Conference Design

Germany Presents Future Meeting Space Research Results

The GCB German Convention Bureau presented the results of the second phase of its “Future Meeting Space” research project at the 2019 PCMA Convening Leaders conference in Pittsburgh to an international audience. The research was funded by the Professional Convention Management Association and provides insights into attendee types and success factors as well as recommendations for action.

Based on the data from an online survey that was conducted between September 2017 and June 2018, where the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO asked the question “How to create successful events?”, six attendee types and six success factors were recognised. Attendees represent different degrees of tech-savviness, they differ in their communication behaviour, they are either more or less career-focused and can be found in different levels of their organization. Depending on the attendee type, age and gender also come into play. Success factors include satisfaction as the “meta” factor, largely influenced by the two other factors, knowledge transfer and disruption: attendees are happy with events if they learned something new that they can apply in their everyday work and if events surprised them or triggered changes. Networking, interaction and use of digital technologies are further success factors.

Recommendations for action  include, for example, dedicated support for more introvert or less tech-savvy attendees as well as tips for creating events that strike a balance between time spent on organization and what is gained from them. The research partners also recommended the use of new and innovative formats and technologies as well as visualisation aids and interactive formats to foster knowledge transfer. One interesting result of the study is the importance of disruptive elements: events that change CVs and organizations create lasting memories.

For more information and to download the full report, visit

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