Presentation: Convention 2020

Partly to improve meeting and venue design and success and partly to avoid being caught flat-footed in the midst of future crises like the global downturn of the past 12 to 18 months, two major meetings organizations and a consulting firm have announced a research project called Convention 2020, which will consider the future of live events, venues, and meeting destinations.

The International Congress and Convention Association, IMEX Group, and Fast Future Research are the three founding sponsors of the study. Discussions are under way with a number of other potential sponsors.

The ultimate aim of the study is to develop rich insights into how the industry’s future may play out in order to make better decisions today. This means exploring different scenarios for how live meetings might evolve, considering a range of models of what events could look like and examining the strategic implications for venues and destinations.

The study is divided into two key phases of activity – taking place between February and October 2010 – with the ultimate aim being to develop rich insights into how the industry’s future may play out in order to make better decisions today.

The study is also designed to ensure that the industry responds strategically to future shocks. “The economic downturn has highlighted the importance of thinking ahead and preparing for an uncertain future,” notes Bloom of IMEX. “We all believe in the importance of live meetings, but belief is not a strategy. We need to challenge our assumptions, develop real insight into what the future may hold, and rethink our event designs and business models to help all members of the meetings industry prepare for the decade ahead and ensure they stay competitive.”

A number of Web-based mechanisms are being used to boost participation in the study, while workshops and seminars will be held around the world to provide input. “We will make full use of both traditional futures methods such as trend-scanning, scenario-planning, and expert interviews, along with new tools such as social media dialogue and ‘crowdsourcing’ to generate ideas and stimulate new thinking,” Talwar says.

For more information, click here or send an e-mail to You also can take the survey here.

Click here to download the project overview