The global business events sector cannot – and likely never will – operate in the exact same way that it did before 2020. It has already experienced many years’ worth of digital transformation in just a few months, and that innovation needs to continue for the sector to fully recover and thrive beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although most professionals in the industry agree that face-to-face meetings remain relevant, they also agree on the urgent need to rethink and reengineer business events. Moving forward, professional event organisers and planners must be more open to leverage useful technologies to continue creating impactful experiences. They must be more agile and adopt a growth outlook to prime themselves for recovery.
For those struggling to know where to start, Singapore Tourism Board has partnered with the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau (SECB), and UFI (The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry), to create a white paper full of forward-thinking ideas and best practice examples. It provides an overview of the big questions, evolving challenges, and industry insights as business events gradually resume around the world throughout the rest of 2021 and into 2022.
Here are just a few of the highlights…
The white paper recommends that business events players should think about innovating across three pillars: Business Models, Delegate Experience, and Talent and Capabilities
Reimagine business models
Uncover new opportunities and expand target segments in line with emerging customer needs…
Think and behave like a start-up
Singapore-based technology company GEVME applied lessons learned from an early prototype to successfully launch a new networking experience.
Find your core
Unexpected Atlanta kept true to its mission of sharing the history and cuisine of the American South and uncovered new revenue streams as its tours went virtual.
Improvise and diversify
Australia’s Harry the hirer innovated but without starting from scratch — turning its marquees into temporary hospitals and deploying IT staff to develop wearables for contact tracing.
Reimagine delegate experience
With health and safety at the core, leverage technology to enhance audience engagement…
Dream big, but start small
Singapore’s Emerging Stronger Taskforce convened an Alliance for Action which tested new ideas for business events and swiftly applied lessons to fine-tune solutions for subsequent pilots.
SIAARTI partnered with AIM Group International to design a travelling roadshow and a digital programme to reach its association members amidst heightened restrictions across Italy.
Reimagine talent and capabilities
Equip teams with skills and knowhow that will serve them now and prepare them for the future…
Engage proactively and transparently with employees
Montgomery Asia gave employees a seat in the decision-making table as the company charted its path through the pandemic.
Cultivate stronger digital literacy and skills
SACEOS co-created programmes and career roadmaps to help business events professionals acquire skills required even post-pandemic.
Source ideas and talent from different places
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre organised a hackathon where staff and external industry partners came up with promising concepts for new revenue streams.
The paper advises that innovation should not be a sprint for the sector to resume to pre-COVID levels, but a marathon to transform. It concludes: “Whoever meets customers’ needs in the most effective and economical way will recover fastest and serve as a beacon for the rest of the sector.”
To learn more, download the full white paper at https://go.gov.sg/reimagining-business-events