Impact Publications : MiceBTN_58
Page 38 • MICEBTN - FEBRUARY 2015 interview is a powerful tool and enabler that will continue to increase in value for both organisations and attendees. However, I don’t think it is the be-all and end-all, because companies still want face-to- face engagement. Who is available to train presenters on how best to use these technologies effectively, so that their messages are enhanced and not confused? Organisations that want to incorpo- rate a virtual or hybrid strategy need to bring it into the meeting planning really early, at the beginning. Ameri- can Express Meetings & Events works in partnership with Nasdaq and we encourage organisers to work directly with Nasdaq early in the process to develop a customised solution to meet the needs of the particular organisation staging the meeting or event. When we talk of training presenters it is not necessarily a one size fits all. It is not necessarily going to have a training program incorporated in to it, but I encourage that early integration into the program so presenters are involved in the development of the product to be used. Is there a way for novice ‘hybrid meet- ings’ organisers to ease themselves into the genre, or is it all or nothing? Hybrid meetings as a concept was born purely out of a need by organ- isations that were not able to fully adopt virtual meetings. Going to all or nothing in the virtual space is somewhat overwhelming for organisations which is how the concept of hybrid meetings was born. Developing a hybrid solution is very much about taking baby steps where you start with the basics and work at a pace you feel comfortable with. You shouldn’t expect to be an expert 100 per cent of the time straight away. What dollar/time and other investments are required by venues and or organis- ers to deliver a hybrid meeting? Any new product in the market or new technology adoption rarely hap- pens without the occasional hiccough and some associated costs. The logis- tics of coordinating a hybrid meeting does involve some costs, based on the complexity of the meeting. If you are live streaming to multiple locations there is the cost of technicians and filming crews to coordinate the technology platform. However, one of the great benefits of hybrid meetings is that their costs can be offset if not quite substantially offset to an extent by a reduction in total logis- tics cost for the meeting. We find more often than not that costs level out when it comes to the bottom line of the meeting budget. What percentage of smartphone use does your research show at today’s most-sophisticated meetings? In the past 18-24 months we have seen an explosion of smartphone usage across the industry. And we are seeing it adopted primarily at public-based events. This includes conferences and exhibitions where attendees are really using the smartphone technology and apps. Where we are seeing a slower uptake is in the corporate space. This is because many organisations have security restrictions on company devices which can prevent the download and usage of apps. Are Apple, Microsoft and Android smart- phone devices all equally represented (and useful), or is there a hierarchy from a meetings organiser’s point of view? The use of devices is very much in line with public usage across the board. With our clients if they want to develop event apps we would decide on a preferred platform on a case by case basis depend- ing on their requirements. For example, if it was an employee only event, we would only need to consider the platform used by company-issued devices. If there were external participants however, we would need to be more smartphone neutral. What are the main trends and changes emerging in Asia and Australasia from American Express Meetings’ 2015 indus- try survey? Asia-Pacific and Australia are very much in line with global trends with one or two tweaks here and there. China is currently the dominant player in the region. Speak to any corporate organi- sation and they will talk about growth in China. The meetings industry is no dif- ferent. Growth is a little bit less in Hong Kong and Australia. They both enjoyed strong growth last year and now have stabilised in comparison to China. In Asia and Australia important issues that are driving change are compliance, security and costs. Macro trends we are see- ing include standardisation of approval processes. Organisations are getting more involved in making sure they are meeting compliance and security issues. Organisations are more concerned with volatile situations around the globe and about choosing safe and reliable capital cities for meetings and events. Surveys show that as many as 85 per cent of meetings will go to capital cities where security and costs are reliable. Costs for meetings and events are always a major From previous page. Explosion of smartphone usage Singapore: Number one destination for APAC MICE.