Event Technology, Meeting Planning, Technology and innovation, Innovation
06 Jan 2016

Bartender Robots … Fog Projectors … and Wifi Balloons …Oh My! The New GCB Future Meeting Space Innovation Catalog Brings Ideas & Inspiration

The GCB and European Association of Event Centres (EVVC) have teamed up with renowned researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO to give planners a glimpse into the future of meetings technology, infrastructure and more.

As part of our ongoing commitment to help move the meetings industry forward and provide quality resources, the GCB has just launched the Future Meeting Space Innovation Catalog.  

Free and available at http://www.gcb.de/en/future-meeting-space, this toolkit is the first deliverable from the GCB’s Future Meeting Space project, announced in early 2015. This effort exclusively teams the GCB and the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC) with renowned research partner the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, Europe’s largest applied-science research organization.  The goal of the multi-year Future Meeting Space study is to gather key trends, innovations and developments in society, business and technology; examine their influence and applicability to meetings; and deliver tangible tools and data to the industry.  

The Innovation Catalog showcases 30 developments that are relevant to meetings, giving planners and industry members specific and tangible examples for inspiration and action.  These 30 were narrowed down from 120 examples identified by the Fraunhofer from their own, existing R&D activities & data and new general research, through interaction with multidisciplinary specialists—across design, science, business and meetings, and with the use of trend scouts to dive deeper into certain concepts.  The 100+ idea pool was then reviewed and vetted via a meetings expert panel to assess the applicability to the meetings industry.  

To make the presented ideas easy to browse and envision, the Innovation Catalog is organized into trends and key topics with ideas marked with one of two icons to note the stage of readiness for adoption, Ambition: in the latter stages of R&D for implementation in the near future; and Vision: highly conceptual with meetings feasibility yet to be fully determined.  

Some highlights include:  

Community/Society Trends–The Sharing Economy, Personalization, Multi Gen & Security— Here all kinds of sharing -- for Gen Y through Silverpreneurs – are discussed calling for more networking, knowledge transfer and resource exchange to grow collaboration and sustainability.  Gamification, use of Instagram for InstaWalk virtual event tours, customized learning, innovation bootcamps, match making apps and more are presented here. Security is also mentioned in terms of both physical and data privacy and protection.  

Technology – Digital interpreters, 180o projection, and mist projectors that allow you to present info, images and video mid-air are coming.  Physical telepresence or tangible media technologies that allow remote speakers to be seen, heard and even move and demonstrate objects in the audience’s separate location are becoming possible as well.  

Mobility - Alternative mobility concepts and means of transportation like car sharing, zoomorphic robots, driverless cars, electric busses and drones are explored to not only move people around, but also to transport materials used to build a booth, for example.  

Infrastructure – LED virtual skies for meeting spaces, Wifi balloons for remote locations, phase changing materials that create heat and cooling without energy use, cashless payments and chip implants are all ideas that find a home in the Innovation Catalog.  

Mark your calendars for 2H2016 when the GCB will announce Phase II of the Future Meeting Space project. Next steps from the project will include expert focus group results and other findings.


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