The Events Industry Council (EIC) compiled a list of the top five trends that are currently shaping the events industry at a recent Council Meeting attended by EIC members and industry leadership.
“The Events Industry Council gathers together the leading organizations in our industry and we always use time at our Council meetings to discuss what is top of mind for their organization and its members,” said EIC President and CEO Karen Kotowski. “Event safety and security [were] most certainly top of mind for our members given what our world and the industry has experienced this past year and the [EIC] is working through our APEX Committee to curate resources available as well as develop tools for meeting professionals to use.”
Following are the five key trends for event professionals to keep top of mind, as compiled by the EIC.
1. Safety and Security
Safety and security have been top of mind for all of the industry associations. The events of 2017, including floods in South Asia, hurricanes in the U.S. and the Caribbean, acts of terror such as the bombing at the Manchester Arena, the mass shooting in Las Vegas and the release of the WannaCry ransomware attack, have strengthened the resolve to provide risk management education and resources to industry professionals. A shift in perceptions about safety and security measures was also discussed. The need for metal detectors at public events, for example, has gone from their presence being questioned, to their absence being questioned.
Another topic of discussion was the coordination between convention centers and relief organizations and federal agencies in establishing mega shelters and providing services for first responders.
2. Cyber Security and Data Protection Regulations
Cyber security continues to be an important issue for the industry. The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that come into effect in Europe in May 2018 will have a significant impact on how organizations in the industry manage Personally Identifiable Information (PII). The regulation not only affects European organizations, but also any organization that offers goods or services to Europeans.
Because of this, the EIC created a resource for everyone to ensure they are prepared and in compliance.
3. Demonstrating Relevance
A common issue discussed at the meeting was the need for associations to demonstrate their relevance. Many of the associations are re-examining membership and management models as well as event formats and are tailoring their programs to meet the specific needs of stakeholders.
While recognizing that associations can’t be all things to all people, there is a need to be relevant to all membership segments, as well as for the industry as a whole. This includes augmenting the relevance of events themselves, through better event design, greater engagement and improved practices for knowledge retention.
4. Workforce Trends
A number of factors are affecting the workforce of the future in the hospitality and events industries. As we consider the role of automation, outsourcing, new technology and disruptors that are changing cost models, it is clear that new skills will be needed to meet these changing needs. Workforce development, defining career paths, staying ahead of technology, and acquisition and retention of talent continue to be top priorities.
5. Diversity, Inclusion and the Value of Global Perspectives
The importance of protocols for encouraging diversity in supplier selection, accessibility guidelines and opportunities to encourage greater representation and interaction between different facets of the industry and global regions were recognized as valuable initiatives for the industry’s future.
Stay tuned to the EIC website for future updates and helpful resources to support the industry in these areas.