Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis First, think of the word ‘drench’. Next, consider the power of an event that immerses guests into a world of experience tailor-made to fit the purpose of the gathering.

This year’s event trends can be defined by the word ‘drench’. This is according to a conference trends report outlined by Meetings Imagined. It seems that the time of immersive experience is upon us. So it’s up to professionals in the M.I.C.E industry to create functions that delegate experience rather than attend, participate rather than observe, cherish rather than forget.

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The power of technology to immerse guests in the event experience

Participants will interact with speakers and event organisers in a more useful manner than ever before. Through event-related apps and social media platforms, guests can have a hand in what topics are discussed. They might offer their input before the event, provide feedback after the event, and engage in dialogue throughout the conference. From weeks before to weeks after the event, the guest should anticipate the excitement of the experience and linger over its memories well after the function is over.

Simultaneously, the power of escaping technology to immerse guests in the event experience

While technology is tremendously powerful to coordinate, plan and structure events, dialogue and post-conference feedback, the importance of real interaction should not be underestimated. People want to connect face to face. Numerous analyses suggest that the more we connect online, the less we connect offline. So a large portion of your actual event space should involve offline activities – shake things up and have sessions over cooking lessons, or on a yacht, or anywhere where attendees’ attention is pulled from their mobile devices to the event itself. It’s only through physical experiences that take all the senses into account that guests can become completely immersed.

Finding relevant sponsorship

Traditional forms have become ineffective. This year’s conference trends highlight the importance of consultants and fundraisers finding sponsors that share the brand values and core components of the conference and its attendees.

Spaces and places that push boundaries and surpass expectations

One of the leading players in this year’s conference trends game is the demand for extraordinary locations. Flexible venues that can transform from auditorium to cocktail party in minutes are useful but to escape the mundane why not house a conference in entirely unexpected venues. It could be a monastery, ancient college, art gallery, rooftop venue, exclusive restaurant, magical courtyard, aristocratic ballroom, rugged beach, or tiny fishing village abroad. You might create a conference that offers delegates a chance to experience Italy between seminars.

Engaging all five senses with this year’s top trend

Featuring engaging speakers remains important on the conference trends report but experiences that inspire all five senses comes out tops. The International Association of Conference Centres released a report of the top 10 conference food trends for this year which provides some interesting insights for those looking to not only satisfy conference delegates senses but also delight them.

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Making the most of the global foodie movement

When considering how to engage participants’ senses, food offers a wealth of experiences. IACC CEO, Mark Cooper, said that when it comes to conferences, “food has become so much more than just fuel”. Delegates want to know where their food has been sourced (hint: local is key), they want food that allows for tasting between mingling with other delegates, they want to experience their meals in beautiful spaces, they want more nourishing less processed food and, most excitingly, the report found that many want to engage in the process of making the food.

According to the IACC report, “culinary teambuilding is red hot today”. Cooking alongside colleagues is cited as a fine way to bond, break down boundaries and create something together in a playful and productive manner. Imagine coordinating a cooking lesson for a group of delegates in an old food barn in Italy. Between the expressions of their Italian maestro and the flavours of the countryside, it’s unlikely to be an experience any of the delegates will be quick to forget.

For magical conferences and event venue  and opportunities for your clients to experience Italy in ways that are tailor-made to suit their needs, contact Charme & Adventure, specialists in immersive tours of Italy.

by Luca on Jul 17, 2015