Saturday, October 29, 2016

At the Zoo

Are mammoth trade shows dropping like flies?

That's what AmEx predicts in its new 84-page report, 2017 Global Meetings and Events Forecast.

Companies' event marketing spend won't change next year, but where that money's spent will, according to the report.

Event marketers' spend will increase by 1% in 2017, while their participation in big North American trade shows will decrease by 20% (the average event marketer will participate in 8 of those shows next year, down from 10).

Event marketers will spend the money they would have spent on those big events on small, content-rich ones, instead.

Presaging next year's downturn, four flagship shows recently shuttered: ASAE's Springtime, CTIA's Super Mobility Week, FMI's Connect, and NCTA's INTX.

Which big fossils will be next to sing a swan song?

Event-industry journalist Michael Hart recently observed that, right now, tortoise-like associations are exceedingly vulnerable to their hare-like counterparts, the for-profit organizers, as more money chases fewer events.

While associations dither, "Nimble players can swoop in and launch a competing 'pop-up,' worrying little about legacy issues and more about profits," Hart wrote.

It's time for associations to give up the ostrich-act and take the bull by the horns. There's simply no time to monkey around.

Learn to ape your for-profit competitors!

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