Google defines an event as “1) a thing that happens, especially one of importance; 2) a planned public or social occasion; or 3) each of several particular contests making up a sports competition.” Well, two of the three are relevant to our industry.
An “event” can be almost anything—the primary distinction in Google’s definition is that it must be important. That broad term has been adopted by the Convention Industry Council, which has changed its name to the Events Industry Council. The International Special Events Society also rebranded recently as the International Live Events Association. Within my organization, Financial & Insurance Conference Planners, our language refers to the industry as the meetings and events industry, although it includes conferences, conventions, product launches, incentive/recognition trips, and other types of gatherings.
When you take a step back, it’s hard not to realize how massive the industry is and the importance of our role. Collectively, as an industry, we pack a serious punch! We do a lot of things, but we can become more efficient and effective through more strategic collaboration. There is a lot of redundancy in our space. There are dozens of members of the trade press and multiple associations (34 within the Events Industry Council). Many of us conduct and publish research that looks awfully similar to what our colleagues produce. And, all of us hold meetings and events that frequently compete for the attention of similar clientele.
While each member of the trade press, each association, and each trade show organizer fulfills a unique need within the industry, much of our work is done in a vacuum.
Later this year, the industry is going to come together to conduct its third Economic Significance Study to illustrate the collective power of our industry. The study will be matched with other similar studies on a global basis. It will be one massive collaboration that needs participation and support from all industry organizations. Get involved. Contribute. Participate!
After we pull this off, we need to ask another question: “Why don’t we do more of this kind of stuff?” Wouldn’t the industry be better as a result? Let’s all commit to more sharing in the spirit of industry cohesiveness.