How International Event Planning Companies Can Successfully Grow in 2019
What is the value of face-to-face meetings? Try more than $1.03 trillion.
That’s the worldwide direct spend of the meeting and event industry, according to the 2018 Global Economic Significance of Business Events report from the Events Industry Council (EIC), conducted by Oxford Economics.
In addition, face-to-face business events contributed a total gross domestic product impact of $1.5 trillion, along with $2.5 trillion in sales, nearly 26 million jobs, and an economic impact said to outpace that of even consumer electronics.
That sure puts into perspective the significance of the thousands of international events, meetings, and exhibitions held across the globe each day.
The sheer size of the face-to-face industry clearly continues to offer an opportunity for international event planning companies to GROW – grow their market share, grow client diversity and grow attendee participation.
However, while the event industry’s upward trend over the last decade has made grow a favorite word, so much has changed in the overall event landscape in recent years that makes maintaining similar growth levels more difficult.
To successfully grow in 2019, international event planning companies need to address these four challenges:
1. Increased Competition
As the traditional and digital ad space continues to deal with increased competition, ad blockers and more, brand marketers and for-profit organizations are turning to live events.
Case in point: major media executives and publishers are embracing live events and experiential activations to expand their revenue streams – creating additional competition for non-profit organization’s traditional event audiences.
To stay successful in the increasingly competitive face-to-face space, international event planning companies need to strategically position and communicate the event’s unique value.
2. Increased Globalization
Thanks in large part to social media and other digital technology, people are communicating and interacting with those around the globe like never seen before.
As global boundaries continue to shrink, international event planning companies need to embrace cross-cultural awareness and competency in order to effectively interact with those from around the world.
- Considering different dietary preferences and restrictions – and designing food and beverage menus to accommodate a wide range of needs
- Offering information and communications in different languages
- Designing events within the overall event to encourage networking, sharing and learning among different attendee groups
3. Decreased Availability of Time
Today if you ask just about anyone about their day, you’ll likely hear a comment along the lines of “busy.” In many circles, “busy” has come to serve as a measure of productivity or success.
But more and more, people are pushing back against always being busy and putting stricter controls over their time. As Bob Priest-Heck, president and chief operating officer at The Freeman Company, and chief executive officer of Freeman, so eloquently put it, we need to consider our impact on others. “Are we respectful of their time, or are we in the habit of grabbing as much as we can get?”
He goes on to suggest that we need to design events and experiences in a way that makes the most of the time we’re asking guests to invest. His advice is especially relevant to anyone planning events: “we must design events to purge all the things that waste time: long lines, poor directional signage, pointless general sessions, etc. By respecting people’s time — by making each moment count — we give them more of what they prize most. And that builds loyalty.”
4. Increased Technology Availability
As Tom Pick, digital marketing consultant at G2Planet wrote, “technology is indispensable for modern event management, from registration to sound and lighting, digital displays, interactive games, security, data collection, social media engagement, and collecting attendee feedback.”
International event planners who embrace event technologies can more easily manage all that is associated with today’s increasingly complex global meetings and events — whether that includes digital planning tools that enable better communication and manage the operations and logistics or cutting-edge VR-walkthroughs that reduce the number of physical site visits required.
If growth is one of your 2019 goals, talk to the AllSeated team about the benefits of embracing our technology tools to support your event planning process.