Having been a participant in more meetings than I care to remember in over 3 decades of working for a variety of business of different sizes, I can from my experience say that there has not been much change in the way meetings are conducted. Yes the difference in technology now in 2018 compared to when I started working 1975 is like night and day, but in many ways not much has changed. Many meetings nowadays still require people to physically be in the same room as the room scheduler says, and much of the content has not changed significantly; it’s just more modern. The following are what I believe meetings will be like in the not too distant future based on what is happening currently:
Meetings will be conducted using Virtual Reality (VR)
This will be one of the biggest changes in how meetings are undertaken and will signal the move away from the physical method of conducting meetings. Virtual Reality will allow us to meet in a virtual place, which is exceptionally useful for those working in fields such as construction and engineering. The quality of the meetings will be vastly improved thanks to the ability to set the environment virtually, making it easier to understand. Why discuss a construction project over some projected slides when you can take a virtual trip around the site and full grasp what is happening?
While what happens in the meetings becomes clearer, there will still be a need to organise this. Meeting management software is an essential tool to enable this to happen and products such as Pronestor’s, allows meetings to be booked and seamlessly integrated into one’s normal workflow. Not only does this do the basics of organising a meeting well, this software can also show you compatible hardware with meeting participant– very important when using different types such as VR headsets in various locations.
Flexible meeting spaces will be the norm
This is one of the outcomes from the rise of VR use. In terms of the future for meeting venues, they will be required to adapt to a variety of ways in order to provide positive experience for their participants. Meetings will no longer be confined to set spaces, nor will these spaces be used exclusively for physical meetings. Increased access to interactive technology such as VR and augmented reality (AR) will allow for meetings to take place from pretty much any location with the right equipment and access to the internet.
A recent survey of meeting planners showed than 75 per cent of them felt that their jobs now involved more “experience creation” now than 5 years ago. No longer is it suffice to base a meeting around simply slides, but the use of relevant spaces and technology is becoming increasingly important.
I believe that the rise of VR and such interactive technologies also coincides with the need for more flexible meeting spaces. When we speak about the future of meetings we are actually talking about what is currently happening, as the world is changing so rapidly the future is actually now. What is for certain is that there is a constant evolution that will no doubt be driven by advancements in technology.