“Future Meeting Space” innovations catalogue

Future Meeting Space innovations catalogue
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Research group publishes highlights from innovations catalogue for the events industry

Technological and social change is transforming the way that events are run. As part of the “Future Meeting Space” joint research project, Fraunhofer IAO has studied the latest innovations to which event planners, organizers and venue providers are having to adapt. A catalogue containing the highlights of around 120 innovations has now been published.

For many years Germany has been a top location for conferences and meetings. To safeguard this success for the long term, the German Convention Bureau GCB and the European Association of Event Centers EVVC teamed up in January 2015 with the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO to form the “Future Meeting Space” innovation network. This network analyzes and systematizes current developments in the events industry and uses the results to determine the technical, organizational and spatial requirements for successful events. The network has now put together a catalogue with 120 innovations that will alter the way events are run in the coming years. The team has just published highlights from this catalogue.

“We're using the innovations catalogue to demonstrate how current developments will impact on the format of events in the future,” explains Marie Luise Blau, the project manager at Fraunhofer IAO. In order to do this, researchers have undertaken international research to identify and compile developments and innovations. These can be grouped together into five areas of activity: society, methodology and principles of teaching, technology, infrastructure, and mobility.

New formats: more user participation, augmented reality

According to the innovations catalogue, a number of trends stand out: event participants are paying more attention to security, in both real and virtual environments. Generation Y is pioneering new social values, with the result that sharing concepts and mass customization are gaining in importance. At the same time, the number of elderly people in Germany is rising – and intergenerational exchange is becoming increasingly important in order to retain existing knowledge. When developing new formats for events, organizers have to take into account new scientific findings as to how knowledge is successfully imparted; they also need to structure the individual elements to fit the specific users and topics. Similarly, numerous technological innovations will have an effect on events in the coming years: we have the opportunity to create virtual spaces and experience them as augmented reality. Holography, digital interpreters, and large-format intuitive collaboration tools will make communication and collaboration a matter of course, even over long distances.

People are also making increasing use of alternative mobility concepts and modes of transport – such as car-sharing, organized ride sharing, drones and e-mobility even in public transportation. Automated driving will enable full use of traveling time, the journey to an event will no longer involve any loss of time, and even outlying locations will become more and more attractive. In addition, in the future the infrastructure of events will be greatly influenced by sustainable materials and approaches, the rollout of global Internet access, innovative payment systems and entry controls.

The highlights of the “Future Meeting Space” innovations catalogue are now available for download in PDF format.

The research group currently consists of:
The German Convention Bureau GCB – consortium leader
The European Association of Event Centers EVVC – consortium leader
Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO – project member
Research partners:
Drees & Sommer AG
KFP Five Star Conference Service GmbH
SevenCenters of Germany
Tourismus NRW e.V.
visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office

Further information