Opinion

Figures and strategic event management

Saying that events are important relationship actions, that meetings, congresses and incentives should be part of any commercial organisation or brand's communication and growth strategy, is as helpful as a wet Friday in November.

As is saying that in Brazil this sector is growing, that companies are investing and demanding more and more specialised labour, that there is an increase in the number of events and an expansion in hotels and venues. But the fact is that we are far from turning loose information into structured and relevant data. That is, we resent the lack of official information, research, technical studies, and solid and proven benchmarks for decision‑making.

Businessmen in this segment estimate that the sector has grown by double digit annually in the last five years, however, the most recent and important survey on the event market dates back to 2013, when ABEOC Brasil ‑ Associação Brasileira de Empresas de Eventos (Brazilian Association of Event Companies) and Sebrae Nacional – Serviço Brasileiro de Apoio às Pequenas e Micro Empresas (Brazilian Service of Support to Small and Micro Enterprises), published the II Dimensionamento Econômico da Indústria de Eventos no Brasil (II Economic Positioning of the Event Industry in Brazil), resulting from a research with more than two thousand companies in this sector. Since then, we can find references in the various trade media, speeches or promotional entity materials, noting that in that year 590,000 events were held in 7,590 venues throughout the country, with 202 million participants and who moved R$ 209.2 billion (around 50 billion euros), corresponding to more than 4% of GDP, and generating 7.5 million jobs.

In our everyday life what is perceived is a huge gap in relation to the how relevant and representative events are to companies. While talking with businessmen in this industry, what strikes me the most is the apparent carelessness with which customers have been dealing with the issue, completely opposite to the attributes of compliance, the need for saving and the requirement to calculate ROI for each action.

As the number of events increases, organisers say application deadlines are dropping. Today, asking for a budget less than 15 days in advance is already commonplace in 43% of Tour House demands, for example, although the average number of participants per event has been increasing from 55 to 74, comparing 2017 to 2018 in that company. Flight demands also dropped, indicating a trend in event regionalisation or even due to the increase in the average ticket value from 23% to 31%.

In that sense, how can we demand better negotiation if deadlines are shorter? How to operate with qualified professionals if we are all the time hiring surplus labour to deliver more quality with less investment?

I agree that figures can not be the only market indicators and that our daily work presents very particular questions and solutions because it depends on the customer, the branch of activity, the size of the company, the communication objectives, the business strategy and an infinite number of variables more. However, market leaders, representative entities, and professionals themselves need to look at this activity with more attention and science. Meeting Planners, partners, suppliers and all stakeholder networks should unite to strengthen this industry, consolidate ethical positions and best practice procedures to demonstrate to clients that they are capable of executing strategic event management and not just putting out fires or organising corporation parties.

Rose Almeida, jornalista, blogger, MICE Business Portal Publisher

Tags: Brazil, Meeting Planners

06-02-2019