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‘Things have changed permanently,’ says ICE founder

In-house Corporate Events (ICE) has launched ongoing research and focus group initiatives to assess the future of the meetings industry.

The ICE board, along with members of the corporate event community will consider what the future of the meetings and events market could look like post-COVID-19.

“One of the main findings from the groups is that things have changed; permanently,” ICE founder, Anita Howard said.

Anita Howard

“This period of shut down has underlined the importance of meeting programmes and the need for businesses to communicate. The question is, have we got the answer, both post COVID-19 and for when the next global crisis hits us.”

The community of in-house organisers have met over the last few weeks, as well as worked with its partner network, to understand how the industry could handle future outbreaks and go forward in a post coronavirus world.

The insight is covering a series of subjects, including:

  • The role of technology in creating immersive experiences
  • How corporate event professionals can become more confident in working with the event tech sector
  • How venues and other areas of the support network can contribute to more hybrid meetings
  • The role of travel, CSR and sustainability in a post-COVID-19 world
  • The long-lasting effects on humanity, people and delegates; post shut down

“We’re looking at solutions that go way beyond traditional webinars and that engage everyone from mass audiences to the individual shut away in a home office, and everything in between,” added Howard.

“How is the experience created in a way that captures every delegate, allows them to engage with the content, and take away the messages and influence that was intended by the organiser.”

The first focus group took place last week with DRPG talking about how webinars have evolved to create immersive experiences.

However, there still remains mass scepticism from the corporate sector on event technology. “Our members are incredibly cautious about some of the technology being – often – oversold to them,” Howard added.

“This is a massive opportunity for the event tech sector to support them with pragmatic, tested and secure solutions that allow their meetings to happen, without creating bigger issues for the organiser.”

ICE will continue to share findings from these insight sessions in the coming months.