According to the latest AMEX (American Express) Business Meetings research, meeting attendees have not yet fully embraced the concept of Social Media. The AMEX Meetings & Events report looked at how technology was impacting the meetings industry business and its uses to increase engagement and productivity during events.
The AMEX report, titled “GREAT EXPECTATIONS: The Evolving Landscape of Technology in Meetings”, reveals the similarities and gaps in attendee and planner expectations for virtual and hybrid meetings, social media and events apps.
The AMEX survey was conducted during the first half of 2014, with repondants representing a global coverage but with a North American dominance. Issa Jouaneh, Vice President and General Manager, American Express Meetings & Events noted, “What our research has found, however, is that there can be an ‘expectation gap’ between the technologies meeting planners believe should be incorporated into an event, and the solutions attendees expect to be part of their meeting experience. What they have in common is that as good as technology is, there is simply no substitute for in-person meetings.”
Meetings and Scheduling Apps
Applications that can deliver real-time information, where communication and scheduling ranked among the most important features within a meeting app for both planners and attendees. Another finding, that business connectivity was more important than engagement through games and contests was least important to both groups according to about half of all respondents. Both attendees and planners responded that access to event schedules and session descriptions as central, and that they often use meeting apps to schedule meetings with exhibitors and other attendees while on site.
Social Media Impact
Feedback on the use of social media tools to obtain information and share feedback in real time revealed that social media is more vital to meeting planners than to attendees.
Creating social media buzz has become a significant part of the overall marketing strategy of meetings and events, having a meetings hashtag is more important to planners than to attendees. Only one third of attendees feel social media was important to their business goals.
Virtual Meetings Vs Face-to-Face Meetings
All respondents in the AMEX report, agreed that in-person attendance continues to provide the best overall experience. Of those surveyed, 74 percent of attendees and 85 percent of planners believe that in-person meetings offer greater value because they enable more opportunities for social interaction. While virtual meetings continues to grow as an option, the report suggests that technology providers still need to work on the quality of the overall experience. About half of all respondents comment on the difficulty to participate virtually and the high level of “distraction” possible during such events. However, the report suggests that attendees are looking for more opportunities to attend virtual meetings and over half agreed they would attend more meetings if a virtual option was available.
AMEX Business Meetings and Events