In spite of the challenges posed by event cancellations due to Coronavirus, the events industry faces a massive opportunity for accelerated growth and prosperity beyond COVID-19.
Human beings are social animals. Since the dawn of time, we have gathered to tell stories and build relationships with each other. From campfires to convention centres, we don’t just want to spend time together, we need to. It is undeniably part of who we are.
Today, we interact with the world through our screens. Much of the work we do and the things we create and consume exist in a virtual world. Intangible and abstract. Leaving some of our most basic human needs unfulfilled.
We Want Meaningful Memories
Right now, the events industry is dealing with thousands of cancelled events and billions in lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The world will be a very different place by the time we come out of this, but one fact that will continue to ring true is that for America’s biggest, most diverse generation, making memories beats buying stuff.
Millennials crave real and meaningful experiences. Something to ignite our passion and combat the monotony of an always-on world.
But We Feel Like We’ve Seen It All Before
When things get back on track and we all learn to adjust to the new normal, the events community will still need to resolve a problem it’s facing right now. The event professionals tasked with creating meaningful experiences are limiting themselves. Too often, they’re relying on closed networks, little black books and ring fenced supply chains. The result? The same old event pros produce the same old events.
Think about how many times you’ve been served similar canapes in similar venues with similar music and near identical decor at the last few corporate events you’ve attended.
Granted, this may seem like harsh criticism at a time when the events industry is facing challenges beyond anything it’s seen in recent times. At the time of writing, publicly traded industry giant and online ticketing platform, Eventbrite has seen its share price fall from $22,14 to $8.66 per share in just 30 days. While an article published on Vox.com’s Recode highlights the economic loss caused by the cancellation of more than 10 major tech conferences, including Google I/O, SXSW, and the Electronic Entertainment Expo has surpassed $1.1. billion according to data intelligence company PredictHQ.
But just like COVID-19 shutdowns have forced businesses to evolve into distributed organizations with their teams working remotely, the events community needs to find the opportunities to adapt and evolve in this time of crisis.
Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Event professionals, venue owners and vendors are a resourceful bunch. They wouldn’t be in events if they weren’t. They take pride in their ability to find solutions to problems you didn’t know you had while maintaining a calm, professional demeanour and making sure the show goes on.
But when you’re good at what you do, and you keep doing it season after season with one satisfied client after the next, it’s all too easy to settle into that warm, welcoming comfort zone.
The zone where word of mouth is enough to bring in clients for the next three months. Where relationships with a specific group of vendors settle into long term partnerships, complete with preferential pricing and professional favours. Where momentum, rather than drive, does just enough to maintain the status quo. As we’ve been told so many times before, usually via a fleeting social media post…
“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.”Unknown
As cliche as that quote may be, it has spread far and wide for good reason and the global events community needs to pay attention to this message now more than ever.
With everyone from world leaders to scientists and celebrities calling for self-isolation and social distancing, many of the tried and tested business development tactics are no longer viable. Forget the handshake and quick exchange of business cards or the face to face consultation. Event professionals need to adopt digital business practices to not only survive the short-term challenges, but to ensure they meet their clients’ expectations in the long term too.
Millennials want freedom, transparency and to feel empowered to make informed decisions more easily. If you think we’re lazy and entitled, you’re wrong. We simply refuse to jump through analogue hoops when we’ve spent our lives using technology to get things done.
Vendors, venues and event professionals relying on closed networks, little black books and the old way of doing things will simply not survive.
It’s easy to panic, close ranks, become overprotective and avoid anything new or unfamiliar, but this is not how the events community is going to survive beyond 2020.
The walls built by the defenders of the status quo will simply not withstand the relentless onslaught of the 4th industrial revolution. A force more powerful than COVID-19. In fact, you could argue that the current crises will catapult the world to an even greater level of technological advancement.
We’re seeing this happen everywhere. e-Commerce giant Amazon is hiring 100 000 workers to keep up with demand, Netflix has just launched NetflixParty, allowing you to chat with your friends while streaming your favourite shows and online education, gaming and digital medical consultation platforms are booming.
They’re not the only examples, we’re seeing this in the travel industry, finance and food, and we’re on the cusp of this happening in events too.
Another high profile example is JayZ’s recent investment in the Hungry platform, a service connecting workers with chefs to provide office catering during the workday, Hollywood actor Kevin Hart is an excited co-investor.
“Hungry is levelling the playing field for chefs and giving them economic opportunities that they never had before. I’m a big supporter of what this business stands for.”Kevin Hart
What the global events community needs now more than ever is to embrace change, welcome fresh perspectives, and adapt. Event professionals need to be the disruptors before they become the disrupted. And it starts with breaking down the silos and welcoming a new wave of aspiring vendors and event pros.
Better Than 2020 Vision
Imagine the rich, rewarding and fascinating experiences we’d enjoy if we harnessed the massive potential of creators and innovators hungry for their shot at putting a dent in the universe. A chance to create events that are truly bright, diverse and technicoloured.
At Eventerprise, this is the vision that keeps our midnight oil burning and gets us out of bed in the morning. We know that we’re all facing challenges right now, but we will overcome them. As we always have. We’ve built our open, impartial platform as the launchpad to event success and richer, more memorable experiences for all.
Who Will Lead The Way
We’re for the new kids, the cool kids, the gig workers, and the side hustlers. We’re creating economic opportunities for skilled and capable people. Connecting demand for memorable experiences with an untapped army of talent, ready and eager to make their mark.
If you believe in levelling the playing field, elevating the global events community and working together to serve the greater good, then you’re one of us. We’re breaking the rules, taking a stand and connecting the world of events. Join us, if you’re ready for a revolution.