Future Meeting Space Be part and explore the Future Role and Purpose of Business Events

Innovation network “Future Meeting Space”

The innovation network “Future Meeting Space” (FMS) was created in 2015 by the German Convention Bureau (GCB) and the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC) in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO. It looks into trends, innovations, and societal developments and their possible influence on the meetings industry. In this context, research focuses on the design of future meetings and events, the evolving needs of participants and the resulting requirements that anybody involved in the process of planning and creating meetings and events needs to consider.

After looking at the “How to” aspect of future meetings and events and determing the "Who" aspect including evaluating different participant needs in two previous project phases, research phase three will now complete the picture and explore the “Why” of meetings and events.

Aim and research objective of Future Meeting Space Phase III

This research stage will focus on the following research questions

  • What is the future role and purpose of meetings and events in organisations’ communications mix?
  • What are the different purposes and objectives of business events?
  • Based on the above, what are the requirements and expectations of target groups and stakeholders?
  • What is a successful event and what means are there to measure success?
  • What are the required competencies and skills needs by organisations and employees?

Expected deliverables

  • Establishing the value of meetings and events
  • Identification of possible KPIs
  • Developing competency profiles for event agencies and suppliers to the events industry and outlining personal and professional skills of employees (both on the event planning and supplier side)
  • Identifying requirements for the different providers (event venues, intermediaries)
  • Recommended actions for destinations, venues and providers of meeting room infrastructure and technical facilities
  • Recommended actions for communications and marketing departments within corporations and associations

Further outcomes

Innovation catalogue reloaded

As part of the research process the innovation catalogue will be updated to identify international developments, trends and innovations in the field of digitisation (e.g. Big/Smart Data, Social Profiling, 5G, AI, Cyber Security) in regards to meetings and events.

Your benefits as a research partner

  • Access reports prior to publication and get exclusive study results
  • Network with research partners and exchange know-how
  • Benefit from the research expertise of the Fraunhofer IAO, gained through numerous research and development projects, as well as from the industry expertise of the German Convention Bureau (GCB) and the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC)
  • Position your organisation as a future-orientated industry player by participating in a multidisciplinary innovation alliance
  • Integrate the project into your company’s communication activities to target staff members, executives, boards, trade union representatives and the public at large
  • Exposure in appropriate international media and through national and international presentations
  • Future-proof your organisation through implementing the research findings

Outcomes in detail:

  • Research meetings combined with best-practise examples and exchange within the meetings and events industry as well as across disciplines in order to illustrate innovative technologies and formats
  • Interim report(s), e.g. PowerPoint presentations
  • Complete innovation catalogue with additional details and further information
  • Extended final report

Who can participate?

This study targets all stakeholders that are involved in planning and implementing business events and

  • want to explore the "why" of meetings and events
  • have a strong interest in innovating and developing their organisation
  • want to secure their position in the market
  • want to take advantage of research findings to develop their products, services and organisations

The reserach project is open to communication and Marketing Departments of corporations and assocations as well as destinations, venues and suppliers of meeting services.

Be part of a unique research project!

Participation, duration and cost

The third FMS research phase will run over 18 months from 1 July 2019 to 31 December 2020.

The cost for each partner taking part in the third Research Phase is €35,000 (net, excluding travel expenses).

This amount can be split into two payments: €12,000 in 2019 and €23,000 in 2020.

Besides monetary commitment we invite every research partner to:

  • Participate in research meetings during the project phase
  • Contribute actively to research meetings with their expertise
  • Identify potential empirical data survey respondents

Project structure and process

  • Kick-off and regular research meetings to refine research questions
  • Interim Reports and final publications
  • Closing events (internal research group and public result presentation)
Project Structure

Findings from Phase I and II:

Since its start the research network hast published the following findings:

  • Innovation Catalogue: The Innovation Catalogue focuses on current trends and innovations and their relevance for the meetings industry. Based on current research, it also envisages future developments and visionary concepts.
  • Future Meeting Scenarios: : In the future, customers will request meetings in a wide range of formats and providers will have to respond. This research segment has identified six future meeting scenarios.
  • Description of a Future Meeting Room: The “Future Meeting Room” combines different scenarios and covers future participant requirements and demands.
  • Description of six different delegate types
  • Identification of crucial success factors of meetings
  • Recommendations for action: Throughout the whole research process, recommendations for action are being developed, both for meeting planners and meeting industry suppliers.

Research Partners Phase I:

Research Partners Phase II:

with support of the Education Foundation of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA).

Sounds interesting?

Please get in touch if you are interested in the Future Meeting Space innovation alliance and its research brief. We’d be very happy to meet up in person to discuss further how you can benefit as a research partner.


GCB German Convention Bureau e. V. Kaiserstraße 53 60329 Frankfurt/Main, Germany


Sarah Skavron, skavron@gcb.de, Tel: +49 69 24293020

Birgit Pacher, pacher@gcb.de, Tel: +49 69 24293018

“Education is key to success for our industry and this research projects tackles an issue that will shape our industry today and for the future." (Meredith Rollins, Executive Director of the PCMA Education Foundation)

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