Hosted buyer programmes and fam trips were questioned and came in the spotlight after an industry “blacklist” was sent to conference organisers last year. To get a further insight into the topic, shortly after its publication we got a panel together and discussed whether this business model still meets today’s business needs of buyers and suppliers. The discussion “Hosted Buyer Programmes and Fam Trips – is it time for a change” had a very strong focus on fam trips, so we decided to host a follow up session and focus only on Hosted Buyers. The Event Planners Talk session took place at the International Confex last month.
The session was called “Hosted Buyers – lifeblood or leeches”. Prior to it we ran a poll on Twitter with the question “hosted buyers: lifeblood or leeches?”. 22 event professionals answered and the result was a 50-50 split. Surprisingly, several event planners said that this model is still relevant but needs innovation. We took on board the feedback from the online audience and aimed to look for solutions how to innovate this model.
Our speakers were Johnny D. Martinez, Head of Marketing and Business Development at Shocklogic, Valerie Kosh, Business Leader at C-WISE, Paul Colston, Managing Editor, Conference Division at Mash Media and Adam Perry, Director at Event Tech Live. The session was moderated by Robert Kenward, Co-founder & Chief Talent Officer at YOU search & select.
Skift Mega Trends Report 2017 listed festivalisation of events as one of the mega trends that will impact the events industry. But it seems that in Europe we are one step behind the US in identifying and implementing trends. Only in 2018 it comes our way and sees the wider adoption in the events industry.
This year at ITB Berlin MICE Forum festivalisation was one of the key topics and welcomed representatives from three German events: Bits & Pretzels, Best of Events International (BoE) and CEBIT to share their experience. These events are very different from each other, but all understand that their audience is looking for a new way of doing business. Therefore, they needed to introduce innovation before they become irrelevant to their target audience. The session was called Create The New: Creating A Festive Atmosphere At Events and speakers were Henrik Bollmann, Project Manager at Best of Events International, Christian Lohmeier, Producer at Bits & Pretzels and Hartwig von Saß, Head of Cebit Press at Deutsche Messe. Mario Schmidt, Owner at SCHMIDTfabrik-medianetwork moderated the session.
Events industry is not only about beautiful venues, exciting destinations and smiling people. Unfortunately there is also a dark side to it, one that we almost never talk about between peers and in the press. But times are changing, and people are more open to talk about taboo topics, like sexual harassment in a professional setting. The change that brought the society to acknowledge and terminate sexual harassment in the workplace is the #MeToo movement. It went viral back in October 2017 following sexual abuse allegations against the American film producer Harvey Weinstein. The “Weinstein effect” was triggered as a result of the viral campaign and called for dismissals of men who hold positions of power in the society and workplace for sexual abuse allegations.
On 23rd January Financial Times broke a story about sexual harassment at the Presidents Club fundraiser dinner. Financial Times sent two journalists undercover to work as hostesses at the Presidents Club Dinner that took place at the Dorchester Hotel in London. The journalists broke the story of sexist environment and abuse towards the hostesses. It made headlines on social media and international press, but in the events industry, media and event associations were slow to respond to the story.
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?