The Power of 10

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What does the next decade hold for the global meetings industry?

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of its IMEX in Frankfurt trade show in 2012, the IMEX Group commissioned Fast Future Research to undertake a study exploring the future of the global meetings industry over the next decade. At the same time, the study looks at some of the key developments that have shaped the industry over the past 10 years and analyses their continuing impact or decline.

The aim of these findings is to help all sectors of the meetings and events industry to shape their futures and plan with confidence against a backdrop of global economic uncertainty and the ‘new normal' of a fast-changing business environment.

According to the authors of this study, there has never been a more important time for the global meetings industry to take a step back and explore the drivers of change, the opportunities and the challenges that will shape the decade ahead. At the same time, they believe it is important to recognise that valuable lessons can be learned from the past and from the rapid development of the sector over the past 10 years because a ‘perfect storm' of mega trends is now combining to challenge every assumption and belief we have about how to succeed in global business and this report shows that the global meetings industry must develop an effective response in order to grow and thrive.

The combination of powerful economic, political, social, technological and environmental forces is also creating a complex and uncertain environment in literally every industry sector.

Against this backdrop, business meetings and events are increasingly seen as a powerful tool to facilitate knowledge sharing, motivate staff, accelerate internal change, create new networks and drive business growth. But can they really deliver on all those fronts?

The research and report covers 4 key areas:

  1. The Delegate Experience and Event Design: A detailed examination of the priorities, needs and expectations of tomorrow's delegates and event owners along with an exploration of the resulting implications for the design and economics of events.
  2. The Learning and Knowledge Transfer Imperative: The report also looks at the growing focus on learning and knowledge transfer together with the future impact of information technology, the internet and social media.
  3. Sector Analysis and The Future of The Value Chain: The report's findings reveal the emerging challenges and opportunities for each stage of the ‘industry value chain' - focusing specifically on venues, hotels, convention bureaus, agencies, educators, consultants, transport providers and the associations that serve the sector.
  4. 10 Grand Challenges: The 10 specific and tangible issues that the global meetings and events industry must address if it is to realise its full potential over the next 10 years:
  • Evolving a distinctive industry persona
  • Establishing universal economic impact models
  • Proving relevance and value
  • Thinking and acting strategically
  • Nurturing agility and flexibility
  • Personalising and deepening the learning experience
  • Experimenting with business models and revenue streams
  • Adopting value chain thinking
  • Acquiring, retaining and developing talent and embracing diversity
  • Developing tomorrow's leaders and managers

The IMEX Power of 10 Study involved the largest ever global consultation on the future of the industry - drawing on interviews with over 100 leaders, respected practitioners, innovators, change agents and future thinkers from across the industry and related sectors. These insights were combined with extensive analysis of the findings from desk research, a student essay competition and the results of a global survey.

The survey had 765 respondents from 68 countries on six continents and represents the full range of business sectors served by business events and a wide cross section of the meetings industry itself.

This study is sponsored by the IMEX Group, Fast Future Research, the German Convention Bureau (GCB), Messe Frankfurt, CPO Hanser and the Frankfurt Tourist Office and supported by many of the major trade industry associations - Association Forum of Chicagoland, DMAI, ECM, IAEE, ICCA, IAPCO, MPI, PCMA and Veranstaltunsplaner.

The Power of 10

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