MBEW 2022 brings back the magic in meetings

2 Sep 2022

In-person meetings are making a comeback, but that doesn’t mean that delegates are seeking the same cookie-cutter business meeting and event formats like before.

A new generation of millennials and Gen Z in the workforce are now setting the tone on how future meetings are executed and designed while technology becomes the key enabler to pull it off.

The good news is that savvy meeting planners are on board and racing to ensure their programmes are anything but bland.

At the recent Malaysia Business Events Week 2022 (MBEW), four meeting trends were discussed that could be true game changers for the industry.

And here are ways that planners conjure up the magic for meetings:

Play up local culture and assets
When everybody is jockeying for the same piece of the pie, focus on the assets of your location to attract business, says Sheriff Keramat, president & CEO of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA).

“In anything that you do, use your culture as much as you use the physical assets of your country to make the case for the attractiveness of your destination and why business events should choose you,” he said.

Attendees often blend business and leisure. Ultimately, playing up the attractions of local destinations and the authentic experiences of the host city appeals to them.

Think metaverse
At any event, some participants come for the experience, some for the content, and others for networking. Metaverse enables all this. Speaking in the session on ‘Meeting Events Tech Adapt (META)-verse’, Yusno Yunos, CEO and founder of Evenesis said: “To manage the scarcity of venues, instead of building more convention centres, having an additional hall for people to experience metaverse could be an option.”

Meetings as ‘purposeful’ experiences
Gone are the days where attendees are content to be herded into a ballroom to listen to boring lectures. Today’s meetings need to have meaning, innovation and insight.

As an example, at the recent MBEW, MyCEB partnered with Kloth Cares and Food Aid Foundation to encourage attendees to donate pre-loved clothing and non-perishable food as part of the event’s sustainable initiative. This move gave a meaningful touch to the event than just having attendees simply listening to presentations.

Creating year-round engagement
For attendees who may not be able to attend a business event or meeting every year, creating year-round engagement and interaction helps to increase brand awareness and reach more – and often new – people.

David DuBois, president and CEO of the International Association of Exhibitors and Events, called this the three Cs: captured content, creating content and curated content.

“This can be done during the show by recording the education sessions, conducting one-on-one interviews, creating testimonials from those who attend and finding ways to promote the content – whether on blogs, videos, podcasts. This all can be pushed out on social media to get your brand into the marketplace.”

This content enables the brand to connect with the attendees while maintaining their continuous interest and awareness of the event.

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