Meetings No 27
Intro
Boost Your Brain with Face-to-Face Meetings
Atti Soenarso on new research regarding the human meeting.
Cover Story
Time to Show How Business Events Can Help Develop Societies Going Forward
PCMA’s CEO Sherrif Karamat wants to position the industry’s questions on future growth.
Psychological Meetings
On What Do We Build Our Knowledge and on What Do We Base Our Beliefs?
Hans Gordon on how enlightened and rational we really are.
Radar
Expedia Sells Egencia to American Express Global ­Business Travel
A deal that was perhaps unlikely just one year ago.
Challenges
We Have an Extraordinary Journey Ahead of Us in This Industry
Denzil Rankine, AMR International on the here and now and the there and then.
Intermission
To Boldly Go …
Don’t be afraid to boldly go where others haven’t. You may find yourself ending up right at home.
Opportunities
Becoming SMART: A Destinations’ Journey
This is a people-to-people business. Period.
Radar
The Impacts of the Pandemic on European Convention Bureaus
Survey of 134 convention bureaus in 33 European countries.
Kellerman
Endurance: The Primary Survival Tool
Roger Kellerman on persevering and rising as strong as ever before.
classifieds
news
111 Boing 777 and A380s
Emirates announces aircraft upgrades
and more A380 resumptions.
119 membercountries
Dubai wins bid
to host ICOM General conference 2025.
developing the government
Dubai Economy, Dubai Tourism merge
to become ‘Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism.
38 cities applied
Vilnius ranked 3rd
at the annual European Capital of Innovation Awards.
IBTM World
Event technology
trends to increase engagement and ROI.
big business
Booking Holdings Enters Into An Agreement
With CVC Capital Partners To Acquire Etraveli Group.
Focus on Impact
Union of International Associations
releases Survey on International Meetings Issues - 2021 Report.
9,000-plus members
GBTA Convention 2021
Sets The Pace For Business Travel’s Return.
17–20 July
Kigali, Rwanda to host Women Deliver 2023
WD2023 will be the world’s largest conference on gender equality in the 21st century.
Event
Canary Islands Hosts 6th Edition of the Repeople Conference, Europe’s Largest Remote Work Conference
The only event in Europe addressing remote work from a wide perspective.
Links
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Boost Your Brain with Face-to-Face Meetings

When Sherrif Karamat introduces the term metaindustry as an expression of what business events are about, he says that meetings and events influence and develop all other industries. These are powerful words. However, Covid-19 has made us have to do things very differently, digitally, online, and now we focus on why we gather, why we need events and how much work needs to be done.

Why have we not previously concluded that the meeting and event industry is a metaindustry, and why have we not had the representatives of the business event industry in a stronger position all over the world?

We have been writing about neuroscience, meeting psychology and its impact on our meetings for many years. Yet, nowhere else is its impact greater than at the personal meeting, face to face.

According to a German study that ended earlier this year, our brains form stronger connections in a personal meeting instead of indirect forms of contact. The study was conducted at Friedrich Schiller University Jena in Germany and started in February 2019.

Neuroscientists Géza Gergely Ambrus, Gyula Kovács and their colleagues were interested in getting to know new people in different situations.

Since the pandemic started, many have become acquainted only by video chat. From the neuroscience perspective, this leads to some exciting questions about how our brain perceives different ways of interacting online and offline.

To dig deeper into this phenomenon, the researchers separated the study participants into three groups. Each group got in touch with two new people in different ways: personal interaction by chatting with laboratory technicians; perceptual exposure, through an identity sorting game with still images; and exposure from the media, from watching a TV show.

The strength of people’s familiarity with each other, called the familiarity effect, was linked to how participants learned the new faces. Personal interaction made the most substantial difference, followed by media exposure. Perceptual exposure had little or no effect at all.

Researchers recorded participants’ brain activity with an electroencephalogram (EEG), a device that detects electrical activity in the brain. They took the readings twice before the participants became acquainted with the new people and once afterwards. In all three groups, the second EEC reading revealed a clear pattern of brain activity approximately 400 milliseconds after participants saw the now-familiar faces.

The face-to-face interaction provided the strongest contacts, although participants spent less time in real life than the media exposure group: The personal interaction group chatted with lab technicians for three hours, while the media exposure group watched 20 hours of video.

The meeting and event industry is a metaindustry precisely because the face-to-face meeting creates the important contacts, the ones we carry with us in our working life, but of course also in our private life.

So now we take the next step. We are now returning to the human encounter between us, thus increasing the insights that the meeting and event industry is a metaindustry that will continue to change and develop the world in the future.