Research

Turning the Tables: What Kind of Attendee Are You?

See how your own preferences as an attendee stack up to your colleagues' in real time.

The first phase of Future Meeting Space research yielded a portfolio of six meeting formats that take the projected needs
of tomorrow’s attendees into account on a variety of measures.

You’re used to asking your attendees to provide feedback about their experiences at your events. Now it’s your turn to play the role of attendee. A new survey from the German Convention Bureau (GCB) and the Future Meeting Space Alliance, funded by the PCMA Education Foundation, is intended to reveal attendance drivers, learning styles, and satisfaction levels to help foster meeting innovations. And you can help by taking part.  

How plugged-in did you feel at the last event you attended? Did you walk away feeling inspired and smarter — or were you there because someone told you to be or to take a break from the office grind? Were you engaged while on site and did you walk away satisfied with new knowledge and new people added to your network? How do you like to learn? By hearing and seeing, talking it over with colleagues, via hands-on experiences, or through a combination of these approaches?

The new German Convention Bureau (GCB) and partner survey seeks to answer these questions and more, in an effort to get a snapshot of where attendee meeting experiences are right now, and to point to ways in which attendee experiences can be improved in the future. The survey is now open and will close at the end of February 2018.

The survey is part of Phase II of the Future Meeting Space (FMS) research initiative — a joint effort between the GCB, European Association of Event Centres (EVVC), and the Fraunhofer Institute of Industrial Engineering (IAO). The initiative is meant to give planners, delegates, and service providers a leg up on best practices for meetings, conferences, and events incorporating design, technology, format, and knowledge-sharing approaches.

Phase I, which began in late 2015, focused on ideas for innovative design and formats and delivered an Innovation Catalog, Meeting Scenarios, and a Future Meeting Room model. (Read a Convene story about the results of Phase I.)

Phase II, which began in March of this year and which is being funded by the PCMA Education Foundation, is focused on the attendee experience.

Realtime Feedback
As a thank-you for participating in the new survey, respondents who complete the survey can click on a feedback button and immediately see how they stack up against other meeting attendees (or as a planner see how responses are tracking overall). Did you go in with similar goals and were you more or less satisfied than others afterward? How does your learning style compare to what most people like? Did you get more (or less) engaged or are you more (or less) active at a meeting or conference on average? How does the number of days you spend annually at conferences compare to others in the industry? And so on.

Full results from the survey will be available by the end of summer 2018. Get started here.

Michelle Russell

Michelle Russell is editor in chief of Convene.