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Networking and learning, the top reasons for attending events

Networking and learning, the top reasons for attending events

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In its current research phase, "Redefining Event Attendance", the Future Meeting Space (FMS) innovation network is exploring why people choose to attend or not to attend in-person business events in the future. The GCB German Convention Bureau e.V. and the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, together with their research partners, are looking to identify changing patterns in business travel and in-person event attendance. The results of the first two surveys conducted as part of the research reveal clear trends: networking and idea generation are key motivators for attending face-to-face events in the future. What more? Here are the conclusions! By Paula Rey

We have no doubts: new means of personal transport and the increasing digitalisation have considerably changed people’s travel behaviour in recent years, both in their private lives and professionally. Costs and benefits are increasingly being weighed against each other, especially for events that also offer online attendance options.

Networking and gaining new ideas are the top reasons

The current research phase of the FMS innovation network is therefore analysing which occasions, motives and reasons speak for or against attending in-person events. The results of the first survey show that networking and gaining new ideas are the top reasons for attending events in person in the future. The survey also confirms that self-determination has a significant impact on event attendance, i.e., people who can decide themselves if they attend events do so more often than people who require approval for their business trips. Moreover, in the long term, multi-day trips will account for around 80 % of all business trips related to attending events.

The results also underline how relevant the social aspect of attending events is, with 91 % of all respondents saying they attend events for networking. Around 60 % agree with the statement that the climate impact of future travel activities needs to be considered. Face-to-face events also play a major role as a source of ideas and inspiration. 82 % say that they get new ideas at in-person events and for 74 %, attending such events provide an important change from everyday office life. “In a highly digitalised world, people long for authentic experiences in physical places. The services and experiences that destinations provide are key for this. They are an integral part of future-proof events and can offer attendees significant added value,” says Matthias Schultze, Managing Director of the GCB. 

Results of current FMS research out in December

The survey and last survey for the 2022 FMS research looks at identifying what makes business events and destinations attractive for in-person attendance. The goal is to identify key components for developing attractive and effective conferences and meetings. The results of the entire research phase will be presented in a virtual event in December 2022. The date will be announced in due course, attending is free of charge. 

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