This blog was written by Paul Cook, Events Content Writer, Hybrid and Virtual Events Producer.
It’s all well and good creating a manifesto but what happens as a direct result is as important. But, I will get to that later.
The JMIC (Joint Meetings Industry Council) recently created a manifesto. Its purpose is to speed up the recovery of the live business events sector which ground to a halt due to the COVID -19 crisis.
In essence, JMIC position the manifesto as a template or toolkit for live business events industry advocacy. Alongside the manifesto, The Iceberg produced a webinar that discussed it. The Iceberg is a platform that specialises in legacies from Business events. AIME, IBTM, IMEX, and Meetings Africa supported the webinar, which is in two parts.
Read the manifesto and watch the webinar and you will find a ton of useful information on the value arguments for business events.
Throughout the webinar, interview extracts from leading players in the events sector were shown. They expressed their frustrations, disappointments and hopes for the future of live events in equal measure. A few to share included, Lesley Williams, MD Best Cities Global Alliance who said
“We have fought tirelessly for our industry to be recognised by national governments, local governments and the cities and it’s tragic that our industry has practically had to crumble before governments realise just how valuable the meetings industry is.”
James Rees felt that “the events sector should be better seen as industry enhancers rather than deliverers of great events that happen to be about a certain industry”.
Shane Hannam, Portfolio Director, IBTM Events, commented that the events sector doesn’t have the same level of political importance as other industries.
As I said, a lot of useful insights and comments that anyone working in the events sector can utilise.
However, there were times when it felt like hard work ploughing through the resources available. I felt that obscure language was used too often. And if it wasn’t obscure then maybe there was too much academic emphasis.
This may have been the intention of the JMIC as, after all, the manifesto is a high-level document. But it hid the nuggets and gems that are so important. They should not be missed. And if the reader is having to work harder to make sense of the meaning, they are more likely to put it into the ‘too difficult’ pile and never return to it, which would defeat the object of the exercise.
But, JMIC has provided a great resource for you to use.
The manifesto includes ’15 Ways Business Events Create Strategic Advantage in Economic Recovery and Renewal’ and ‘Ten Steps to Delivering the Message’.
Study it, focus on the areas you want to develop and then break it down into your own words that relate directly to your client and community. That way you can make the most of it and everyone benefits.
Life needs to be breathed into the manifesto for it to have the impact that will help the economies and governments across the world, so please make the most of it.
It’s time for the emotional embrace to be made. It’s time for event professionals to take a good hard look at how they can use this vital information and ideas and use in their own work.
There is certainly a lot to consider. I for one will be sharing these documents with my event management students at the University of Westminster and to other universities that are interested.
But, as I write that, I know that it’s not enough. The manifesto and webinar should surely be sent to all universities across the globe that have events as part of their curriculum. It’s an obvious first step but a crucial one.
If the younger generation can take forward the business and political case to their governments in future years as easy as anything else, then that would be real progress. It can be done.
Professor Greg Clark advocated the positioning of business events as a critical catalyst of recovery. This is sound advice as far as I can see. And whether you are a student or a veteran of the industry his message is one that can easily be promoted.
As well as with the future leaders, we need to spread the manifesto far and wide across all our networks of event professionals. We need to harness this work and breathe life into it.
Once that is done and as long as we keep plugging away at the messaging to governments we should never be in need of resuscitation ever again.
Life will have been breathed forever into the world of business events and the benefits they bring to the economy and society across the globe.
Paul Cook will be moderating a panel on The Future of Venues at IBTM World Virtual this year as part of our IBTM TV content stream.
Find out more here.
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