The IMEX Group, organizers of the annual IMEX in Frankfurt and IMEX America trade shows for the meetings, incentive travel and events industry, is spotlighting five trends its members expect to see this year.
1. Let’s play: Gamification
In 2014, industry trendsetters used play as a tool to unlock creativity. In 2015, according to Gartner, an information technology research and advisory company, up to 40 percent of Global 1000 organizations will use gamification as the main way to reach people. Nike, Quirky and My Fitness Pal are seen as leaders in this area. IMEX America keynote speaker Steve Gross, agrees, saying, “When people get together through meetings and events, it is critical to deliver playfulness that helps them engage, connect and explore, to enjoy being there … in the now.”
2. A sharper appetite for apps
Meeting and event apps will be seamlessly linking across other media platforms, and especially websites, in line with customer/community market needs and pain points, deeply connected to real-time analytics and incorporating interactions such as live messaging, polling and other instant engagement and feedback mechanics. An IMEX/QuickMobile global survey showed that up to 63 percent of all respondents used a mobile app for at least one event in the past two years. That number rose to 92 percent when corporate event marketers were asked.
3. You say you want a revolution?
Look for meeting spaces and formats to become ever more varied, driven in part by Wi-Fi that allows “roaming.” David Silverman of the Harvard Business Review, for instance, recommends 50-minute meetings so people have breathing room between back-to-back commitments. Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post favors walking meetings. Research from Washington University shows that workers are more engaged, less territorial and more collaborative when working on a project while standing.
4. Taking it slow
The “slow meetings” trend will circle around again, promoting the benefits of face-to-face meetings with no devices, no distractions and a focus on less, rather than more. Also gaining traction: five minutes of guided meditation at the top of the meeting.
5. Wellness is, well, popular
Think beyond drinking water, eating nuts and getting a quick shoulder massage. A higher level of spiritual awareness is starting to make its way into meeting keynotes, sessions and formats. Time Magazine and Forbes have both given ink to the idea of “mindfulness.” Lee Papa, wellness advocate, transformation adviser and IMEX America speaker, summed it up: “I believe this is the new paradigm of business. … It’s a time of moving into working from the heart and using our internal navigation to be more powerful and authentic.”
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