Digital transformation in events encourages companies to think about new meeting or conference formats and to make their events moments of co-creation, knowledge and experience sharing. My advice to event venues, hotels and destinations is no longer limited to defining a market target, positioning and supporting managerial teams, but to provoke innovation and ask questions such as: “What do our clients/prospects want today? And it must be noted that new ephemeral or permanent spaces are in line with new modes of meeting and innovation and contribute to the strong evolution of working methods.

Companies are undergoing real change, and employees no longer want to spend their time in meetings that lead to nothing!

In 2017, a survey conducted by OpinionWay found that more than a thousand respondents working in large companies (+500 employees), spent an average of 4.5 hours per week in meetings! If we report the figures by year, it is more than 3 full weeks spent in meetings, and more than 6 weeks for executives.

Today, the digital transition is not just a fashion trend, but also makes it possible to face increasingly fierce competition. In the field of events, it represents a real challenge. At a time when UX (User Experience) is the issue at the heart of all thinking, digital technology is a new way to create links and mobilize teams while leaving an almost indelible mark on the participants’ memories. Neoptimal’s article by Hugo Bernard reminds us of “The challenges of digital transformation”

The thorn in the side of business is what we call ‘meeting mania’. According to an Ipsos survey, one in three executives admits to having already fallen asleep at a meeting and nearly nine in ten admit to feeling useless, according to an Ifop survey.

Collaboration, communication and alchemy among participants become a real challenge when we know that, due to globalization, employees can be distributed throughout the world and have very little time and not always the right attitude for these privileged moments of sharing. Sharing, innovation, co-creation, commitment of participants… words that evoke a change and a real movement discussed during the Comintech event.

Feedback from Comintech experience

Comintech and its 3rd edition has become the essential annual meeting place for reflection on the event market and its transformation. It was on March 15th at the Salons de l’Aveyron in Paris-Bercy that more than 350 participants were able to share rich content around round tables, keynotes, and group workshops. The creator of the event, Julien Carlier, CEO of Social Dynamite, stated the purpose of the event: to meet and create a real commitment among the participants, to share collective intelligence. On the agenda: “Science, technology and innovation for the benefit of the memory footprint and therefore the sustainable performance of events”. Throughout the day we were able to exchange on how to win and keep the attention of an audience in a world saturated with information, and the lessons of the latest experiences in this field.

Starting from the observation that events have changed little in recent years, we talk about the transformation of the sector and “re-enchantment of the participants’ experience”.  In terms of format, the bet was bold but winning since the scene had disappeared and the speakers were evolving in the middle of the audience.  The rich debates in particular with Benoit Lanciot, Director of Event Communication and Partnerships at SNCF, advocating immersion, interactivity and experience thanks to the content of the events and appropriate space.

My presence in Comintech for the marketplace Destination Paris Bercy, proved promising in particular by meeting the event startups who were very present that day since an Innovation counter allowed everyone to meet the young people…around 70 of them!

Does digital have a place in events? We talked about it in the article by Destination Paris Bercy (https://www.destinationparisbercy.com/cles-et-astuces-pour-une-bonne-strategie-digitale-evenementielle), digital tools help to forge and create a lasting relationship between participants and event organizers. Industry professionals use digital solutions to communicate before, during and after the event and technology allows them to accumulate the data needed in this rapidly changing sector.

Speaking of digital innovations, it seems relevant to address two new start-ups, met at the last Comintech: The first is Missioon, Created by Jérome Dreyfus and Laurent Gleizes, www.missioon.com It is the 1st ecosystem of immediate contact for event and entertainment professionals. The second, Wellcut founded by Hélène Fromen and Nicolas Silberman. It is a simple, intuitive video content sharing platform based on a well thought-out business model. Find the excerpt from my interview with Julien Carlier, founder of Comintech, simple, intuitive, based on a well thought-out business model.

Although they may seem to have nothing in common, these two companies are facilitators of social ties, in BtoB and BtoC, since the former facilitates collaboration between different partners or groups, and the latter promotes the understanding of a message, by broadcasting “video hooks” through social media.

As you will have understood, the technologies will help the organizers to engage participants. Companies are looking not only for content, but also for a relevant and coherent space. While platforms, applications and companies are more globally dedicated to content, creations are multiplying and new spaces are beginning to emerge that meet new customer expectations.

Comet Meetings :

And speaking of spaces, VR Consulting has the opportunity to collaborate with Comet Meetings, which since last summer has been offering a bright and unusual 1500 m2 universe in the heart of Paris, with 14 seminar rooms, to stimulate the productivity and well-being of participants.

Located at 8-10 rue Torricelli in the 17th arrondissement, this unique space will boost the creativity of participants in events and meetings.   Comet Meetings was born following a collaborative reflection about how to cater for these different type of meetings.

Victor Carreaux, its CEO, says: “Comet Meetings are seminar venues designed to address the serious problem of supply on the third party meeting venue market. No more gloomy and soulless hotel meeting rooms, no more seminar venues that are out of reach in terms of budget for the vast majority of teams. The concept is inspiring and pragmatic since the spaces are arranged according to 5 dimensions of meetings: decision-making, information, creation, problem solving and other receptions/presentations. Behind Comet is a real willingness to support the client in achieving his meeting objective and a good proof of the realization of a “Guest Centric” project since the Start-Up has just raised 8M Euros for its expansion in France and abroad (Comet Meetings).

For the triptych of the success of the event to be complete, it is necessary to understand it in its entirety and to look at UX. The experience of each stakeholder in any event must be taken into account when making decisions by analysing everyone’s expectations and creating emotion for each participant.

Meeting Design:

Thinking about space and content remains insufficient if the event is not conceived in its entirety and thought about in advance for a better impact and the consideration of all these stakeholders. Certified Event Design Certificate, VR Consulting offers an introspection into the heart of companies to make each event a unique experience and rethink the business model of companies through the Event Canvas method.

In conclusion, meeting places must reinvent themselves if they are to attract a clientele with varied demands who expect their events to provide an opportunity for collective work, experience and enrichment.

A real opportunity for growth is offered to these places by respecting some rules:

Develop its proposal by offering advice on formats, atmosphere and content support: the objective is to offer event organizers and participants a fluid customer experience, in line with their needs and the realities of our organizations.

Understand customer expectations: an offer built with its ecosystem is an offer that, if well studied, will meet the expectations of your interlocutors. Customer feedback is essential, yet the sites fail to analyze the available data and ask users about the experience before, during and after the event.

Create a strong DNA: the places that will succeed in breaking through the digital transition must communicate to loyal customers about their assets, their history, their teams and new prescribers. All this is part of the DNA of the place that must be constantly tested.

Provide facilitation services: Not all meeting organizers are professionals! Clients of event venues will be delighted to be offered support in the organisation of seminars and advice on the content of meetings. A network of partners and facilitators, animations will be appreciated to mark the minds of participants during a congress, a meeting or a festive event.

Helping the customer through innovation: Integrating technological innovations through win-win partnerships will only be beneficial if event venues provide intuitive tools that help to meet the meeting’s objectives.

Develop your communication: customer testimonials and feedback will be a source of inspiration for your customers and prospects. “Show and demonstrate that you are unique” by testing the customer experience of the future with a panel of users, by exchanging at specialized conferences, by proving that you are evolving as your contacts evolve.

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