The Ubercool Approach to Planning Events

In a meetings world that is changing faster than the table set-ups from business lunch to gala dinner, event professionals have to be able to spot trends and leverage them quickly to meet the needs of evolving audiences. That is why serial entrepreneur, author and futurist Michael Tschong kicked off the first Smart Meetings Experience of 2020 at Hyatt Regency Renaissance at SFO.

The author of Ubertrends: How Trends and Innovation are Changing Our Future shared three trends that could upend the worlds of planners and suppliers gathered in the ballroom.

Time Compression is Real

We are all busier than ever. The demand for immediate gratification that the Polaroid camera started in the 1940s is more intense than ever. That means you have to make communication with attendees and management as simple as possible. Use fewer words and make the call to action easy to understand. You have seen it with RFPs. We all want responses right away, but that requires being extremely clear about what you really need.

Start Incrementally

Are there more efficient ways to do what has always taken tremendous effort? Improvements in efficiencies are the most popular type of innovation and could be where much of the robotic and digital advances go in the hospitality sector.

More2020 Offers New Thinking on Technology For These 6 Meeting Types

Think Orthogonally

Yep, just like the classic Apple ads, you have to think different to stand out. Instead of implementing the same agenda for the annual meeting, consider creating an innovation team of 5-12 people and set ambitious goals. Then think about what innovations from outside the industry—augmented reality, for example, or entertrainment (training that doesn’t put people to sleep)—could put your gathering ahead of the coming trend.

Ubertrends are changing how people act in the world. To survive and thrive, meetings professionals must be prepared to respond to the waves of change rippling through society.

Work Collaboratively

One classic trend that won’t change in the foreseeable future is the importance of meeting face to face to build relationships. That is why the day was spent sharing ideas for new venues and team building. An off-site to the brand-new Grand Hyatt at SFO gave everyone a glimpse of the latest in runway-adjacent luxury.

New to the experience was peer-to-peer sharing that took deep dives into everything from technology and contract negotiations to international travel challenges.

The gathering was just the first of a year-long series of brilliant business gatherings Smart Meetings will host in 2020. The innovation continues at The LINE is Los Angeles on Feb. 27.