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Why Kenes appointment signals new era for ROI

Dr Elling Hamso, managing partner of the Event ROI institute, hails Rosa Garriga Mora’s move as a turning point

Pictured: Rosa Garriga Mora

The recruitment of a meetings architect at professional conference organiser (PCO) Kenes could be a turning point in the industry’s understanding of return on investment (ROI), a leading practitioner claims.

Rosa Garriga Mora, who coaches companies and associations in the implementation of the ROI methodology on behalf of the Event ROI Institute, has joined Kenes as its first meetings architect. And it is a move that could herald a new era for measuring the value of events, says the institute’s managing partner Dr Elling Hamso.

He said: “Meeting professionals have known for a long time that meetings have to change in order to deliver more value to participants. The main barrier is meeting owners who don't understand why change is necessary. But now Kenes clearly judged that there is sufficient client demand to employ a meeting design expert, moving PCOs from logistics and hospitality to real value creation through better meeting design.

“PCOs and event management agencies will have to follow suit in order to stay competitive. This is true of every sector of the meetings industry, but probably PCOs in particular. A large part of their business is medical congresses, and these need to brace themselves for a very different future when participating doctors are no longer sponsored by the pharma industry.”

Mora, who joined Kenes from event app developer My Qaa, says her new role will create a different mindset. “The entire planning process is focused on how to change the behaviour of participants in a way that will bring value to the meeting owner. Meeting planning becomes more a question of understanding behavioural psychology and designing an emotional and physical ambience which prepares participants for the relevant learning experience.”

Ori Lahav, associate VP marketing at Kenes Group, said: “We feel Rosa has the right experience that can improve Kenes’s service, but more importantly help our clients and their events grow. With the fast paced world we live in, we want to give our clients added value, better results and empower them to achieve more.” 

Although the creation of the position of meeting architect is a step in the right direction, Hamso warned that there is still a long way to go before the industry is able to fully appreciate the benefits of measuring ROI.

“The real problem is client side,” he added. “Association clients are happy if participants are satisfied, without much concern for the real meeting impact. Associations who exist to alleviate suffering from heart decease or cancer need to ask themselves what more could the congress have achieved towards those missions. Most corporate managers still allow large sums of money to be spent without accountability. But we move in the right direction, we just have to recognise that changing management culture takes time.”

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