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Reinventing Meetings: How Planners Can Create Impactful Events in 2023

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As meeting planners look forward to 2023, there’s no better time to reinvent how events are planned and executed.

By focusing on advancements in technology, planning with a purpose, leveraging the advantages of chosen venues, and creating an environment for participants to get to know one another in an unstructured manner, planners can create meaningful and impactful meetings that leave attendees with lasting impressions.

Here are a few quick, actionable tips to help planners get started as they begin creating events for 2023.

Take Advantage of Technology

As technology continues to evolve and grow, so should the way planners utilize it in event planning and execution.

By taking advantage of virtual meeting platforms, live streaming capabilities, and digital engagement options, planners can make their events more accessible to a larger audience. Data from the 2022 Encore Venue Pulse Report shows the number of in-person events increasing though roughly 20% of 2023 events are still expected to have a hybrid element.

Advanced audio-visual systems, virtual reality experiences, and sophisticated projection screens can create immersive learning environments that help attendees better absorb content.

Additionally, interactive polls and surveys allow planners to measure engagement during the event – giving them valuable feedback for future events.  In fact, according to the Pulse Report 2022, many planners believe enhanced engagement, personalization and better networking will be the future of events in 2023 and beyond.

Plan With a Purpose

All events must have clearly defined goals. What is the outcome you hope to achieve?

Before choosing a venue or selecting activities, planners should identify what they want attendees to learn or gain from attending the event. This will result in a more organized and effective agenda and plan of action.

Before convening any gathering, all participants should know its objective to ensure a productive and successful meeting.

To go one step further, planners should utilize feedback from post-meeting surveys to adjust and refine their plans for future events.

Personalize the Event Experience

While recent years have slowly been moving in this direction, we think 2023 is the year of personalization. Meeting planners will benefit from personalizing the event experience for each attendee as much as possible.

A few trends we see in personalization include:

- Identifying the goals and interests of each participant to curate a customized experience from agendas to refreshments to in-room welcome amenities

- Allowing attendees to sign up for sessions that interest them and create their own agenda

- Using AI to provide personalized recommendations throughout the event

Event planners should also take the time to match attendees with like-minded peers and offer networking opportunities during the event.

The Role of the Venue

A venue can make or break an event, so it’s important to select one that meets the needs of both attendees and planners.

Choose a space with ample room for networking, breakout sessions, discussion areas, or other activities you might have planned.  And don’t forget to leave flexible time and space for attendees to catch up with home or to quietly absorb the content they are receiving.

Additionally, look into how the chosen venue is equipped technologically. Get the venue’s audio-visual team involved early in the planning process to help minimize challenges early on.  Assure there is access to reliable high-speed Internet capable of supporting all participants as well as the presented content.  Are there enough outlets for charging phones and laptops? Making sure these elements are taken care of beforehand helps make the event experience more enjoyable and productive.

Ask questions of the venue related to their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives.  According to the Encore 2022 Venue Pulse Report, 71% of the meeting and event professionals surveyed said that diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) is important.  Further, 60% cited environmental sustainability and social responsibilities as key considerations for their next venue.

Creating Time & Space for Participants to Connect

In addition to having structured discussions, planners should also think about ways to allow participants to get to know each other in an informal setting.

This could include hosting a welcome reception with food and drinks or organizing team-building activities such as scavenger hunts or games. These unstructured moments allow attendees to build relationships and learn more about each other in ways that are impossible during structured events.

These are just a few ways meeting planners can reinvent their action plans for events in 2023. By focusing on planning with intention, utilizing venues effectively, and creating time and space for participants to connect, planners can create meaningful experiences that leave attendees with lasting impressions.

Looking to Create Impactful Meetings in 2023? Let Wingspread help!

We take the guesswork out of meeting design at the Wingspread Retreat and Executive Conference Center. Our meeting architects are experts at weaving together key elements of human interaction and engagement to create measurable results. We've got everything from innovative programming to onsite dining and entertainment options designed to inspire and re-energize your team.

Reach out to us here >>