The following entry was written by Jackie Mulligan, a principal lecturer at Leeds Metropolitan University, which is conducting our future of meetings research.
My early career involved producing lots of things. I printed things, produced conference bags and goody bags filled with more things. I booked musicians who often wanted to sell their CD things. Further back in time, when I first started studying, I used to go to a library that was filled with books. I also bought lots of them and had to buy lots of mismatching shelving units to house them all. Whenever I moved, I gathered all my things together and all of my things came with me—in bag loads (as a student) and in lorry loads (as an adult).
The students I teach now have less things than I ever had at their age. They have de-cluttered. They travel light. As I look around now—the library I use is online, my music collection is on my phone, my film collection is on my computer. It seems I have de-cluttered my life, too. Have you?
In the future, the world around us is digitized. Our books, music, films, friends, networks, education…Online media continues to present challenges to all industries that create content. The "From the Outside In: Meeting Content" supplement highlights that the meeting industry is not immune.
That is why stepping outside the industry to gain new perspectives is a good approach for aiding future, as well as innovative, thinking. After all, are there lessons you can learn from the industries that are surviving the digital revolutions? Experts like Nicholas Lovell believe that the digitized formats necessitate very different approaches. He uses examples from the video games industry freemium models.
“Freemium games may be the only sustainable model,” Lovell said.
The average value of a single freemium transaction (on iOS and Android) is US$14, according to recent research by Flurry Analytics. Half (51 percent) of “smart” games revenue comes from transactions valued at $20 or more, and a full 30 percent come from transactions valued at $50 or more. Hence, the mission isn’t to make small amounts from many, but to make nothing from many and lots from a few.
So freemium models provide one approach, price difference based on perceived value. However, what about the threat of online to offline events—are you worried about the impact on face-to-face meetings? Some of the most lively discussions in the Future of Meetings LinkedIn group have centered on and around this topic: Is online a threat or an opportunity? Maybe it is time for you to join the conversation?
So the "From the Outside In: Meeting Content" supplement provides insights on how to move meeting content beyond content. Some of the takeaways may be daring stuff for many meeting planners, speakers and facilitators but could well be worth the risk. Meeting innovators will undoubtedly embrace the challenges of delivering content in new formats, on new platforms and in new ways at offline and online events. The question is, will you? Download the supplement and tell us how you will respond in the LinkedIn Group on Friday. Come join the conversation on the future of meeting content—see you there!
And for a snippet of what video games experts really think about the future, watch one of our interviews below.