Rethinking The Event Experience


Our conferences and events need to create a more powerful attendee-centric experience.

The passive conference attendee experience of the past twenty years is not enough. Attendees no longer want to sit for hours and just listen to experts speak. They want to be involved.

Attendees are demanding and expecting something different today. Or they will stop registering and attending.

New Research Demands For New Event Roles

According to the 2012 IMEX Power of 10 Study conducted by Fast Future Research, we need to rethink the event experience.

We need to create a more powerful attendee-centered education experience. That experience must take into genuine account the latest research and thinking about adult learning.

To create that new experience, there needs to be a greater emphasis on new roles. Ten years from now, the most important roles for conferences and events will be:

  • Event Designer
  • Learning Strategist
  • Digital Architect

Conference attendees are no longer satisfied with an average event experience. They want something of value for their time and money. They expect the quality of the experience to improve. Their expectations for the event ROI continues to rise. They want a highly improved learning experience.

Today and tomorrow’s conference attendees are demanding more. They want something better than what they got last year. They expect the conference to be different.

Key Priorities Of Survey Respondents

765 people from 68 countries on six continents representing the full range of business sectors served by the events and meetings industry responded. Researchers conducted an additional 100 interviews with meetings industry leaders.

Here are the top ten key priorities of survey respondents regarding improving the event experience.

  • 76% expect better attendee ROI
  • 61% Cost reduction of the event
  • 59% Personalization of the experience and learning opportunities
  • 59% Build attendee insight for learning
  • 55% Deepen the attendee dialogue for learning
  • 54% Quality and novelty of event experience
  • 52% Customized and tailored professional presentations
  • 51% Interactive learning
  • 48% Pre- and post-engagement
  • 48% 15-20 minute TED style talks

What will be the impact of the increased attendee emphasis on improving the learning experience for conferences and events? How can the meetings industry which has focused on knowledge- and information transfer transition to a more active and engaging educational experience at conferences and events?

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1 comment
  1. Ian Adams says:

    No surprise with those first two points. Increase in ROI is always number one followed by cost reduction. Nice to see it validated with some great data.

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