meetings industry.
    2. Higher Ed offerings for Meeting Professionals – (for example, the worldwide partnerships with institutions of higher education to be rolled out by MPI in 2010) will improve the availability of advanced certification/degrees in meetings and hospitality.
    3. Standardization and certification of green meetings and vendors. ASTM/APEX standards, BS8901, ISO certification, LEED, GreenSeal…more meetings, venues and service providers will achieve verified sustainability.

    I could on for another 7 I believe, but must get back to that whole making money thing 🙂
    Midori Connolly, Chief AVGirl
    Pulse Staging and Events

    September 10, 2009
  2. I have to agree with Midori that I don’t see much earth-shattering here or really any new trends with the exception of mobile platforms, which in my opinion should have been first.

    In addition to the trends Midori listed, I would add the following ones:

    1) Virtual attendance, especially of F2F events & how meeting professionals need to plan and engage them

    2) Attendee co-creation of content and presentations

    3) Engagement, engagement, engagement of attendees with each other, the presenter and the content

    4) Less one to many presentations and more horizontal, networked peer-to-peer presentations

    5) Social Network Registration Widgets (look-up of who’s registered for a conference that is also in your social network.

    6) The face to face meeting as one touchpoint within a larger network of community touchpoints aka: the f2f meeting within the context of an eco-system

    September 10, 2009
  3. Hi Midori!

    Thank you for your lively comments!

    RE: Trends – I think trends are difficult. Many people equate a trend with “brand new” like in fashion. I don’t think that works here. To me, a trend should take into account several factors like choice, adoption, etc and be measured over time. Something could trend upward for a few years before falling off the list or becoming standard. So – it is entirely possible that something could be on a “top trends” list for a few years. Having said – this Top 10 list would have been better with some additional context about the trends. Are they rising, falling, and why.

    RE: Missing Trends – The signs are pointing to more virtual meeting elements in 2010. They will not replace Face2Face – but they will augment it for sure.

    Thanks again for your comments and ideas!

    – Sam

    September 11, 2009
  4. Hi Jeff –

    This is a great list! Personally, I would like to see more interest and discussion around these six items in 2010.

    I was reading the Forbes report “Business Meetings – The Case for Face to Face” last friday. The report identified “information dissemination” and “data presentation” as the best applications for web/video conference (See Figure 6 in the report). To me – any meeting/conference that invests more than 80% of the learning time in having passively people listen to speakers is presenting data and sharing information only — and therefore a candidate for web/video conferencing.

    I hope that we see more and more events considering, experimenting with and trying one or more of the ideas that you have suggested above.

    Great comments! Thanks for taking time to share your ideas – I know that you are busy right now!


    PS the Forbes report “Business Meetings – The Case for Face to Face” can be downloaded here:

    September 11, 2009
  5. Great discussion here! I think the major trend to watch is really the convergence of social media applications with other meeting tech. Jeff gave an example of blending registration with social networks.

    Social networking can also be combined with lead retrieval or perhaps connecting with the participants and speaker within a breakout through major social media platorms.

    We’re seeing a bunch of new technologies coming out. Most of them look cool, but lack a strong foundation. At the end of the day, successfully technologies will leverage a strong back-end (database, efficiency rich, enterprise class) with distribution and engagement channels like mobile, social apps, etc.

    Like Corbin said in the webinar, the power shift is to the attendee. The attendee chooses the platform, you just need to make sure you give them the right choices. i.e. both 2D and 3D alternatives. Just maybe I don’t feel like being an Avatar today.

    September 11, 2009
  6. Another trend missed here is exploring Wiki as an option for emails (not exactly for meetings though). This trend is fast catching up and will surely be explored in 2010.

    September 22, 2009

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