“Future Meeting Space” explores customer needs and expectations on new event formats

Call to take part in Kano survey on events of the future

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Business events are currently undergoing considerable change, with virtual formats rapidly growing in importance due to the Covid-19 pandemic and new digital tools being tested along the entire customer journey. In its current third research phase, the “Future Meeting Space” (FMS) innovation network is looking to gain more insights into the needs and wants of attendees, meeting planners and service providers with regards to future events. To that end, FMS has launched a survey based on the Kano model, which will be carried out by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO.

The first part of the survey is aimed at event attendees and covers, among others, questions related to the design of event spaces, multisite and hybrid formats or the use of different digital tools as part of the customer journey. The second part is specifically designed for planners and organisers as well as venue and service providers with questions that are tailored to their perspective, including about must-haves for future events or things they could do without. Regarding event organisers, questions revolve around online comparison platforms, social seating, the anonymous KPI comparison with other events or the option to make their venue available as a digital twin. Service providers are questioned about real-time analyses of attendee behaviour or whether they would market their venue as a co-working space in-between events in order to increase utilisation.

“A dedicated focus on the needs of every stakeholder involved and their respective customer journey will be key for successful events of the future, no matter if analogue, hybrid or digital,” says GCB German Convention Bureau Managing Director Matthias Schultze, explaining the background of the study. “The results of this study, which has a broad and worldwide scope, will create an evidence-based foundation for developing tailor-made event formats according to the wishes and expectations of the surveyed attendees, planners and service providers.” Anyone interested in taking part can do so here. The survey is intended for attendees, organisers and planners as well as service and infrastructure providers in the event space, such as meetings and conferences, and is open until 30 June 2020.

Benefits of the Kano model

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The Kano model was developed by the Japanese professor Noriako Kano in the 1980ies. It explores customer satisfaction on the basis of a bipolar survey, meaning that both the positive and negative form of each question is tested, i.e., “What would you say if there were digital twins of event venues?” vs. “What would you say if there were no digital twins of event venues?” The method aims at finding out how various product and service features impact on customer satisfaction to develop relevant offers. “The Kano model is also well suited to identify the level of acceptance or even the enthusiasm customers have with regard to novel future features or services before they are being widely used. To my knowledge, the Kano model has never been used in the meetings industry so far and we are very excited to see the results of our survey,” explains Dr. Stefan Rief, Head of Organisational Development and Work Design Research Unit at Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO.