The Future of Meetings: Original Events

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The events industry is constantly challenged to deliver solutions that meet expectations and answers the ever-evolving needs of the market. Industries with a high accumulation of information require more ways to meet, exchange knowledge, collaborate and build networks. In this environment, new fields and topics pick-up speed fast, but often traditional associations cannot address them at annual meetings due to limited resources. These trending issues require fresh ideas from planners to create dedicated platforms now.

What is the model of Original Events?

They are often initiated and driven by different stakeholders: a corporation, government, venue, convention and visitor bureau (CVB), an association, or the professional conference organiser (PCO) itself. Often, the PCO is the facilitator leading all involved parties.

Original Events offer independence to PCOs, and the opportunity to fill a market gap while expanding their business portfolio and penetrating new segments. The main process to kick-off a project is straightforward: identify ideas with growth potential, invest in emerging topics, create a solid business case, and assess and mitigate all risks. Embarking on this path requires an investment of time and resources, as well as adaptability to different business models each platform may call for.

To organise such an event, the main requirement is co-creation and combining resources with destinations, CVBs, venues, to get access to local knowledge hubs, innovation centres, and institutions. Involving Key Opinion Leaders in the field is vital as they lead the content creation for each event. The PCO and partners navigate together toward establishing a new brand, supported by thorough research, pre-financing and a clear marketing strategy. Original Events are built on the strength of each stakeholder involved: research, regional competences, knowledge hubs, the right environment and infrastructure, or the ability to reach local academia.

Meetings are a powerful tool to build a community and a network that connects like-minded professionals and companies. It is expected from all of us in the industry to accept the challenge, take the risk and provide support in creating effective new event brands. Welcome to a future filled with Original Events.

This article first appeared in HQ The Associations Magazine, Feb 2019.

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