The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) is the global meetings industry network and this year’s UK and Ireland conference attracted a record number of delegates. Over 150 people from a variety of events and conference sectors attended two days of interactive and educational sessions in Glasgow.

Professor Emma Wood and Dr Julia Calver (School of Events, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Leeds Beckett University)  facilitated a creative thinking workshop session for all delegates designed to open up thinking using future world scenarios. The workshop is part of the FuturETHinking collaborative project which will see professionals from events, tourism and hospitality contribute to shaping the future of the industry. 

This initial stage of the longer-term project uses four deliberately provocative future scenarios. These are not predictions about what will happen in the future but are four possibilities of what could happen, based on evidence from our comprehensive review of futurist reports. The scenarios are titled: 

Ruling robots
Awesome energy
Immense movement
Retirement reworked

The industry attendees responded enthusiastically to these snapshots of potential 2050 worlds learning from each other and stretching their strategic views beyond what is readily predicted. 

Optimism was a key theme of the day, with discussions quickly moving from fear of what might come to finding ways where each scenario provided opportunities to create a better world.

Here are a few comments from delegates on the day:

“It was brilliant to listen to the insights and complete the sessions at ICCA! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it certainly encouraged a lot of insightful discussion with colleagues. The scenarios were initially discussed with incredulous reaction, each discussion quickly turned into real world applications in the events industry… Such a rounded and awakening discussion, with a lot of thought to take away.”  

Connor Churchman, Research Account Manager, SFA Connect

"I found this session fascinating as it shone a spotlight on how individuals who, on the face of it, come from a similar professional background but, who interpreted the issues in such differing ways.  It was a hugely useful exercise in helping me view things not only from my perspective but to help question and recognise that for most scenarios there can be very different view points. A useful life skill!”

Caroline Mackenzie, Managing Director, The Conference Consultancy Ltd, Association Director, OpenAudience

Group of people at a conference

You can follow the FuturETHinking project on LinkedIn

Or visit our website to find out more about the School of Events, Tourism & Hospitality Management.


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