Tech trends and innovations for events of the future

Future Meeting Space network publishes innovation catalogue 4.0

Frankfurt, 22 September 2020

The digital transformation of the events world is progressing rapidly, which requires event planners as well as suppliers to critically reflect on existing event formats and to develop new ones. The “Future Meeting Space” innovation network has now released its innovation catalogue 4.0, presenting a comprehensive and sound overview of innovative technologies from AI to quantum computing, that can significantly impact business events in the future.

Apart from providing a platform for event professionals and knowledge transfer, the “Future Meeting Space” innovation network, founded by the GCB German Convention Bureau, the European Association of Event Centers (EVVC) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, also focusses on the analysis and systematic clustering of current developments and trends.

The newly released innovation catalogue 4.0 provides a forward-looking overview of a wide range of innovative technologies, including VR and AR, data analytics, robotic process automation, AI, blockchain technology, application programming interface, IoT, cloud computing, 5G and quantum computing. For each technology, the catalogue contains a precise definition as well as the analysis of its capacities and potential. Examples show how these technologies can be applied in the world of conferences and meetings. Thus, the innovation catalogue not only promotes the general understanding by providing clear explanations and differentiations but also motivates to actually use the new digital tools to create technical highlights.

“Technological innovations that elevate attendee experiences to a new level and enhance reach are part and parcel of future meetings“, says GCB Managing Director Matthias Schultze. “At the same time, human beings and their desire for personal interaction continue to be at the heart of events. Creating this blend of emotion and innovation is what everyone involved in the events world should strive to achieve.”

Wide ranging scientific foundation
Developed as part of the Future Meeting Space project’s third research phase, a wide range of sources was used for the innovation catalogue. The Fraunhofer IAO research team analysed data from own research and development, expert expertise and network know-how and also worked with trend scouts. Moreover, insights from lab and development work as well as the evaluation of innovations fed into the catalogue before a final review of the content by a multidisciplinary group of experts. “The development of sustainable formats that work in practice require the systematic analysis of new technological approaches and their potential“, explains Dr. Stefan Rief, Institute Director and Head of Organisational Development and Work Design Research Unit at Fraunhofer IAO. “The innovation catalogue 4.0 shows the wide range of options which could be available in future and thus furnishes event professionals with concrete tools to create their own offers in a creative and innovative way.“

A free of charge booklet containing the highlights of the innovation catalogue 4.0 can be downloaded from the GCB’s website:

About Future Meeting Space (FMS)
The FMS innovation project was launched by the GCB German Convention Bureau and the European Association of Event Centers (EVVC) in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO with the key goal of developing a vision for how people will meet in the future. This includes developing practical, hands-on tools for meeting planners and suppliers to help them get ahead of the curve. Results so far include, from phase I, an “Innovation Catalogue” round-up of new and future technologies, six “Future Meeting Scenarios” as well as the “Future Meeting Room”, and from phase II, a report on how to create engaging events, including an overview of different attendee types, event success factors and recommendations for actions.

Research partners of the current third research phase, which concentrates on the role of events, are KFP Five Star Conference Service GmbH, Xing Events GmbH, Maritz Global Events Inc., Radisson Hotels, Seven Centers of Germany, Munich Airport Academy / Lab Campus, Mesago Messe Frankfurt, European Association of Event Centers (EVVC) and GCB German Convention Bureau e.V. In addition, this research phase is supported by the Education Foundation of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA).

Dr. Martina Neunecker

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