The future of meetings and events
What does 2021 hold for the event industry?
Here’s a few points that we picked up on during Andrew Hiebl, (CEO of AACB) Christmas video message. Well worth noting.
- Entrepreneurial spirit has driven new innovations to help people meet online and in person during the pandemic. Our diverse sectors also combined to speak with one voice to engage constructively with Government.
- $50 million dollar business events grant program expected to distribute much-needed funds throughout 2021 to restart the industry, build confidence in demand, and support the supply chain.
- New Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment will build on a solid foundation as an advocate within Cabinet, positioning business events on the platform to drive international capital and grow our economy.
- 2021 will be a year of continued collaboration and consolidation.
Andrew Hiebl youtube video here https://youtu.be/-MOh0OJsvqc
All that is very welcome. Part of the last point we particularly like is the ‘collaboration’. One thing we’ve seen over a few decades is that when there’s consolidation the people and businesses that stay connected to their favourite association, chamber or professional body, and engage with their peers are typically the ones who will make it through a downturn and spring board into great success. Stay connected !
Change is not new
The department store dominance ended in 2020, some Instagram brands turned insta bland, Skype zoomed out of the vocabulary and so much more changed.
The events sector has had time to reset and sharpen or validate its offering. Very few industries (besides education) have a greater one on one impact on millions of people than the event industry.
Open question. Have we as an industry changed enough?
Turning up matters
When you go to an in person conference with 100 people for an hour you are in effect connecting with 100 people. That’s even if you chat with just a few people.
Just by being there sends non verbal messages.
- It says I support this idea
- This cause is important
- Being part of this tribe matters
The one hour of time is multiplied by 100 in human benefit. Getting this from online only events is a big ask? To better our chances we need the assistance of behavioural science and philosophy experts. More on this towards the end of the article.
From Seth Godin book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us.
“The Web can do amazing things, but it can’t provide leadership. That still has to come from individuals. People just like you who have passion about something.
Tribes will make you think (really think) about the opportunities in leading your fellow employees, customers, investors, believers, hobbyists, or readers”
Turning up to in-person tradeshows, seminars, meetings and awards ceremonies matter. Just ask the graduating University students.