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Does the event industry show enough "intelligence"?

Delegates at the Global Event Summit said the sector lacked intelligent and strategic thinking

Pictured: Delegates at the Global Events Summit

The events industry is not doing enough to show its worth according to a new report from the International Live Events Association (ILEA).

Comments from the 28 leading event professionals at the association's Global Events Summit earlier this year have been compiled into a "purple paper" by ILEA, which it hopes will be used to support the industry.

When asked 'what is wrong with our industry', one delegate said: "To date, the industry has not been able to articulate our value - the value of live events - to the degree that makes us a mandatory part of business."

Another added: "We are seen as creative and not always intelligent and strategic. We haven't taken ourselves seriously either. And we cannot measure the value that we bring."

One delegate said the events industry has "an image problem", adding: "we are viewed as frivolous, unsophisticated and even unnecessary."

Another  said: "Everyone can do our work - barriers to entry are low - there is a perception that we are not worth our time/costs. Therefore, we are not seen as a necessity as a good majority. Unskilled people entering the market make us all look bad."

The event professionals had been attending a summit organised by ILEA, VisitScotland and IMEX Group, which was hosted in multiple venues in Scotland following a visit to IMEX Frankfurt in April.

The group identified terrorism and cyber attacks, event 'alternatives' such as virtual reality and digital, climate change, inexperienced planners and the inability to control negative messages as the key threats to undermining the events industry.

Jodi Collen, ILEA president, said: "Our delegates came together with open minds, ready to engage in discussions and activities, aiming to identify the challenges and opportunities faced by today's industry. They left with their minds exhausted, yet filled with ideas and inspiration." 

Download the purple paper here.

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