Guest Blog by Nina Erneker | Business Meetings Consultant & Place Branding Strategist
In our latest discussions with Ivo and Henrik, or to be more precise, somewhere between “sharing the ideas on excellence” and planning our future asparagus lunch in Marchfeld 😊, I was given this wonderful opportunity to contribute to this blog section.
INCLUSION is the topic of the month and when I started to contemplate about it, my own thoughts have surprised me a little.
Why? Normally, your thought process runs towards expressions like social inclusion, diversity, equal access to opportunities and so on. Sure, the Business Events Industry is an ample example of best practices in social inclusion and always was, even before inclusion began to be a wide-discussed topic. It had to be, as this multinational, multidisciplinary and complex playing field stands on cooperation, connection and inclusion in its core sense of the word.
But what emerged in my head when thinking about inclusion far more often than diversity was the word ALL-INCLUSIVE.
Still remember live business events? I still do. What is your most dominant memory?
From my perspective as an event planner, I remember rather big, richly colourful, loud, creatively designed and opulent events, where the participants were treated like an all-inclusive resort hotel guests, if I could use this notoriously well-known tourism example. Maybe not a sophisticated comparison, but this is actually how we used to treat event guests before. They were being served without needing to ask for anything, being fed up with tons of F&B supply, endless programme and activities choices, overwhelmed by hundreds of messages from social media or tailored apps. Far beyond the scale they can even “digest”.
With the highest probability, this event approach inevitably belongs to the past.
I am sure that the pandemic has challenged each and every aspect of the Business Events. It has shown us clearly, what we have forgotten. That the purpose of the meetings is to meet, network, co-create and interact with each other, not the vast supply of content, goods and experiences. At the end of the day, all you need a reasonable portion of high-quality, good-looking, tasty “food” enjoyed with pleasant and inspiring people.
So, what comes next? No doubt that the business events will survive. They are already undergoing a massive face-lift becoming “hybrid”, “onlive” and other diverse formats.
But deeper under their new mask, they will more than necessarily need to transform their “all inclusive” approach to guests.
Events of the future shall become more human-centred, interaction-building and creativity-boosting. Maybe we can even start call it a “meet-clusion”, all rights reserved 😊.