Death of meeting experts in 2050?

By Gina Sin on 17/08/2017


Bold predictions and avant-garde concepts formed by students and young professionals at the Singapore MICE Forum 2017 may have provoked incredulity and gasps from the audience, but their prophetic statements may not be as far-fetched as we think. Though 33 years from now, these predictions may come into fruition sooner than we think.

A complete shift in the way conferences will be held and the skills required in the future was envisioned for their Vision 2050 delivery at the Singapore MICE Forum held at Sands Expo and Convention Centre, in line with this year’s “re:image #EngagE” theme.

Revolutionising learning and development

Three interns at events and destination management company Pacific World questioned the need for physical schools in time to come, what with the massive open online courses (MOOC) readily available, and employers valuing emotional quotient, critical thinking, clear communication and problem-solving over an undergraduate degree.

While a number of jobs have been driven obsolete by automation, better technology does not equate to better education. The presenters advocated “sophisticated information sharing”, a move from top-down knowledge transfer of today, and pictured the events industry as a “knowledge connector”, even going as far as saying that delegates will be paid to attend events.

They rationalised that tacit knowledge will become the currency of the future, and that delegates will be seen as sources of knowledge and information for the public good instead of just being consumers.

In an economy based on information computerisation, knowledge has become a commodity. How we interact, research, learn and develop products and services are constantly being altered by new technologies and user devices.

Already, Alibaba founder Jack Ma said at this year’s Global Netrepreneurs Conference in Hangzhou, China, “The world will change beyond imagination in the next 30 years, especially for the internet, big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI). In the next 10 years, every industry will experience changes. If they’re not handled well, there could be social unrest.”

As for the future of event venues, the presenters foresaw that transformational, modular and personalised spaces will replace rigid and “non-human-centric” venues suffering from space constraints. For the same space, it will be able to accommodate more events to save time and effort, and maximise occupancy rate through its modular structures.

Despite an initial air of scepticism, the audience, including seasoned industry professionals, proved very encouraging and supportive at the end of their presentations.

“The predictions presented on Vision 2050 by students, interns and young industry professionals were bold, creative and well thought through. Clearly, technology played a key role in many forecasts, with some claiming many in our industry will not have their jobs in the future. Regardless, I for one believe that the industry will once again prove to be robust and resilient and find ways to adapt. One thing is for sure though, we have great group of individuals coming into the industry, and the interns hit it out the field,” said Prakash Ramajillu, Conference Strategy Director at Koelnmesse.

Michelle Crowley, Senior Director of Global Strategy at PCMA flew in from New York to attend the forum: “The Vision 2050 session at the 2017 Singapore MICE Forum was an excellent way to kick off the conference. It was so refreshing to hear the perspectives of students and young professionals challenging norms and assumptions.”

Click here to read her full opinion piece on her experience at the Singapore MICE Forum.

Concluding, the industry leaders of the future put forth the following question: How will you function in 2050 when the world you know today ceases to exist?

Share your thoughts



Join our mailing list

Never miss an update