Modern conferences may succeed in cutting costs, but businesses are missing out on returns for their investment, The Idea Factory has claimed.
As economic instability continues to threaten some MICE businesses, cost cutting has become a common practice as businesses look to the bottom line.
But budgets have become more of an obsession among some meeting planners, according to The Idea Factory director, Ed Bernacki, who says cost cutting is causing them to lose sight of the benefits and returns of conferencing.
"Meeting planners often assume it’s about everything working on time, as planned and as budgeted, which is only one part of the ratio," he said. "The other element is the return, which is often overlooked."
The result, Bernacki said, was less attention to conference design, which caused under-productive attendees and wasted dollars.
Noting that around two-thirds of conference attendees admitted to taking notes and never looking at them again, Bernacki said poor conference design was the culprit.
"If people are not looking at their notes, it is highly unlikely they are acting on their ideas," he told The Nibbler. ""The industry seems to assume that the content side of conferences is best left to the clients, but clients don’t complain about a poorly conceived program. There is far too little expertise in this area."
Bernacki stressed that better use of technology and more face-to-face interaction would deliver more value to conferences. Delegates would also be able to see more gains in the boardroom from interactive workshops and creative brainstorming sessions, Bernacki added.
“Most people assume conferences are about learning, networking and motivation, [but] we need to expand our conference design to include collaboration," he said.
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