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No one involved with events in the UK would have been pleased to see this month’s top news story about the decline in the conference industry. It is always problematic when money starts to disappear from an industry and it is to be hoped that solutions will be found quickly.
Having said all that, I wonder to what extent the customer is finally hitting back having found other ways of doing things after years of getting a raw deal?
We’ve all been there, sitting in dark windowless rooms, listening to totally uninspiring presentations with only the welcome break at lunchtime to get us through. Unfortunately this too is an ordeal because the food is lukewarm, deep-fried and produces a near fatal dose of heartburn just as the afternoon session gets going.
To be fair to the conference market it’s not just its product that can be rubbish. How many weddings, Christmas parties, product launches, drinks receptions, awards dinners, the list is endless, have you been to where the event itself singularly failed to live up to the expectation?
The bottom line is that well organised events that give the customer, visitor, delegate or guest a compelling reason for being there will always thrive.
Let me change the wording of the third and fourth paragraphs.
We’ve all been there, sitting in brightly lit, comfortable rooms, listening to totally inspiring presentations which are keenly discussed over a sumptuous lunch that matched the occasion perfectly. The sort of conference that makes you want to go again because of the valuable experience it gave you.
To be fair to the conference market it’s not just its product that can be superb. How many weddings, Christmas parties, product launches, drinks receptions, awards dinners, the list is endless, have you been to where the event was so beautifully put together that it was a joy from start to finish and everyone came away having had a thoroughly awesome time?
You see, it can be done. If there are the bare bones of a recession in the industry, then that is a shame. However, the firms that produce great events and the venues that continually upgrade their standards will thrive perfectly.