We're well in to the 21st century, and modern trends are so firmly rooted in our lives that there's no way of escaping convenient design, technical innovations, and fashion. Nor have they passed the event industry by: QR codes at registration, digital business cards, mobile and web apps for matchmaking are all regularly employed at the majority of events. Experience shows, however, that there are still some grey-bearded event organizers for whom all these innovations are somehow strange and disturbing.
We've compiled a list of the five most irritating things that participants still come across at business events.
1. Manual labor
Let's begin at the beginning with ineffective manual labor. The first things that greet visitors and guests at a business event are a hostess and the reception staff who register participants, hand out badges, and compile lists. Even if each of them has four hands, when there are only two staff members for 600 guests they still won't be able to cope. Of course, waiting in line could be seen as an opportunity to network, but it's hardly the best place to meet future business partners.
And there's more to come — directions printed on A4 paper, carefully folded in a plastic wallet and sealed with Scotch. After that, conference guests can expect a long and tiring journey between stands and endless conversations before they find the contacts they're after. That's the result of notifications, letters, and contacts all being distributed by hand as well.
2. "Funny" presenters
Let's move on. You've broken through the waiting masses and the unhurried reception workers and you burst into the hall, fully determined to get down to networking. Just as you get going, you're drowned out by the voice of the conference presenter, who in the best traditions of late-night talk shows welcomes guests with a rousing "Ladies and gentlemen!". That puts an end to conversation. Even if you've been lucky enough to find the right contact, there's not one quiet corner in the whole hall where you'll be able to get away from that pervasive, resounding voice that's awarding prizes, announcing sponsors, or inviting everyone to proceed to the second floor...
3. Catering at coffee breaks
The presenter has finally settled down or even left the stage, and you're invited for a coffee break. Coffee, a bun, and a little conversation — you'd think nothing could go wrong. But then you suddenly burn your hand as you pour hot water from a metal urn into a plastic cup. As for the biscuits, bought in the store across the road, they don't say much for the organizers' imagination.
4. Piles of brochures and freebies
The conference is coming to an end. All the speeches have been made, meetings concluded, and biscuits and cakes eaten — now to relax! There's still time for a stroll around town, but here's the problem: in each hand you have 3-4 gift bags, which transform even the most serious entrepreneur or senior executive into a character from a sitcom out shopping. You'll have to take a taxi and forget about that stroll through town, even though most of the brochures and freebies will end up in the trash when you get home.
And to top it all, there's the Internet. Or more accurately, there is no Internet, or there's very poor coverage. This can be a problem at even the best conferences, and there's only one way to fix it — set a separate line in the budget for Internet provision and check carefully that it works on the night before the conference.