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  • Writer's pictureMicaela Giacobbe

The death of the tabletop meetings

The last three years are going to be remembered for generations to come in every corner of our world, and with every big change, there are huge ripple effects.

The beginning of the pandemic triggered a massive shift in the global business landscape. Key sectors including tourism, hospitality and energy were decimated overnight, while sales in industries such as technology, pharmaceuticals and healthcare skyrocketed.

Each sector, industry, and function had to reinvent itself to survive, achieve growth and sustainability, forcing businesses across the world to adopt virtual meetings with many people working from home.

We all had to adapt by bringing new ways to our day-to-day lives.

Fast forward to today, technology is now more present and pivotal in our everyday life. Even though at times we have despised it, as we have been craving to meet our family, friends and colleagues, it has helped us navigate this shift.

Human-to-human interactions are now more important than ever before. The pandemic took away a basic need that everyone took for granted, demonstrating to us all that it is a vital component of our mental well-being and life.

The events industry is no exception to the effect of this shift, with new opportunities and challenges on its doorstep.

Business meetings, events and exhibitions cannot go back to doing what they have been doing before the pandemic. A five or fifteen-minute meeting is now put under increased scrutiny by business professionals who are asking the question as to whether it is even worth it.

Un-targeted events without a defined purpose, are going to be much harder to justify in terms of time and money spent. Throwing people in soul-less exhibition halls in the hope they'd meet randomly, is a risk that organizers cannot afford to take any longer if they are to survive in the long term.

It is now a proven and well-known fact that experiences build memories, memories build trust and trust leads to business.

It goes without saying that tabletop meetings with a clearly defined target list of new prospects and potential new business partners are always very welcome by all when it comes to justifying events and spending. Even more welcome when those business meetings are full of unforgettable experiences that help build memories together and much needed trust to do business for the future.

Having said that, more often than not, even those niche curated and targeted events that take place in wonderful and mesmerising destinations, are often dampened by a restricted programme in the back of a hotel ballroom forgetting the destination itself.

I believe that tabletop meetings are a thing of the past.

In a post-pandemic world, event organisers need to think creatively to bring the meeting to a destination in a creative and innovative way, where the destination is the experience and delegates leave with a deep knowledge of the country they have visited as well as building memories and trust with the people that matter to their business.

Exhibition organisers must bring a destination to a hall and recreate the beauties of a destination for delegates to appreciate, feel, taste and breathe it.

It has never been a more important time than right now!

Today's new normal appreciates human-to-human interaction and is ready to embrace experiences that help build trust for doing business, so let's think creatively to make events and exhibitions memorable and help business professionals do business for the future.

And this is why I have created, to embrace the revolution and capitalise on the opportunities to make the events industry an even better place.


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