Table Rock Group

Meeting Professionals International (MPI) recently sponsored a three-hour summit to discuss what the “new normal” in the live events industry will look like and how to plan for recovery post-COVID19.  The webinar featured speaker Mike Walsh (CEO & Futurist, Tomorrow) as well as a panel of industry professionals.

Mike Walsh (CEO & Futurist, Tomorrow)

After studying some of the largest companies in the world and how they are recovering, Mike Walsh created three overlying rules for the new world we are living in now.

Rule #1 – We are all digital disrupters now

The future of meetings in the post-pandemic world will be based on automation.   We need to watch, observe, react, and learn from the algorithms and data we see.  We need to incorporate new ways of experiencing reality and transforming our physical space using XR – virtual, augmented, and mixed reality.   But we need to be mindful of how we use this technology to influence behavior.   His most powerful statement on rule #1 was “if you are not a digital business, you are no longer in business.”

Rule #2 – Work will never be the same again

We need to dispel the myth about “remote work.”  It’s all work, no matter where the work is done.  Implementing the technology to enable workers to do their job from home was easy.  It will be harder to implement this as a new mindset, a new culture.

Rule #3 – Meeting planner/producer jobs will not disappear, it will simply change

We need to learn from the insights we have gained from the unprecedented time and learn to live with the uncertainty.  A new skill set and ajob that we will see grow is algorithmic leaders.  These leaders will combine the talents of understanding of humans with data-driven decision making.

It’s our time in the meeting industry to be pioneers!

Industry Panel

The industry panel was comprised of five experts from corporations, associations, and hotels.   All panelists agreed that the most challenging part of getting back to live meetings is the consideration of the venue city and state mandates in addition to status of the company.  All participants in the process – from the venue to the host to the attendees to all vendors – will need to be mindful of Duty of Care.  No one sector can own this duty without willing participation from all that are involved.

Meeting design and strategic content design will continue to be important as we incorporate the digital world.  This is the time to disrupt how things can be done. Should we do live meetings the same way even when we can?

The overall outlook of the panelists was optimistic and the all agreed live meetings are coming back, but hybrids are here to stay.

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