From 10 – 11 January I attended the Best of Events International event at the Messe Dortmund Exhibition Centre. Taking place in the second week of 2018 that was a good opportunity to get back to business after the quiet Christmas and New Year period.
Along exhibitors ranging from venues, destinations, catering suppliers, technology providers, entertainment companies and others, four education streams took place that included the MICE Forum, Security Forum, Career Hub, Digital Forum and Acts on Stage. Another highlight was the BoE night.
Best of Events goes international
But let’s start from the beginning. What is the Best of Events International, or BoE? The BoE is a trade show for experience marketing, connecting exhibitors with event professionals and offering educational content for attendees across the multiple streams. It’s an annual show for trade visitors without hosted buyer programmes. Until now the show had mainly German focus with only one international exhibitor the Netherlands, but this year saw increase in international exhibitors including Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria. There was a small number of international delegates as well, demonstrating that the show is on the right path to achieve its goals.
One of the key trends predicted for 2018 is that delegates are looking for more authentic and local experiences and for “off the beaten path” destinations. As a result, destinations are adjusting their offer to follow this trend, with further DMCs and event agencies designing experiences around the „unknown“.
I love off the beaten path and authentic experiences. I don’t like crowded places, waiting in the queue (unless it’s Wimbledon) and overpriced products and services. But the same year that we talk about authenticity and off the beaten path destinations there is also a new widely used term – „over tourism“ that makes many tourism providers worried. Several destinations, especially Italy, Spain and France, encounter the negative effects of over tourism – so how can we prevent that other authentic destinations will not become overcrowded and lose their uniqueness?
And so we’re already in December and it’s time to write my “year in review” post. I do this each year to reflect on all the business activities and thank to all the partners and event attendees. It’s been a phenomenal year, fast paced and exciting. It brought new networking opportunities, innovative ideas and few last minute projects that turned out to be very successful.
We hosted three #EventPlannersTalk events, worked on two social media campaigns, travelled internationally and attended industry events, and the year is not over yet! Let’s look closer at each activity.
All trend predictions say that influencer marketing in the MICE industry is going to be big in 2018. Nothing new for leisure tourism, food, fashion and many other industries, but the MICE industry has still many question marks, some of which we aimed to answer at the recent #EventPlannersTalk Twitter chat about MICE Influencers.
I reach out to the global event community on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to suggest the topics they would like to discuss and got the most important and urgent questions that the industry wants to know.
This year during The International Confex someone tweeted a tweet that made me feel a bit uncomfortable “associations are old fashioned but networks with people are great”. This tweet was quoted during a panel of event graduates and this quote came from a young professional.
I have huge respect for all event associations such as MPI, SITE, ILEA and EMA, but I’m not a member. I do attend their events occasionally and many of my colleagues work for associations, volunteer or hold board member positions. I worked for an association myself and see the benefits, as well as the challenges they are facing. The main challenges being attracting new members and increasing event attendance.