Meeting-industry veteran Michelle Bruno, MPC, CEM, CMP, a technology journalist at Bruno Group Signature Services, has signed on as a strategic consultant with Dahlia+Agency, a company specializing in event marketing, strategy, and event technology. In her new role, Bruno will be working with clients on content and event strategy, as well as developing some new lines of business for the agency.
With the announcement of her new position, MeetingsNet caught up with Bruno for a quick take on meeting technology and attendee expectations.
MeetingsNet: Technology in the meetings industry has been advancing quickly, from networking tools and virtual-event platforms to attendee analytics and meeting-management tools. Can you pick one technology that you are especially excited about as we emerge from the pandemic?
Michelle Bruno: Although it’s not one technology, I can’t stop thinking about Metaverse and Web 3.0 use cases for events. I often hear that it will take the event industry a decade to catch up, but I don’t believe that. I’m already seeing early adopters at work. Some meeting organizers are minting NFTs, and a growing number of virtual platforms are incorporating more advanced virtual reality features.
MeetingsNet: The virtual-meeting space in particular has seen a lot of investment and change. But what do virtual technologies still need to get right to humanize the meeting experience?
Bruno: The virtual-meeting experience is a work in progress. I think what technologies need to do is “pick a lane.” In my opinion, virtual platforms perform very well for certain meeting objectives while in-person events are the go-to format for others. They are separate channels with complementary attributes. Meeting organizers should be leveraging both channels for what each does exceedingly well. Attendees will have better experiences as a result.
MeetingsNet: Looking back over your career, what have you learned about attendees and their experience at meetings that you didn’t know when you started in the business?
Bruno: I’ve learned that the meeting experience is paramount for attendees. Everything else is forgettable. It’s what poet Maya Angelou famously said: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
MeetingsNet: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Bruno: Although I love and understand technology, I’m not very technical. I get frustrated like everybody else.