Success factors for event: networking (GCB/Michael Pasternack)

July 2019

Success factors that make all the difference

GCB Learning Nuggets – No 3:   Success factors that make all the difference

Engaging events don’t happen by chance. Our Future Meeting Space research has identified six key success factors that are interrelated and influence each other – and here they are, in no particular order:

Success factors for events that make all the difference

Networking - Disruption -  Digital tools -  Knowledge transfer -  Interaction -  Satisfaction

Starting with the first three, here are some hands-on tips for event professionals:

Networking is one of the top reasons for attending events and planners need to get this right, i.e., don’t leave networking to chance if you want to ensure equal opportunities for everyone to meet their next business partner, employer, employee, investor or research contact.

TIPS: Place “icebreakers” that facilitate interaction and communication at the start of an event and schedule dedicated networking elements throughout the day. Also, look at matchmaking systems such as Brain Dates as a platform that helps people make meaningful connections to share knowledge and interests.

Disruption is a really interesting success factor as it is a completely new one in the context: Our research shows that the disruptive character of an event considerably impacts its success. Events that surprise, trigger change (in individuals or organisations) or envoke a sense of community create lasting memories for attendees. And we all know how important that is in our experience-led world …

TIPS: Remember that disruption can be many things – and then get creative. If your event is of a more “conventional” nature, for example, a yoga session during the lunch break could already be a real surprise for attendees. Or, think of things that have, on the surface, nothing to do with the actual theme of the event or take people out of their comfort zone. As long as it is not purely gimmicky!! The speakers you put on can also be a good starting point: Who could inspire your audience but comes from outside their industry/field of expertise and might therefore be unexpected and provide a fresh perspective? Think of your venue as a potential positive disruptor. The Berlin Convention Office’s MEET+CHANGE initiative is a great example how venues can create special and meaningful experiences for your attendees: Under the headline “professional meetings with social responsibility”, the project promotes a growing portfolio of different kinds of social/educational/cultural organisations as event venues, including children’s homes, primary schools, sheltered workshops or advice centres.

Digital tools are, by now, event “ingredients” that many attendees expect naturally. A certain perceived degree of innovation as expressed in technologies used does therefore affect the success of meetings and conferences.

TIPS: Think about the entire depth and width of your event to assess where and when to use digital tools. Technologies to support necessary interaction (attendee-to-attendee and attendees-to-speaker), visualisation tools, the integration of attendees and/or speakers via livestreaming or VR as well as event apps all need to be considered, always with a meaningful user experience in mind, i.e., don’t use tech as a mere gimmick!


Our next Learning Nugget No 4 will discuss knowledge transfer, interaction and satisfaction as success factors – stay tuned!

Success factors for events that make all the difference

Success factors for events that make all the difference

#Eventprofs, this one is for you

In a new series of Learning Nuggets, we’ll serve you the most important results of our Future Meeting Space phase 2 research to create more engaging events. 

#meetings #events #userexperience #futuremeetingspace #tips #learningnuggets

The innovation network “Future Meeting Space” (FMS) was created in 2015 by the German Convention Bureau (GCB) and the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC) in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO. It looks into trends, innovations, and societal developments and their possible influence on the meetings industry. In this context, research focuses on the design of future meetings, the evolving needs of participants and the resulting requirements that anybody involved in the process of planning and creating meetings needs to consider.