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News in the Meetings & Events market


A meeting is a meeting, just as a meeting table is well, a table where you have meetings at. Right? Well, not entirely, because it seems that nowadays we’re quite literally breaking through the ceiling and move away from those practical, but sometimes boring meeting rooms. What are the seven trends that make meetings, conferences and incentives so exciting in this day and age, and in the years to come?

 

1. The loft

Don’t be surprised if you find the marketing manager presenting his or her spread sheets, sitting back completely relaxed in a bean bag while sipping a smoothie. Hotels and meeting venues play a huge role in making meeting rooms more enjoyable, focusing on Feng Shui and other philosophies from the Far East. The long table and artificial light is replaced by natural furnishing, with high wooden tables, cozy seats, softly lit lounge areas and business deals being closed around the fire place. Just as you would have in a modern, elegant loft.

 

2. The great outdoors

Who ever said that meetings by definition should take place indoors anyway? Any venue that is up to speed with the increasing demand for ecological and sustainable facilities, offers its customers meetings or at least break outs in the great outdoors. And why not? A fresh breeze, a shot of vitamin D, a lovely biological lunch in the garden: a guarantee for sharpening the senses of your attendees instantly. The sky is literally the limit: why not take your guests to a mountain hut in the Alps? In Singapore, organize a morning session on a rooftop terrace, poolside of course. Just make sure you have your Mifi's in place (portable Wifi routers that make it possible to connect to the internet, thus creating a personal hotspot any place, anywhere).

 

3. Bleisure

Top hotels and tourism boards all over the world have known for quite a while now that their business guests will not always be just business guests. Most have a partner, a family, friends. So why make the strict distinction between business people and those visitors who want to spend a relaxing holiday? If you showcase what kind of leisure options you have to offer during, say, a conference, next summer they might come back with the whole family. Successful meeting planners know: it’s not just about an efficiently organized meeting or conference, it’s all about the fun and experiences a venue or destination has to offer after – or even during – business hours. Offer yoga sessions before breakfast, organize a city walk or a wine tasting session in the bar. Blending business with pleasure, or bleisure, is a trend not to be missed: because the line between work and play is increasingly blurred. We like to call it a win-win situation.

 

4. Unplug and be mindfull

There's nothing more annoying than going into a brainstorm or meeting while your mind is stressed about those emails you still have to answer and reports you have to hand in the next day. Being online all the time – or having the feeling that you’re missing out when your not (hello social media!) - is a killer for efficiency, because you lack focus and your creativity and energy will simply not be flowing the way they should be. That’s why more and more companies have entered the concept of mindfulness into the meeting room. Mindfulness is all about the ‘now’, the present moment. Focus and attention are key here. It will help participants see things more clearly and make better decisions. Unplug. Tomorrow is another day, the present is now.

 

5. Splurge!

As we all know, the MICE industry suffered a real blow during the crisis. Costs were cut back drastically, budgets were limited. Now, almost ten years later, a certain form of luxury is back. Perhaps not that decadent, over-the-top luxury from before the crisis, but companies are willing to pay for quality and content again. There’s nothing wrong with splurging every now and then – all being it in a somewhat more profound matter. It’s up to the meeting industry to facilitate that with state-of-the-art equipment, professional guidance, fun experiences and outstanding hospitality.

 

6. Sharing is caring

Hundreds of books have been written about the meeting industry, numerous lectures given. But at the end of the day, best practices from your peer-to-peer network have proven to be just as educational. Your colleagues in the field often experience the same challenges you face, or have brilliant tips about that one, unique venue or destination. Why not share that knowledge? At Meetingselect, we do it all the time: because we’re constantly looking for new meeting venues to enlarge our database and make new contacts.

So make connections! This can be done in various ways: through a Linkedin group, during a networking event, through blogs, vlogs, apps and newsletters. It’ll safe you a lot of time and money, and the energy you experience by learning from each other is priceless. The person sitting next to you at a conference might be just as inspiring as the one who is on stage.

 

7. Technology as a basic need

As much as we all have the need for a digital detox every now and then: a venue that has poor technical facilities will not be booked a second time, period. In the top 5 of biggest irritations during a meeting or conference is a slow internet connection, having to pay for WiFi, and technical equipment that does not deliver what it promised. Beamers that malfunction minutes before your presentation, incompatible software: we’ve all been there. Having that covered, as a meeting venue you will add serious value by taking care of technical gadgets like smart boards, social media walls, live streams, audience responsive systems and 3D presentation capabilities. 

Meetingselect, specialists in strategic meeting management and developers of an award-winning self-booking tool for meeting venues and conference hotels worldwide, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this week. The Dutch based company reflects on a number of highlights and looks forward to a bright future. This week, it was also announced that Meetingselect was nominated for the prestigious EY Emerging Entrepreneur Of The Year award.

 

Meetingselect brings together buyers, planners and providers of over 500,000 meeting rooms worldwide with a self-booking tool and state-of-the-art meeting management system, making meeting costs transparent and facilitating buyers and meeting planners to follow a clear and transparent meeting policy. The idea arose when CEO and founder Judith Huisman encountered such a meeting management technology during a business trip in the US. Together with her colleague Anouk Roohé, she decided to bring this this technology to the European market in 2007.

Anouk Roohé explains: "Booking of external meeting rooms was traditionally an inefficient and non-transparent process. While working in the hotel industry, we found out that planners would like to book meetings and contact the locations directly, but there was a need for more transparency, overview and convenience. They lost too much time with the search and comparing propositions. In addition, there was insufficient insight for the purchasers into their company’s spending. We wanted to introduce transparency and efficiency in the Meeting & Events industry. Thus, Meetingselect arose. "

 

EY Emerging Entrepreneur Of The Year

Meetingselect had a bit of a rough start, because not long after they started, the economic crisis broke out. Fortunately, the company emerged after that and has become a leading player in the international MICE and tech industry over the years. They received numerous nominations and industry awards, including four times Deloitte Technology Fast50, FD Gazelles, TheNextWomen and the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women Award. This week it was announced that Meetingselect is nominated for the prestigious EY Emerging Entrepreneur Of The Year award.

 

Proud of our team and our partners

Judith Huisman: "The awards are a wonderful recognition for our innovation in the meetings industry, our advanced look at doing business and our transparent way of working. However, we are most proud of our team of experienced meeting experts. We experienced a huge growth last year, which was only possible thanks to their efforts. We are also very grateful to all of our loyal customers - including even customers that believed in us from the very start, such as Danone, FrieslandCampina and CGI. It is also beautiful to see that many sales managers from hotel chains and meeting venues have become our ambassadors, they are fond of us and our way of working. This enables us to achieve our goals even faster: international expansion with offices abroad and the being the best partner for meeting & event planners with our innovative and easy-to-use booking tool and strategic meeting management expertise.

 

The first three months have passed since New Year´s Eve and by now most of our new year´s resolutions have vanished into thin air. Bringing a healthier lifestyle to the workplace, for example. But, keep it up! The ´healthy meeting´ trend is bound to continue this year. How can you that? These are our 10 tips on how to hold healthy meetings in 2017.

1. Brain food: fuel for the brain

It´s all in the name; brain food improves your concentration, alertness, and your memory. Helpful during long meetings or conferences of several days that make you long for extra energy. Which foods make up the best fuel for your brain? Think of green leafy vegetables, raw chocolate, nuts, and seeds. Fish like herring, mackerel, and trout are full of good fats and Omega-3, which slow down the deterioration of brain cells and stimulate the production of new cells and serotine. The latter giving your mood a positive boost!

2. Water, the perfect thirst-quencher

There is nothing wrong with a nice cup of cappuccino once in a while, but we tend to sip away buckets of coffee a day. And even though research has shown that coffee – preferably organic – has a positive effect on our functioning, a surplus of caffeine can never be good. That is why you should make sure that there is enough water on the conference table because water is the perfect thirst-quencher. Many hotels and conference centers offer posh bottles of mineral water, but tap water is a lot more eco-friendly and tastes just as good – especially in Holland.

3. Organic and sustainable lunches

Are you having a lunch meeting? Instead of a lavish buffet – usually resulting in a disproportional amount of leftovers- you can also opt for a plated lunch with various small and light dishes: tapas style. The shared dining phenomenon – where you share dishes – also pops up in 2017. Hold back with alcohol; fruit juices are a great alternative. Choose organic products and use plates and cutlery made of sustainable materials, like the beautiful disposables of Natural Table Ware

4. Less meat, more vegetables

Nowadays, many people choose to skip meat every once in a while or even choose a veggie lifestyle. And why not? The days that (part time) vegetarians at a business dinner were bored with the ever filled sweet peppers or grilled goat´s cheese are long gone. Even more so, in many top rated restaurants vegetables are actually at the center of things. You can do everything with vegetables; there are so many variations and ways of preparing them that you really won´t miss that piece of fish or meat. On top of that, green vegetables like broccoli and spinach keep your iron at a healthy level and are bursting with vitamins.

5. Healthy snacks are not boring

Surely you are familiar with it, you are in a meeting for hours and suddenly you are overwhelmed by a terrible need to yawn. You can hardly keep your eyes open. Beware: your blood sugar level has dropped to a minimum, your body is crying out for sugar. Instead of opening that can of coke or taking a grab from the celebrations box, you´re better off choosing a healthy food bar (there are many variations on the market), a handful of nuts, a piece of pure chocolate, or a banana. Bananas contain tryptophan, a substance that makes you feel better. Combine a bowl of cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and sweet pepper with a smooth dip like hummus.

6. Surprising fruits

At any conference venue on you´ll find a bowl of fruit somewhere, filled with bananas and apples. That´s nice, but also a bit boring. A good alternative is the pomegranate. Pomegranates are full of antioxidants that will make your stress level drop – at some meetings that can be just what you need. There are also many exotic fruits that don´t only taste great, they also look great, like the dragon fruit or the ramboetan (looks like a hairy lychee).

7. Move it!

During meetings we tend to sit still a lot, which can have a negative impact on our body. It´s important to frequently introduce short breaks to loosen up the body. It will help you concentrate better afterwards. A long day with meetings or brainstorm sessions? Go for a walk together, take a short yoga class, or take part in a meditation session. It will stimulate creativity and improve the group atmosphere. On top of that, it will help you take a new perspective on things.

8. Stand-up meeting: more effective and healthier

You have probably done it before: a stand-up meeting. And that is for a reason because meetings without chairs are not only more effective, they are also healthier. Research has pointed out that a stand-up meeting is as much as 34% faster. That is because it´s difficult for our brain to remain active while our body is being passive. When you´re sitting you will be more inclined to doze off or quickly check your mail. Also, a stand-up meeting is healthier because you use the muscles in your legs!

9. Not a marathon, but a walkathon

A marathon of 42 kilometers is not for everybody. But, an organised walkathon is a good alternative. Walking is good for the heart and the lungs, and it improves your memory. On top of that, it also has a positive effect on your mood.

10. Conscious = healthy

Pause the meeting for a social or sustainable team building activity. There are more social and sustainability initiatives near to you than you might expect. Check out your local area and ask around in your network.

Sorry, there is an error to get token from API. Meetingselect: Connecting meeting planners and travel bookers with inspiring conference hotels and unique meeting venues worldwide | Save up to 25% and best conditions | Awarded best website for online meeting booking and venue sourcing. More than 500.000 meeting & event venues and hotels for groups worldwide | Best rates and conditions | Specialist in meeting and hotel management and online venue finding | Book inspiring, creative, unique, green, sustainable or design meeting venues and hotels direct online Meetingselect: Connecting meeting planners and travel bookers with inspiring conference hotels and unique meeting venues worldwide | Save up to 25% and best conditions | Awarded best website for online meeting booking and venue sourcing. More than 500.000 meeting & event venues and hotels for groups worldwide | Best rates and conditions | Specialist in meeting and hotel management and online venue finding | Book inspiring, creative, unique, green, sustainable or design meeting venues and hotels direct online

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