Maritz Global Events Blog

Design Thinking Supports Large-Scale Global Hybrid Event

With the sudden lockdown of the world due to Covid-19 in 2020, we needed to quickly develop a new plan for the upcoming International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) 59th Annual Congress later that year — a virtual + F2F experience that would enable us to bring people together all across the globe.

Re-imagining such a large global gathering didn't come easy, but with collaboration, determination and a little design thinking, 2020's ICCA Congress was transformed into a hybrid experience like no other.

"This needed to be a 'wow' event," said Gregg Talley, ICCA Treasurer and President & CEO of Talley Management Group. "It couldn't be ... the standard Zoom event."

Exploring new ideas, formats and technologies, we worked with DRPG to develop the "Kaohsiung Protocol" — which is now a blueprint for identifying trends and key strategies that will enable the international meetings industry to thrive well into the future.

The first-ever hybrid event garnered 1,500 attendees — which is a 50% increase over the traditional in-person event!

"Our collaboration with Maritz Global Events and DRPG allowed us to exceed all of those metric points that we set, and that was the real success for us," says Talley.

With regional hub locations in Cape Town, Kuching, Latin America, Luxembourg, Malaga, North America, Riyadh and Seoul, the live event showcased how face-to-face events can thrive in our "new normal."

See inside the event in this short video or read the full case study.