Why is innovation important in meetings today?
Too many meeting rooms are just plain and boring. We don’t inspire people the way we want to inspire them and that’s what I’m talking about: what can we do to inspire people the way we want to?
I think today there is a huge trend toward making things really clear and simple; less is more. I think sometimes it becomes too less, for instance, with the layout of a room. I believe that ‘yes’ is more.
What’s wrong with the way meetings our normally held?
Research tells us that we can only cope with one-way communication for 15-20 minutes and then we need to be engaged somehow. In 90% of meetings one-way communication can last from 5-6 hours each day. It simply doesn’t work, which gives you a really bad return on meeting investment.
What’s your solution to some of these problems?
If you look at the internet all the successes are interactive. We should apply that way of thinking into meetings. Outside the meetings industry there is a lot of knowledge that we can use but we don’t use enough of it, which is really strange.
However, when people experience too much change, it causes anxiety, but then again too little change creates boredom. This is strange because if you look at general society a lot of people would say things are changing too fast. However, if you look at the meetings industry things are changing very slowly, in my opinion too slowly.
There is an emerging trend in the events industry towards technology, what effect might this have on the way meetings are held?
Technology can be great but only if it facilitates knowledge sharing, creativity and networking. The bad thing about technology is that it can create a lot of distractions and isolate people. More and more networking is supposed to be virtual but it can take away the real human interaction.
I think these trends, to some extent, are going in opposite directions but I’d like to see technology and human interaction merge, this could be exciting.