Unemployment and employee burn out are high on the list of future issues for the events industry, according to its associations.
Didier Scalliet of MPI, Paul Miller of Site and Deborah Sexton of the PCMA (via Skype) discussed ‘What happens next – the global economic impact of world events on the meetings market’ at the Summer Eventia this week.
Despite maintaining a stance of ‘cautious optimism’ the panel listed the following issues:
A jobless recovery - Scaillet said: “We’re not seeing an uptake in employment, it is a jobless recovery and people are having to do more with less.” He added that the growing importance of technology could help, given the need for “a different breed of talent in our industry” via increased skills in broadcasting, video editing and production and social media.
Emerging markets - Asia, with India and China in particular is seeing increased inbound and outbound business. Miller added: “These markets currently have a very much your-operator focused mentality. As business picks up, education in these markets will be key.”
Preferred supplier procurement - Miller spoke of online compliance tools that many of the larger incentive houses had now adopted in the United States, only allowing those with preferred supplier status on the system to submit an RFP (request for proposal). “That’s likely to become an issue as more companies procure that way.”
The sustainability agenda - Scaillet said the emphasis on corporate social responsibility issues would continue, with increasing emphasis given the introduction of the Convention Industry Council’s Green Standards and the UN process-driven Global Reporting Initiative for mega events.
Increased expectations - Miller noted: “Fifty-five per cent of DMCs are increasingly becoming a one-stop shop and they’re doing it reluctantly. The corporate buyer is shopping more – we need to reinforce what we add to that community, we matter, we make things happen in this industry.”
Constant connection - Miller raised concerns about “The current trend beyond 24-7. It’s absolutely critical to turn off for at least a small period of time. Being switched on constantly could lead to problems going down the road in terms of possible burnout.”
Merger and acquisitions - Scaillet recognised there was still a lot of volatility in the market globally: “There will be consolidation in a number of sectors, including ours.”