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Are Events Frivolous?

It was not surprising that one of the most popular sessions at the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Annual Conference, in January, was, “The Top Industry Leaders on the Future of Meetings”.


It was not surprising that one of the most popular sessions at the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Annual Conference, in January, was, “The Top Industry Leaders on the Future of Meetings”.

Their message emphasized that planners need to do a better job explaining the value that their events provide for their companies or clients.

It is a pretty consistent mantra right now that if planners could do a better job explaining this, the industry would recover faster.

Not sure I agree.

I think Zibrant’s Peter Rand probably is more on-target when he says planners need to “look at the objectives of events, the ROI on events and also the contribution we can make to the content of events,” to continue to adapt our profession and increase our credibility (watch his great interview) .

Do you think we’re adapting quickly enough?

At Carlson Marketing, before we start designing event solutions, my team aims to get clients to outline their business goals for their event.

There is certainly value in managing the logistical details. Not much use in holding a face-to-face event if the attendees can’t focus because there aren’t enough chairs or the AV doesn’t work.

But logistics only facilitate the business that is supposed to be conducted in the sessions.

Event planners and suppliers need to look for ways to help ensure that the event achieves its business objectives. Then they need to be able to measure the results, to ensure that future events are even more successful.

Only then can we convince management that the best value for communicating their message is through a face-to-face gathering, perhaps augmented by virtual sessions and social media.

Let’s stop telling people how good our events are and let’s do a better job designing them, so they’re not seen as frivolous.



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