I’ve written recently about the three dimensions of events, covering learning, networking and lasting value. Or broken down to an event’s “atomic units”: shared ideas, personal interactions and concrete actions.
Today I want to explore: what does this mean for event producers? Ultimately, if you put on an event, it goes without saying that you are responsible for all aspects of it. And your job is getting harder.
You don’t just compete with other events. You compete with everything for the attention of your audience.
Increasingly, your audience is looking for more from you—they can see the latest talking heads at home on YouTube or the live stream from yours or another conference. They can network with their contacts via email and social media, and surf the web more easily than they can a trade show.
So it is incumbent on us as event producers to offer more—better content, more inspiring and unique experiences and more targeted marketing and connection opportunities. I had a chance to watch part of the live stream from last night’s Event Marketer Summit ex Awards, where the many winners definitely gave a taste for what stepping up our game may look like, for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-tY5A_LDn0&feature=youtu.be
At our best, we will develop a super-heightened sense of both the interest graph and the social graph of our audiences, and leverage that understanding to compete effectively. So far, however, we are not measuring up to this challenge very well.
As you build your team of event vendors and services that allow you to serve the needs of your participants, speakers and sponsors, pay close attention to who is recognizing this new competitive reality, and is committed to upping their game accordingly.
Like the newspaper, travel and music industries before us, the Event Industry is increasingly on the receiving end of the Internet’s penchant to “eat” business as usual.
Call it disintermediation or call it what you will. One of my old event teammates was a caterer, and he, with his scruffy beard, and disheveled vibe, would often wear a shirt that sums up this current reality:
“It isn’t pretty, but it’s real!”