What does the gaming industry have to do with events? Did you know that the gaming market size globally is valued at USD 175 billion? That’s almost twice the total market size of the movie and music business combined, globally. These were some of the fascinating insights shared by the Rotterdam Experiment ambassador and futurist Yuri van Geest at the second Rotterdam Experiment that took place on 18 February 2021.
In fact, both the gaming and events industries have many similarities when we look closely at each. These similarities go beyond the entertainment element of gamification that we might associate it with.
‘Gaming is about creating a better world, and events are part of it,’ shared Yuri van Geest, referring to the shift happening in the gaming industry, where computer games have become more purpose driven and collaborative. And so are events.
To gain insights and understanding of the global trends that will shape the future of the events industry, Rotterdam Partners Convention Bureau has launched a new series of hybrid events called The Rotterdam Experiment. It comprises seven ‘experiments’ that will take place on a bi-monthly basis, with each edition covering a new topic. These experiments will help event planners explore the topics of virtual reality (VR) technology, gaming and community building, imaginations and digital disruption, event health and safety, Big Data, Internet Of Things and mobility, architecture and storytelling and artificial intelligence (AI).
The first experiment took place on 3rd December 2020. It was entitled ‘Mixed Reality: Let’s Meet in VR!’. This experiment took place at Postillion Hotel & Convention Centre WTC Rotterdam and was moderated by Mirjam van de Kamp, Account Manager Convention Bureau at Rotterdam Partners. It offered both online and offline audiences a theoretical and practical glimpse into the world of mixed reality using VR technology.
To explore the future of the events industry and help event planners prepare for what it holds for the global events industry, Rotterdam Partners Convention Bureau has launched a new series of hybrid events called The Rotterdam Experiment, which comprises seven ‘experiments’ that will take place on a bi-monthly basis, and each edition will cover a new topic.
The COVID-19 crisis has brought our industry to an abrupt halt. It is necessary to explore and experiment with new event formats and seek creative solutions. But this is not enough; we also need to look more deeply into the global trends that involve technology, organisational structures, generational shifts, learning, values, leadership, etc. The entire world right now is in transformation, and businesses are being disrupted. We don’t know what the future holds, but through experimenting and the direction of Rotterdam futurist and bestselling author Yuri van Geest, we can educate and prepare ourselves, our businesses and organisations for the new normal.
The first experiment took place on 3rd December 2020 and was about ‘Mixed Reality: Let’s Meet in VR!’. The event took place at Postillion Hotel & Convention Centre WTC Rotterdam and was moderated by Mirjam van de Kamp, Account Manager Convention Bureau at Rotterdam Partners. It offered both online and offline audiences a theoretical and practical glimpse into the world of mixed reality using virtual reality (VR).
The event was divided into three parts: 1) a keynote by Yuri van Geest called ‘The global perspective for the path ahead’, 2) a VR demonstration by AltspaceVR and Q&A with VR expert Freek Teunen and 3) a table talk with event industry leaders who shared their experience from the past months leading their events and organisations as events moved into the virtual space. There were highly useful insights from Marjan van der Haar, managing director of International Film Festival Rotterdam, Carola van der Hoeff, who is the Chief Operating Officer and Congress Director at International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) and Kris Stabel, who works as a Senior Educationalist and Head of Educational Advice and Training at Risbo (Erasmus University Rotterdam).
Back in July, I hosted a week-long Instagram Live series with Heidi Legein, Managing Director at The MICE Guru, a destination management company (DMC) based in Norway. During the past months of the lockdown, Heidi has been actively promoting her destination and inspiring and educating fellow event professionals about Norway. She has also felt encouraged to keep thinking about international travel and ensure that events are still being planned, rather than cancelling them. Heidi has become the face of Norway for the international event community and, in addition to having substantial knowledge about her product, she processes significant industry expertise. I am, therefore, highly excited to share this interview with you.
The overall series was about ‘DMC: The new value proposition’. I interviewed Heidi about her role and work across various business areas of the DMC, beginning by defining its role, how to host virtual site inspections, how DMCs contribute to destination marketing, sustainability and incentives.
Incentives are, perhaps, the most exciting part of MICE travel and involve attendees having highly unique experiences at a destination. But what is an incentive?
According to Heidi, ‘Incentives stimulate investments to motivate and encourage someone to do something.’ There are different types of incentives. Heidi mostly does incentives for mid- to high-level management, which are often multi-destination experiences. The most common incentive is a 5-day-4-night programme, often at two different destinations within Norway. This programme offers several exciting experiences along the way and many surprises that guests may not necessarily know about beforehand, which makes it particularly exciting.
Angeles Moreno is the founder of the Creative Dots, a company that helps corporations design their customer journey and create a culture of customer-centricity. Angeles has been in the events industry for over 30 years and possesses international experience with a large network.
Entrepreneurship is in her DNA. She has launched and run two companies during past crises and was able to overcome the obstacles they presented to her. Now running her third company, she is faced with a new crisis—COVID-19—which has unique components. But her previous experience has prepared her to navigate through the uncertainty.
I interviewed Angeles about her industry experience, specifically going through the uncertainty faced in the past, and I asked what event professionals should do now to remain resilient and come out stronger from this crisis.