The world of meetings & special events has certainly changed since 2008. As a matter of fact, it’s taken quite a beating, but clearly there continue to be major special events and meetings..
But, what about other corporate events and the rest of the event world? A good portion of major internal corporate meetings – nationwide sales and marketing conferences , for example – have been either cancelled or downsized. Trade association conference attendance is way down in many industries. Educational and networking conferences are having trouble filling their seats. Why? Well, it appears that the conventional wisdom these days – which I feel is downright crazy – is to stop spending money on meetings and events. Stop spending to plan and produce, and stop spending on travel and the cost of registration. Just like many companies have cut down the marketing and advertising budgets.
I don’t have a degree in economics or business, but I do have one in education and that background taught me what is of utmost importance. All of the types of meetings and events that I just mentioned are a form of education and we need to find ways to extend the reach of learning and the opportunities derived from that learning.
A company or association – or any brand for that matter – must keep their name out there or soon they won’t exist.
For instance, trade associations rely on their meetings and Tradeshows for revenue and membership recruitment. Corporate America must bring their employees together to continue branding and educating from within. Large sales forces must be updated and trained.
The answer is either webcasting your meeting, or creating a live hybrid event. This means broadcasting your meeting to your audience wherever they are, or even bringing in speakers and participants from different locations all at the same time. Attendees can have the same shared experience of a meeting, general session, or workshop and can be made available on demand for later viewing.