THE DMC NETWORK
Innovation = Success in Events
By Julius Solaris
Let me ask you a question. What is the difference between a concert and a conference? I’ll give you a clue. It has something to do with the front row. Yeah, you guessed it right. Nobody usually seats in the front row at conferences. Not the case at concerts.
So what is the difference? There is no difference. In both cases, we know what to expect. At concerts the music, the performer, the show is new. At conferences, we expect to die from PowerPoint.
The fact we already know what will happen is a disturbing problem for our industry. In a market where anticipation builds scarcity and surprise sells tickets, how can we stay relevant if the attendee is bored before the event has even started?
At the same time, there is a growing number of events that sell out in minutes, regardless of whether they are conferences or concerts. Their dedication to innovation, to elevate events to experiences, to regularly engage attendees, to embrace technology before everyone else, to be present on social media all year long, to work with venues and destinations seamlessly and creatively gives them an edge.
Such excellence condemns short-sighted competitors to struggle behind and sometimes cancel because of unsold tickets or sponsorship. This gap is monstrously growing, fueled by the echo successful events have on social media.
So what does the innovative event planner want? A traditionally stressed and overwhelmed individual, today's event planner has more on their plate than ever before. Technology and security challenges are just the latest additions to a growing list of to do's.
Event professionals have spoken loud and clear in the research we have carried over the past four years. They want more transparency, flexibility but most of all strategic partnerships. Nice words, right? But what do they mean in practice?
Attendees have never been so demanding. Back in the days, we had word of mouth. You heard about a great event, but you had no way to access it.
Today you can check for yourself if an event was great or not. Just tune in the live-streaming or follow the social updates. There you have it, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) or GONA (Gratefulness of Not Attending). Either way, we already made an evaluation of an event without being there. We know what's going on, what others have done and we want more.
Event professionals need to answer to the highest expectations we've ever seen in the industry. Innovation is a good answer. Research has proven innovation to be the most successful method to make attendees happy. But they cannot do it alone. They have to do it with innovative partners. The need to innovate, to be better, to surprise, is automatically transferred to all the stakeholders involved at the event. Because memorable experiences are the result of excellent touch points and even a bad airport transfer could mess up the perception of the entire event.
DMCs have the unprecedented opportunity to win more business than ever. They have the chance to be partners in the biggest change the event industry has seen in the latest 100 years. A change where innovation is a necessity, not a luxury.
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