28 Sep 2015

The Exciting Return of Corporate Events

48 percent of respondents cited domestic corporate business is increasing

Corporate Meetings growth compared to other sectors

In the 2015 summer edition of MPI’s Meetings Outlook survey, 48 percent of respondents cited domestic corporate business as the segment of their organization’s meeting and event-related business that has seen the greatest increase in activity—that’s up from 37 percent one year earlier.

“It’s a very dynamic, positive environment we’re in,” says Bill Voegeli (MPI Georgia Chapter), president of Association Insights, the Atlanta-area research firm that conducts the survey. “Companies are spending somewhat more freely but not recklessly. They are still cautious and still driven by objectives, but their objectives have changed slightly from budget conservation to ROI.” In this new environment, Voegeli says, meeting professionals are more empowered to adapt content and experiences to the needs and desires of attendees.

“In the past, planners had to really be creative just to stay within their budget,” he says. “Now their creativity can be redirected toward creating a superior experience in terms of education, networking and morale.”

Europe still not as far in the recovery as the U.S.

While growth in corporate meetings is strong in the U.S., meeting professionals in some markets are seeing domestic corporate business return more slowly.

“I think some corporate business is coming back,” says Alan Pini, CMP, CMM (MPI Italia Chapter), CEO of Teknocongress, a Milan-based supplier of events technology. “There has been a general increase in the export business by large corporations. These are the people who make investments in communications and events. That is coming back—not because the local market is growing but because of the demand by foreign markets, especially China and the Far Eastern markets.”

Still, Teknocongress has gotten new domestic business in connection with Universal Expo 2015 in Milan. At the six-month exhibition, more than 140 countries are showing their best technology to guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food to feed the planet. At the show, Teknocongress has supplied LED walls and “vidiwalls” to such Italian brands as Lavazza coffee and specialty meat purveyor Citterio, for instance.

“There is a huge demand,” says Pini, whose company has made large investments in LED walls. “In that respect, we have been successful in the ROI.”

Social Media used to extend live events

Corporate clients are still keeping a close eye on the ROI of meetings, to the point of coming up with creative metrics with which to measure it. One case in point was a live Lenovo event in Beijing at which the technology company tracked “shared moments” connected to the event, such as chats on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo and media hits. Norman Aamodt, President Event Strategy group says the event had 6.5 million of these shared moments.

From his point of view, these new forms of measurement help his business.

“Social media and other media—and the ability of people to use their phones to vote and discuss things—extends live events much farther than the live event,” he says. “We’re actually starting to use that as a unit of measure with certain clients, where we are trying to track not only what happens at the event but its life in cyberspace.”

The data gives corporate clients who are investing heavily in meetings proof that they are bringing value—something that still matters to top leadership.

From MPIweb.org source

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