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News, Future Meetings, Trends
22 Mar 2016

The events sector is reinventing itself

Ten years ago it was just a fantasy – but now it's taken for granted: technology is catapulting the events sector into a new level in terms of imparting knowledge, networking and participation. Despite all the bits and bytes, human beings are still at the centre.

 

The events sector is reinventing itself

Ten years ago it was just a fantasy – but now it's taken for granted: technology is catapulting the events sector into a new level in terms of imparting knowledge, networking and participation. Despite all the bits and bytes, human beings are still at the centre.
Experiencing the future in the present – that's already the norm at Leipzig Interventional Course (LINC). Here, at one of the most important special congresses for minimally invasive vascular medicine, participants with their own personal 'pick and mix' from the programme can move freely between sessions and networking. Live broadcasts from around the world, x-ray livestreams and explanatory charts are projected onto the screen simultaneously or can be accessed on mobile end-devices. Even when it comes to physical buildings, the boundaries are becoming less distinct. Lecture theatres, exhibitions, poster areas, foyers and catering zones are arranged in relation to each other and provide an overall entity. However, even though the layout is very modern, an ancient human cultural concept is used: the idea of the marketplace.

LINC as an example and trendsetter

The innovative way in which Congress Center Leipzig works with LINC highlights once again the profound change in the event sector. More and more companies are realising that a serious rethink is needed for long-term growth. This is because technical facilities are changing participants' behaviour with increasing speed. These new patterns of participant behaviour are rapidly changing the market, competition and business models. New innovative formats and services are sought – and found. The critical thing here is which developments and innovations are expected as well as the new opportunities which are shown by the recent Innovation Catalogue. The Catalogue, created as part of the Future Meeting Space research project (see text box), includes highlights of nearly 120 innovations which are of critical importance for meetings and congresses.

Virtual spaces and digitalised services

The innovation catalogue depicts a number of trends: for example, the new generation of meeting and congress participants place more value on sharing concepts and individualised consumer options. At the same time, in view of the growing number of older people in Germany, the inter-generational exchange of experience is becoming more important in order to preserve knowledge. The result: new formats for transferring knowledge are now very clear as well as being user and subject-specific.
This is made possible by numerous technological innovations which are already available or are about to appear on the market. Holography, digital interpreters or collaboration tools that have large formats or allow intuitive operation make it possible to communicate and collaborate over large distances, create virtual spaces and extend the reality that people can experience. Nevertheless, participants at events will be paying increasing attention to the issue of security, both in real and virtual spaces.
In the sphere of mobility, alternative movement concepts and means of transport will increase further – these include car-sharing and lifts, electro-mobility even in the context of public transport or even drones. Moreover, sustainable materials and concepts, development of global internet access, innovative payment systems and admission controls will play a greater role in future events infrastructure.

The more relevant the better

The Fraunhofer Institut undertakes thorough research into future innovations, using their own research and development, professional expertise, networks and trend scouts. They also make use of results from laboratory work, development work and analyses of innovations. In order to guarantee the relevance of innovations that have been brought together, they are evaluated by a multidisciplinary committee. The Institut ascertains which formats, products and services are available on the market, how they are used and how they can be transferred to the events sector. Highlights of nearly 120 innovations are presented. The key criterion for selection is the degree of innovation which is oriented to novelty, readiness for the market and public awareness.

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