From meetings hanging in the air or in the dark to crowdsourcing agenda topics from the audience – the trend for engaging experiential interactive activities within business events is growing fast. Moreover, this growth pattern is set to continue and soon they will feature in most programs.
That is the key finding of new research carried out by MPI Outlook for the IMEX Group.
Looking back over the last three years, 87 per cent of the meeting professionals who responded had seen an increased demand from clients or colleagues to include more experiential activities into their programs, with 29 per cent noticing a significant increase.
Looking ahead, more than two thirds (69 per cent) expect to include experiential elements within meetings and conventions from now on, while a further 16 per cent will start adding them in a year or two. Five per cent expect to introduce them in three years or more. Only nine per cent have no plans to include them.
Respondents were also asked to define ‘experiential activities’ in meetings, conventions and events. Summarising the consensus of responses, the overall view and definition is that they are ‘activities that create an opportunity for attendees to use many senses and engage in an event while actively participating in a ‘hands-on’ way.’
Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group commented: “The phenomenal interest and positive responses to C2 International’s Learning Labs, the Live Zone and the many experiential elements of IMEX in Frankfurt this year reinforced our perception of the enthusiasm within the industry for experiential activities. Through our partnerships with C2 International and working with other groups, we’ll certainly be bringing an exciting range of new experiential ideas to IMEX America in October.
“This research quantifies and powerfully emphasises the significance of this trend in the wider industry.”