How to translate trends into future-proof events

We’ve talked a lot about the future of meetings recently. What are the trends of 2015? And what can we expect later on? It’s a subject that seems to be on everybody’s mind. It is probably therefore that the Amsterdam RAI released a new trend insight report. The main question “how will events have changed in 2017?” will get answered. Also a lot of creative ideas are shared to create value for your visitors.

“By 2017, events will have changed, as people’s needs and the way they connect change. An event is about more than bringing people together at a specific time in a given physical place. The scope of events is greater than ever before. For event organisers, it is crucial to invest in both the value of the physical encounter and its impact outside the event.”

trend report

“The new RAI Insights report summarises trends and their impact on events. In addition, a scenario for events in 2017 is identified, as well as 10 ways and 20 ideas to create value for visitors. The insights are based on input from event organisers, exhibitors and partners, discussions by a cross-functional RAI-team and desk research. Why 2017? Because it is far enough to see the changes ahead, yet close enough to act.”

Download the complete trend report.

Meeting trends for the (near) future

‘The future is now.’ That being said, it’s time to think of what might lay ahead of us in the (near) future. What will change for the meeting industry? And what will forever be the same. Today I’m going to share my thoughts with you. Let’s see if I’m right!



Super fast internet – everywhere!
With super fast and reliable internet as the standard (whether it’s back home, during your intercontinental flight or at the waiting room at the dentist), it’s easier and more convenient to set up virtual meetings and events. Large scale online webinars are easily held whereby it’s not an unilateral affair, but an organic, interactive gathering.

The big data hairball 
With big data becoming more and more important and organisations know better how to handle the big data hairball. We can use all the digital obtained information to market our events better, make planning easier and convenient for all parties involved. With the smart online agenda’s that are linked with email, social media en (written) conversations – you’ll have a pretty fast answer to the ever big question: ‘How many attendees do I have?’

People don’t have a lot of time. That’s something I don’t think will change very soon. So instead of large scale events, there are probably going to be more small scale events where quality beats quantity.

People business
But in the end the meeting industry will always be a people’s industry. Planning an event has a lot to do with the X-factor, the gut feeling. Therefore getting to places will stay very important. With the ongoing price wars, comfort and service stays on top of the list of reasons to choose for an airline, hotel or venue. Meeting planners are people’s people, so make them feel welcome and partner up with them.

What do you think will change in the (near) future? Let me know in the comments!

Meeting trends for 2015

A new year, a new perspective. Many people said something about new meeting trends. We’ll have to wait and see of all these come true. Of course I have my ideas as well. I think the following things are going to be a meeting trend in 2015:

meeting trends 2015

Big data
Big data is huge in all sectors. The meeting industry has to do with a lot of data, acquired by email marketing, checkins, community management and offline forms. There are a lot of possibilities with all this information. For instance creating specific profiles that helps you target your message even better. But you can use all the information also for creating your own persona’s.

Focus on interaction
It’s all about the attention span. We have to focus more on engaging the participators than ever before. For instance by asking them to take part in discussions or come up with the subjects for the speakers.

Online is mainstream
A fast wifi connection is a must nowadays. So are a good website, engaging social media platforms and apps. People will expect more online tools, all information on a event website, event hashtags – all mobile friendly.

Budgets will be spent wisely
During the economic crises we learned a lot about our budget. Whats is truly necessary? Where can we cut costs and where can we partner up to save money? I think this trend will continue in 2015 as well. Not because budgets are still tight, but because we live in another world.

Re-use information for content marketing
Videos of speakers, whitepapers, pictures etc. In 2015 we will collect all materials smarter and use them for content marketing reasons to keep engaging participants after the event.

Don’t forget to meet the Dutch at #IMEX12 America

The inaugural IMEX America last year proved its value to both meeting planners and exhibitors. North America had long been looking for a trade show of this caliber. Now in its second year, the show will be at least 23% bigger, with even more educational sessions to attend and exhibitors to meet.

An excellent opportunity for meeting planners to become acquainted with accommodations and destinations, to place orders, request quotes, find new ideas, to network and learn.

Meet and network with the Dutch

What would an international trade show be without an opportunity to meet the Dutch? Rest assured, I have already booked travel and accommodations for myself and a fine selection of Dutch conference centers and meeting hotels.

The Dutch representatives will all gladly share the latest ‘Holland meeting news’, and help to create the perfect solution for your meeting. Source these great, surprising and original venues and ideas for your next meeting, event, incentive or exhibition.

The Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC) and all Dutch partners will be represented at the Holland Stand 212. Please go to our IMEX America page for a complete overview of participating companies.

Take a photo with me, Mr. Holland

You probably already heard about or even met me, Mr. Holland, the personification of Holland and the Dutch: creative, open-minded, charming and efficient. I will be your host at the Holland Stand and tell you all about “my” destination.

Thinking about attending?

If you are considering coming to Las Vegas for IMEX America in October, please visit the IMEX website to find out about all the benefits for attendees. To be sure of an appointment, please use the IMEX appointments system to book your time. If you have already registered you can simply schedule an appointment through your online diary. If you have not registered yet, click here for your free admission.

My favourite session at the Elite Meetings Alliance event (#EliteMtgsAlliance ): Increasing your Professional Power

People have been asking me: “Mr. Holland, why do you post your favourite sessions of an industry event every week?“. Well, let me explain. It serves 2 purposes. First of all, I always want to learn more about what is at the ‘front side’ of our industry. And of course I would like to exchange ideas about that with you, my reader. So please feel free to comment on my selections.

The second purpose is more long term. By reviewing the educational programmes of our industry events, I will have quite a good grasp of what the trends in our industry are by the end of this year. And of course I will post those findings back to you!

Today is the start of the 3-day Elite Meetings Alliance event in Atlantic City. The Elite Meetings Alliance provides prequalified corporate and association planners and leaders in the luxury hotel industry an opportunity to participate in prescheduled one-on-one meetings. The event agenda also includes continuing education classes for Certified Meeting Professional credits, fun networking events, and a variety of activities.

I am looking forward to following their stream via the hash-tag #EliteMtgsAlliance. And of course, I started browsing the programme and asked myself: what would have been my ‘must attend’ session if I could have been there?

This is my top pick. Please let me know what your favourite educational session is, was or would have been!

Increasing your Professional Power while Managing your Stress

Why favourite?
People from Holland are known to for their professionalism as organisers. Thanks to their ample experience in organising conventions, you may rely fully on our professionals for the organization of your international convention or meeting. The Dutch organisers are friendly, pragmatic and decisive. Yet, I am curious to learn from Dr. Teplitz how to increase this ‘professional power’ even further.

Session description:
This presentation addresses the specific situation of the stresses we experience as result of both expected and unexpected change in our lives. And the one certainty for the 2000’s is that the rate of change will continue. Participants will learn techniques that will enable them to cope with the stress of change more productively and effectively.

Research shows that we use less than 10 percent of our brain power. Imagine the difference in your life as a leader if you and the people around you could access more of this hidden potential. The session gives you actual tools for achieving unlimited leadership growth by unleashing the power of your mind.

Speaker: Dr. Jerry Teplitz, Jerry Teplitz Enterprises, Inc.

What is your favourite pick?
Would love to hear in the comments if you agree or disagree with my selection. And of course I would love to hear any tips you use to manage your stress and increase your professionalism.

My 3 favourite sessions at IncentiveWorks ( #iwshow ): what are yours?

This week, on Tuesday and Wednesday, IncentiveWorks takes place in Toronto. IncentiveWorks is Canada’s largest and longest running education and trade show event for the meetings, incentive travel and special events industry. I am looking forward to following their stream via the hash-tag #iwshow. And as you might have expected by now, I started browsing the programme and asked myself: what would have been my ‘must attend’ eductional sessions if I could have been there?

These are my top 3 picks. Please let me know what your favourite sessions are, were or would have been!

1. Taking Incentive Travel to the Next Level

Why favourite?
Incentive travel is under a magenifying glass and the return on investment is being questioned. I am always curious to hear how industry experts propose to deal with these challenges. Here in Holland I see a lot of planners combining the strength of an emotional experience with a learning experience; a so-called ‘meetcentive‘. Would these experts see this as a way to move forward too?

Session description:
The incentive travel industry is constantly changing and keeping on top of what’s out there and what’s right for you can be challenging. Whether you’re an in-house planner who’s buying incentive travel, a third-party or indie planner who’s planning an incentive travel trip for a client or a supplier who’s selling an incentive property, this is the session for you.
Read more

Terry Manion, Meridican Incentive Consultants
Nicola Kastner, CMP, CMM, Pareto
Kim Bradford, Orient-Express.
Moderator: Alanna McQuaid, M+IT
When: Tuesday August 21, 2012 8:30 – 10:15 AM EDT (GMT -5 hrs)

2. Breaking Through the Noise: Social Media Engagement

Why favourite?
The effective use of Social Media always draws my attention. Esspecially in relation to meetingplanners. Did you know the Netherlands is among the 3 most active countries on Linkedin? By the way,if you have not connected with me, check my different Social profiles in this post or at the bottom of this page.

Session description:
There’s a wealth of information out there on social media. So now that we know what it is, and all the interesting ways it has worked for brands and businesses in the past, what the heck do PLANNERS do with it? In this interactive and very participatory session, you’ll discover how to get your attendees – internal and external – to truly engage with you via social media.
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Presented by: Sidneyeve Matrix, Queen’s University and MatrixMediaFX
When: Wednesday August 22, 2012 8:30 – 10:15 AM EDT (GMT -5 hrs)

The Problem with the Future is… It’s Now!

Why favourite?
Times are changing! So every bit of information we can get on the direction in which our industry is moving, we should get our hands on. That is why I am very curious about the findings of this study by MPI.

Session description:
Discover the latest findings from the MPI Future of Meetings Thought Leadership Initiative study. Gain perspective on the future of technology, social media, meeting design and venues from over 1,500 meeting industry professionals as well as experts from outside our space. This session will raise questions about the future and offer practical ways you can address the trends because the future is for you to invent.
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Presented by: Greg van Dyke, PSAV
When: Wednesday August 22, 2012 9:30 – 10:15 AM EDT (GMT -5 hrs)

What is your favourite pick?

Would love to hear in the comments if you agree or disagree with my favourites. Or please add your own personal favourite too!