Insight: Issue 116 | 14 Dec
Feeling chilly? Here’s some hot goss.
Absolutely baltic the now ain’t it… Time to heat things up with some heart-cockle warming wonders from the wintery world of events. So grab that mulled wine, don that fifth jumper, and we’ll get straight down to the nitty gritty.
In the week where we all bought an air-fryer, here’s the latest headlines; Five international trends to watch in 2023; Glasgow’s SEC strengthens association sales team; Perfect economic storm a test as event planners urged to co-operate and contingency plan; How to achieve parity for women in the events industry; and, putting a price on value.
Five international trends to watch in 2023
So what’s on fleek for next year?
Well, as we round off a pretty unstable year that can be summed up by Collin’s Word of the Year – ‘Permacrisis’, it seems 2023 might not be as straightforward as we would have hoped. Economists projections for the next 12-18 prove ambiguous, and the outlook for what that means for the industry reflects that.
Kai Hattendorf, CEO of UFI The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, has put together a collection of 5 trends that could shape the next year for the events business.
We’ll do a quick rundown:
Doubling down on customer focus
It’s time to recalibrate and hone in on what we do best as an industry; focus on the customers, make sure they have a successful show and make the right connections – taking heed from other sectors and learning from how they’re tackling the current climate.
The climate crisis will hit
Extreme weather conditions are going to hit the industry – postponements, cancellations and fluctuating attendances are going to become the norm. Moreover, a focus on sustainable solutions and the implementation of ‘net-zero’ initiatives will become top priority.
More data, less hype
‘The future is digital’ – so it’s time to get onboard with it. Data insights and intelligence will form the way we structure events and engage with our audiences, leading to more efficient and successful outcomes.
Staffing stays key
It’s a global industry – and there’s a lot of talented people out there. The events business is always hungry to employ skilled individuals with new perspectives. It’s important that the industry remains a melting pot of diverse talent.
Over the past few years, as an industry we’ve learned to experiment and adapt. With a somewhat return to normality, it’s imperative that we don’t rest on our laurels. Continuing to push the envelope will lead to more new ideas, new formats, new launches and other developments that will make for more engaging events.
Glasgow’s SEC strengthens association sales team
A big welcome to SEC’s new Senior Sales Manager and Lead Bid Strategist, Jennifer Roddie and Association Sales Manager Louise Watson!
Roddie has been part of the SEC squad since 2015 as International Sales Manager, and Watson joins from PCO In Conference as Senior Project Manager.
Director of Conference Sales at SEC, Kathleen Warden speaks on the newly appointed execs.
“We have a strong and very skilled team here at the SEC and it’s important to recognise talent and support career progression,”
“Jennifer has a wealth of industry insight and it’s terrific to have the opportunity to capitalise on this as we move forward in an ever-changing marketplace. And we’re delighted to welcome Louise who is highly regarded in the industry. Louise’s PCO background will bring a fresh perspective to what we do, and I am so excited to welcome her to the team.”
Perfect economic storm a test as event planners urged to co-operate and contingency plan
With Europe-wide inflation reaching almost 10%, the International Monetary Fund economic outlook for the coming year is looking “gloomier” than previously expected.
Throughout the pandemic, the industry was faced with employing a more ‘reactive’ approach towards event delivery. In a current economic climate driven by factors such as staff shortages, supply chain difficulties, the war in Ukraine and currency fluctuations, planning ahead has proved sometimes to be a lost cause.
In short, accurately predicting the unpredictable in this business has essentially always been tough – but that shouldn’t stop us preparing contingency plans and implementing measures will only benefit our businesses in the long term.
In an article by Exhibition World, Senior Account Manager Sophie Cox talks of ways that Live Group are putting plans in motion.
Here’s the lowdown:
– Maintaining a close working relationship with global suppliers, keeping prices competitive and keeping client budgets in line
– Keeping a regular dialogue with clients to understand the pressures faced and focus on key priorities ahead of time
– As well as financial contingencies, Live Group also consider other ways to adapt, including digital solutions, space reduction and open registration letters
– Live Group work with clients to prioritise sustainability while remaining in line with budgets
How to achieve parity for women in the events industry
Although the events and exhibitions industry prides itself on equal gender representation, it’s clear that there is still much work to be done. Unfortunately in many teams, it’s still the case that men make up most of the crew and women the office workers.
Claire Menzies, chairwoman of Istoria Group, sits down with Exhibition News UK to address what issues remain and how the sector can bring about parity for women.
Recent legislation ensuring companies report on their gender pay gaps has revealed some significant figures; Reed Exhibitions reported a mean total pay gap of 19.7% in 2020, citing more there was more men than women in senior roles. This new legislation has meant for greater transparency, which hopefully will lead to realisation and strategic change.
Menzies suggests that it’s vital that leaders and decision makers look towards more inclusive ways of recruiting. With the UK now out of the top 20 of nations in the measure of gender parity (at 22), something needs to change.
Menzies is certain that this is one area that is moving on the right direction. Gone are old fashioned attitudes and outdated assumptions, and issues such as better equality of parental leave and more support for women re-entering the industry are being addressed.
Open and frank conversations are crucial to exposing underlying issues and achieving change. To see parity throughout all areas of employment is essential, for example, equal representation in jobs such as construction would have a knock on effect for the rest of workplaces, including the events industry.
Putting a price on value
In an article by Conference News, editorial director Martin Fullard discusses his stance on the true value events being in the creation rather than the consumption.
There’s no denying how many people an event brings to a destination as an important, measurable metric. It will bolster the local economy, as the area will see a significant uptake in hotel bookings, restaurant reservations, taxi fares, pint pouring and retail expenditure. This goes ways to reinforce the estimated £84bn being the ‘true value of the events industry’.
However, Fullard argues that the content of an event is key and so to the serendipity it enables. He cites Glasgow’s COP26 and One Young World, two signatory events that were game changing to society and paramount in their the sharing of knowledge. He argues that government acknowledgement is needed to address the significance of these events, and recognise their lasting legacy.
That’s your stocking-full for this week
Join us next week for some more event filled merriment, and your last Insight of the year!