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Is the role of 'event organizer' changing?

Industry experts Marco Giberti and Denzil Rankine discuss the ways technology is shaping the events landscape and changing the role of the event organizer forever.



Speaking at the launch of their new book ‘Reinventing Live: The Always-On Future of Events’, organized by the Virtual Events Institute (VEI), Marco Giberti and Denzil Rankine talked about the biggest hot topics facing the industry.


Denzil, who is executive chairman of AMR International, kicked off the event by talking about the changing role of event organizers.


Rankine said: “It's a mistake for an event organizer just to think they are an event organizer. This mindset is going to be a challenge in the future because we need to understand our customer needs and think customer-first. And then obviously more money will come from exhibitors and sponsors. Before Covid, it was necessary for event organizers to think differently, and the pandemic has accelerated this.


Event directors should think of themselves more as brand managers. For example, a brand manager at Proctor & Gamble has got a lot of the skills that are needed for an event director, which is really around marketing, understanding customers, brand positioning, and so on. The industry needs a mindset change.


“Some people are very used to the operations side or simply just to sell events. And those skills are now secondary compared to understanding customers, integrating digital with the face-to-face and having a different proposition for customers. The addressable market has dramatically expanded, but then we must deliver beyond the novelty base and deliver on the needs of customers.”



How technology is impacting the events landscape


Marco Giberti, founder and CEO of Vesuvio Ventures, went on to discuss how technology is impacting the events market.


He said: “The adoption of technology has been slow in the events world because organizers were growing extremely well with great profits and the urgency and need of incorporating technology was not a massive priority.


“Of course, this is changing dramatically and we believe that it's going to accelerate even more. There are 4,000-plus event tech startups – an intimidating amount – pitching to event organizers on different technology solutions.


“And there are a few with a valuation of more than $1billion that are accelerating growth like never before. Why? Because there is a clear understanding now that technology is no longer a luxury for event organizers.


“It's an opportunity and a priority. And every single event organizer is thinking, how can I generate efficiencies, new revenues and do a better job for my exhibitors, visitors, speakers etc, through technology?


“Super smart technology founders are creating technology solutions for our industry now and these founders have almost unlimited access to capital because capital is ready to follow these sort of opportunities.


“Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg said that 2020 was the year where people will think specifically about which things should be done face-to-face and which things could be done on a digital basis. Think about that phrase as an event organizer, as an exhibitor or visitor.”


Rankine added: “This is a time for experimentation and the winners are the ones who are experimenting constantly with new platforms, new techniques, and finding the balance between the mix of in-person supported by digital tools and digital platforms.”


To watch this session on-demand for free, visit VEI’s library here.



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