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Top innovations of 2021 in events and technology

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Across 2021 we have seen many innovations that have impacted all industries, as the world adapts to the aftereffects of the pandemic and other worldwide challenges. We asked our events, technology and marketing teams to highlight the innovations they’ve comes across in their industries this year. Here’s what they’ve found:



Hybrid Meetings:

During 2020, thanks to the pandemic, we saw a rise in working from home (WFH) and fully virtual meetings.  Despite many people having returned to the office, a large majority have adopted a more blended approach with a mix of WFH and in the office. Juggling staff being in and out of the office can be challenging, which is why hybrid meetings are now on the increase.

Hybrid meetings are part office based, part virtual and are a huge benefit to businesses that have teams that have adopted hybrid working, thanks to innovative technology like the Kandao Meeting Pro. As you can imagine,  face-to-face, virtual, and hybrid meetings all have their own pros and cons. In many ways, what makes hybrid meetings innovative is how it solves the individual problems face-to-face and virtual meetings have, by merging the two together allows for greater flexibility.

Jane Turner our events and marketing assistant said that the Kandao Meeting Pro is a really useful bit of kit that we recently invested in.

“While events are still a mixture of face-to-face and virtual, having this Kandao Meeting Pro as part of our meetings offering means our customers can host seamless meetings benefitting those that want to be face-to-face and those that still prefer to be at home.”

If you are in need of a meeting room to hold hybrid meetings or want to find out more about our latest technology, click here to enquire.



Computer-aided Design:

Computer-aided Design, otherwise known as CAD, is nothing new and isn’t by itself an innovation of 2021. However, CAD is an ever-evolving technology that allows users to generate detailed 3D models for production and prototyping, as a software is constantly improved upon and updated. According to our Product Designer Anastasis, Ansys has released improvements to its CAD software this year, such as history tracking aiming to make the CAD process much more streamlined and efficient for the user.

Other CAD innovations also seem to be focusing on streamlining the user experience, with new features allowing for different CAD software’s to better communicate with each other and more. These changes innovate the processes of CAD by enabling the user to better navigate through past alterations made, therefore further improving the efficiency of the software, and increasing workflow.

Our tech team has extensive experience using CAD for product design and prototyping, click here to find out more.

Using paper in additive manufacture:

Additive manufacture (AM), more popularly known by its consumer name 3D printing, is a technology that has developed significantly over the past decade. Recent innovations in this field are the materials that can be used. Historically, resins, plastics and metal have been the most common materials used in AM, now paper can be used in the process. Although not an obvious choice of material for AM, it does have its pros and cons. Benefits include being biodegradable, easy to colour, cheap, and sustainable so long as new trees are planted. Disadvantages include being a weaker material to that of the plastic filaments that people are used to, and with it being biodegradable it cannot be utilised for long term use.

Using carbon fibre in additive manufacture:

Although not strictly a 2021 innovation, carbon fibre is being used more in additive manufacturing this year. Carbon fibre carries the benefits of being strong and light with the drawback of being expensive. The current industries looking to use carbon fibre in additive manufacturing are the formula 1 and aviation industries that benefit from having strong yet light materials, especially if they can be custom made through additive manufacture. The main thing that carbon fibre filament provides is the ability to be woven into other structures, making a compound material to create an overall stronger and lighter object.

To enquire about using carbon fibre and our additive manufacturing capabilities click here.


Although this innovation may be a while off from being finished, it was announced in 2021 by CEO of Meta, formally called Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. Metaverse is designed to be a digital universe that will utilise virtual reality (VR), like Meta’s Oculus series of VR headsets, allowing people to meet up and play games. Businesses will be able to hold virtual meetings, shops will have virtual storefronts, and much more.

You will also be able to create your own avatar, allowing people to look like themselves in the Metaverse or something completely different. The project itself is set to have $10 billion invested into it alongside creating thousands of new jobs.

VR itself also continues to innovate, with 2021 showcasing more and more haptic technology, with haptic gloves to lookout for in the horizon, allowing users to get a sensory input from touching objects in-game. As for the now, Oculus is currently testing out Horizon Workrooms through an open beta, this new VR experience allows for work, meetings, and more, to be done in virtual offices within VR. This is a new way of letting colleagues get the office experience from the safety and comfort of their own home.

Horizon Workrooms is clearly an innovation developed due to the pandemic that caused millions to work from home, answering the problem of disconnect and lack of social contact felt by those still working from home.


To keep up-to-date with innovations going on at 3M BIC, please follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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