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The Summer Eventia 2009 - Opportunities in the Midst of Turbulence

Delegates attending The Summer Eventia 2009, held at the Holiday Inn - Brighton Seafront between 5th - 7th July, were given a detailed insight into the scale and turbulence of the economic challenges currently facing the events sector by a number of highly respected expert practitioners.

However, the speakers also highlighted some real opportunities for business growth and development in the short, medium and long term.
Plenary session speakers identified:

  • No major upturn before 2012 – Behavioural economist Roger Martin-Fagg predicted that, because of banking system failures, the global economy will contract for the first time since 1931.  Public sector income and expenditure will ‘drop like a stone’ from 2010 and the economy would be unlikely to show any real recovery before 2012. Survival and neutral growth are realistic aspirations for many businesses over the next couple of years.
  • How to survive and thrive in a turbulent age – Futurist Rohit Talwar reminded delegates that, even in the depths of recession, there is genuine potential for business development.  He said that, even in buoyant times, one-third of the businesses represented at the conference would not exist in five years’ time.  This was a good time to recruit, to invest in staff training and in multi-skilling your team, to buy businesses and develop effective partnerships.  He listed a number of industry sectors which would show growth in events over the next few years, including:  alternative energy; biotechnology; food; retail; infrastructure; healthcare; and education.
  • Opportunities for both large and small players – Experiential agency CEO, Rob Allen emphasised that, in the current climate, it wasn’t the case that only the large agencies would win pitches for conferences, product launches and internal communications events.  He said that discussions with corporate buyers from a wide range of industry sectors had revealed that many were keeping 25% of their business opportunities open to agile, nimble and innovative agencies regardless of their size.  He encouraged delegates to work on their own ‘super-proposition’ that could embrace virtual events and social media as well as demonstrating added value to procurement managers.

The format of The Summer Eventia also included two interactive panel discussions.  The first of these, entitled ‘A view from the coal face’, saw a range of corporate and agency buyers, plus suppliers representing destinations, hotels and airlines, share their experiences at the sharp-end.  Key points to emerge were the need for creativity, flexibility, innovation in event design and the use of technology.  Face-to-face communications will continue to be very important but virtual meetings will also have an increasingly important role to play.  ‘High impact, low cost’ events will be the objective for many organisations.  Conferences in the not-for-profit sector still remain strong with VisitBrighton describing 2009 as a very good year for association conventions.
The second panel debate gave delegates an insight and lots of practical tips on using social media such as Twitter, Linkedin, blogs, Facebook to optimise event marketing and develop genuine business opportunities at virtually no cost.

Izania Downie, Eventia CEO, said: “We’ve had a fantastic event in Brighton which addressed the top-of-mind challenges and issues facing the events industry at the present time.  Our speakers and workshop leaders gave realistic and honest analyses while at the same time outlining ways to not only to survive but to thrive in these difficult times.  The high level of attendance and delegate participation combined with very encouraging feedback confirm that the programme content was just what the industry needed.  In fact 87% of our delegates have rated The Summer Eventia as good or very good!”

  • Air Partner
  • Candada
  • Event Assured
  • Active Events