By: Meet in Place content team
Though large conferences may take years to rally, peer to peer training, shared knowledge and human contact will return in full force post coronavirus all with a safe 1.5 meter distance – hear out Judith Huisman, co-founder of Meetingselect on “Meet the Experts” # 3.
Judith Huisman, co-founder of Meetingselect has experienced a global crisis before. Her company was founded in 2007, just one year before the market crash of 2008, that, she says, was nothing compared to what we are experiencing now.
“This is the first time since world war II that the whole world is being affected”, she says, “one thing is for sure, the meeting industry will change and it will take years to back”. Meetingselect, a female owned, Dutch based company, is an online platform for booking meetings and conferences around the world and a corporate booking tool (OBT) used to book, manage meetings & event policies, and pay centrally via integrated payment solutions. The crisis will likely affect every aspect of our life, but according to Huisman, even though it will be challenging, people will likely meet again “what is happening at the moment is that we are all stuck at home and we can’t wait to meet people and get together, it’s what everyone is looking forward to and it’s human nature. However, we do have to take into account the effect of the Coronavirus. I truly believe that peer to peer training, shared knowledge, getting together with your colleagues, that will grow immensely, its human nature, there will be a need for smaller meetings with flexibility in booking, so maybe not half a day, but 2 hours.
How will the crisis affect the type of meeting we have?
Along with the realisation that remote working may be more efficient, companies are also beginning to understand that all that travel may have been an unnecessary expense, not to mention the effect on the environment. “For many of us, work keeps going right now even though we are not meeting”’, says Anne Beekman, Supplier & Software Sales Manager at Meetingselect, “Companies notice the difference being made, they can save money on travel, they want to have a positive impact on the environment. Yes we need to adjust, but things keep on going even without flying out”.
One of your biggest contracts is the Dutch government, how does the crisis affect the way government offices meet?
How can we ensure that we meet safely after the crisis?
“People need to feel comfortable with it, and that starts with the government, they need to send out a message that it’s ok. The personal distance that we are getting used to right now will affect events, we will need bigger spaces, people won’t feel comfortable in crowded theatre style events sitting so close to each other. We have added a feature to our website that filters spaces with 1.5 meters between people. I do think this will change over time so 1.5 meters will be 1 meter and so on”.
Is this the end of large conferences?
“It is likely that more events and conferences will be regional, instead of one big conference in Las Vegas it will be a smaller meeting in each country, we will see more meetings with smaller sessions this is a trend that we have seen happening anyway”.
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