Industry experts discuss future for event organisers at Confex

Digital marketing and reimagining events were the hot topics discussed at the packed Future for Event Organisers seminar today (13 March) at International Confex. 

On the panel were Nineteen Events CEO Peter Jones, Peter Heath MD of Londonlaunch, Simon Burton MD of Exposure Communication and Richard Pegler MD of Media Connexions who chaired the discussion. 

"In order to create a successful event, you need to treat every year like it's a launch event," said Jones. "No matter how many times you have run the show, you need to reimagine the event. Our only job as event organisers is to create an environment that's interesting."

In addition, Burton said digital and social media should be at the heart of every aspect of an event campaign. "You should also never use the word organisers. It's all about creating and producing an event. My team and I don't like to use the word organisers when describing what we do, we say event producers," he said.

The panel went on to discuss the boundaries between event producers and exhibition organisers blurring and suggested a change in the industry's mindset for the future.

"The marketplace is actually rising and expanding, and traditional ways of doing things are changing," said Heath. "There are grey areas we are all struggling with, like digital marketing for example. Traditional organisers panic when someone or something new enters the industry. It seems that event organisers aren't embracing new technology like this. We need to understand what it means first before we can do anything with it. Events will always evolve organically whereas exhibitions have to have a fundamental shift. We were hit by the recession but the industry is making a comeback."

Jones added that audience engagement is key. "Everyone enjoys live things happening. As event organisers we all need to stop being lazy and complacent. What we need to do is reimagine our events and embrace compelling content, risk and entertainment. We are all human beings and are stimulated by what we see."

By Annie Byrne.

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