My students and many 20-year-olds do not know the history of how the crash of 2008 and an AIG event were the catalysts to change the face of the meetings and events industry.
As a multibillion-dollar industry encompassing every business sector, we came out with a few bruises but stronger than ever. Meetings and events now LEAD in importance as face-to-face is undoubtedly what the world needs now and for all time. The more digital a society we become, the more effort to understand our human connections as vital to our well-being will increase.
What has resulted is a time of reflection for all, including our future generations, as we look in the mirror and assess what we have and how to use it productively. Many corporations, firms, non-profits and associations have taken a step back and are beginning to use the real power of the meeting and event as the marketing tool it can be: delivering a quantifiable return on event, return on objectives and return on investment. Our own industry is recognizing this importance and the differentiation from strategy to logistics and everything in between.
Educators are growing among us. The most prestigious business schools in the world typically require students to take an elective in advertising and public relations, fully understanding that these communication vehicles are part of any business operation. But why not meetings and events as a requirement for all? Every business student will live in meetings their entire professional careers. There is simply no room for any experience that is not well-planned and designed anymore.
My work is in the dimension of sensory communication and lasting impact and the Theater of Meetings—we are communication. Without the understanding of the core function of these vehicles to deliver a message and manage that message for the company operation, many efforts are simply a waste of time and money.
Do Your Meetings Have Style or Are They Still Boring?
It’s time to think about capitalizing on the real reasons of a meeting and event—a marketing tool that brings people together for deliberately planned results. Innovations being created now in business aren’t all based on new products; they are based around people and their imaginations. Companies are trying new ways to attract employees from video rooms to all flex schedules. Yet, how meetings and events are designed as the integral and vital business components they are are sometimes left strictly to a logistics team that is limited in creative resources and strategic thinking.
But that is not acceptable anymore. Powerful communication tools have the opportunity for all stakeholders to achieve a lucrative return starting at the top that don’t have a beginning or end. Using meetings and events as marketing vehicles to deliver a message and tell your story in a live experience is not merely based on having the ‘right’ parts but how they are assembled, when they are used and why they are used to enhance impact. How these marketing vehicles are designed to reach clients, prospects, employees, the board and all participants is based on the meeting style and what makes an impact to prompt action, to initiate a change in thinking in all phases, through different mediums.
Like an effective advertising or public relations campaign, how your meeting or event is produced maximizes investments you can’t afford to lose: time, human capital and money. What makes your meeting and event distinctly different? Is it a gathering specializing in logistics or does the experience illustrate the objective and goals? Is it fun when it should be? Is it integrating powerful statements?
Now’s the time to find the answer and make it a reality.