Future meetings will combine sensory accessibility and inclusivity,
according to the latest research by Lime Venue Portfolio, the UK’s
largest collection of venues that aids event organisers.
This knowledge was gleaned from over six months of research, which included focus groups and data from over 60 sources.
The findings showed that meetings and events are bringing down
‘barriers to entry’ and creating more inclusive spaces for attendees who
are unfamiliar with attending events.
The research was undertaken in response to event professionals who
are increasingly wanting to understand what the future for meetings and
events will be like in three to five years, and is part of The Meeting
of the Future campaign, a cross industry and collaborative initiative
that includes focus groups, roundtable discussion at The Meetings Show,
and collaborations with Lime Venue Portfolio’s clients, customers, and
Meeting new needs
More emphasis is being put on sensory accessibility, which will not
only be contained at the entrances of event, but will move into
presentation rooms as well. ‘Accessibility’ will move towards becoming a
hygiene factor rather than a USP. Breakout areas and syndicate rooms
will feature ‘Quiet’ rooms for neurodiverse attendees and exercise rooms
for those looking to fit in workouts.
There will be WeWork-style workspaces for attendees looking to
recreate the office environment during an event, or for individuals
looking to connect with their day-to-day responsibilities. There will be
an increasing move by many organisers to recreate networking and
‘watercooler’ moments within the traditional meeting environment.
Onsite streaming and not just broadcasting to the ‘out-of-room’
audience will cater to those who may not like crowded places. Such
people will instead prefer to take in content from central screens which
are placed in less intimidating communal areas at the venue, where they
can watch in privacy.
Sessions in the main plenary will have stage sets that will be
sustainably produced and designed to engage audiences. Live translation
technology will draw live international attendees. Simultaneous sign
language and audio captioning will improve content accessibility.
“We’re once again happy to adopt our role as the self-appointed
cheerleaders for better meetings. But also, to act as the go to brand
for new thinking, challenging opinion, and inspiring interesting ideas
about how these meetings could look,” said Jo Austin, sales director,
Lime Venue Portfolio.
“The findings from the Meeting of the Future, while not being rocket
science, point towards a really responsible industry that is taking
subjects such as sustainability, inclusion, diversity and accessibility
seriously. If only half of the potential we’ve seen comes true, we’ll be
looking at some incredible events to come,” added Austin.
The Meeting of the Future campaign will continue following its launch
with more insights. A key characteristic of the initiative is that it
will progress based on the feedback received.