I came across an interesting report entitled “2018 Best Countries Rankings” conducted by the global marketing communications company Y&R’s brand strategy firm, BAV Group, and the Wharton School. The sub category “Best Countries for Entrepreneurship” placed Germany number one, before Japan (2), United States (3), United Kingdom (4) and Switzerland (5). The attributes that scored the highest for Germany making it an attractive country for entreprenurship in this study include a well-developed infrastructure, transparent business practices, educated population, skilled labour force, connectivity to the rest of the world, technological expertise and well-developed legal framework. The areas that scored lower include easy access to capital, entrepreneurial and innovative.
This study and its results were of a great interest to me because 1.5 years ago I moved to Germany from the UK and therefore had to also move my business to Germany. This was a good decision to make this transition. By moving my business to a new country my business expanded to a new and important market for the events industry. There are fundamental differences between the UK and Germany that offer great opportunities but also some challenges (especially for small businesses) so I wanted to share with you my experience and what’s next for my business.
I registered my business in the UK shortly after I started trading. I had to decide whether to work as a sole trader or register a Limited company so I chose the latter. In the UK it’s very fast, simple and inexpensive to register a company, making the barriers to entry very low. The reason I chose to trade as a company is my wish to grow the company and not being perceived as a “one-man band”.
Influencer marketing is currently a hot topic in the MICE industry. The leisure travel industry has been implementing it successfully since around 2012 as I can remember when I visited the Wold Travel Market. The MICE industry, on the other hand, is slowly testing it since last year. Given that we have so much to learn from the leisure travel industry, ITB Berlin was the perfect opportunity to organise an Event Planners Talk live session about this topic. Each year ITB Berlin has a dedicated MICE programme organised by their official partner, the German Event Planners Association, Verband der Veranstaltungsorganisatoren e.V. (VDVO). This year a half day conference took place, along the MICE Hub exhibition and MICE Night in the evening at an external venue, International Club Berlin. The Event Planners Talk took place just before the MICE Night and welcomed international planners.
For this session we had the pleasure to welcome Nicholas Montemaggi, Chief Marketing Officer at iambassador, and Erik Mortensen, Head of Business Events Denmark at Visit Denmark. I met Nicholas back in 2012 at the World Travel Market when he was working for the Emilia Romagna Tourist Board and was one of the first destinations to run an influencer campaign, Blog Ville. I worked with Visit Denmark on the #everythingiscloser campaign that they launched end of last year.
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.
Hosted Buyer Programmes and Fam Trips are well established in the events industry. Nearly every event professional has encounter them in one form or another. With not just technology changing at a fast pace in the industry the question is if they are still the right model in the marketing mix – what does the current business environment look like, how effective and easy is it to attract the right audience, do they deliver ROI? These questions got raised after an anonymous blacklist was published in July and discussed at the latest #EventPlannersTalk Live event on 26th September at the Caledonian Club in London.
The MICE Blog had invited for a Breakfast session to talk about ‘Hosted Buyer Programmes and Fam Trips – is it time for a change?’ in partnership with the AIEA (Alliance of Independent Event Agencies), the Caledonian Club, Splento and Sli.do.
Event proposal often evoke mixed feelings among event professionals. Some see them as an opportunity to shine and share their brightest ideas to win a new business, others take a more cautious approach due to risk of copying ideas, and see them rather as time consuming and tedious. One way or another, every event business needs them to grow and prosper.
The current business environment makes things more challenging. It has evolved to require a new set of expectations. For example, budgets are getting tighter, lead time shorter with always increasing delivery standards and new means of communication. As a result, event proposals need to correspond to always increasing expectations.