Thousands of conferences and exhibitions are being organized by professionals around the world every day with attendees and exhibitors from a multitude of different countries. The meetings and events industry operates on a global scale, but is it a globalized business?
As business becomes increasingly globalized, the event industry is faced with international competition and business opportunities from old and emerging markets. BRICS and MINT markets form a large population with growing economies and a relatively stable political environment. Extraordinary growth rates of emerging markets with regard to the number of events and space rented require rethinking current business strategies.
New business development
According to the UFI Global Exhibition Barometer that has just been released in January 2014, “Around one company out of two in all regions declare an intention to develop operations in new countries.” Developing new business by expanding into new countries can be considered as a highly relevant priority in terms of strategy.
1 company out of 2 declare an intention to develop operations in new countriesClick to tweet
The study reveals as well that “the state of the national/regional economy” and “the global economic uncertainty” are perceived as the most important business issues that challenge the industry. This shows that globalization has happened already in the event industry and that factors that influence business performance are tied to the local economy as well as to the global economic situation.
Challenges of globalization
The GCB (German Convention Bureau) recently published a comprehensive future study on megatrends shaping the events industry. It outlines developments, select megatrends and their impact on events and conventions by the year 2030. Globalization is considered one trend that will seriously influence and challenge the events industry in the mid-term.
While international competition will increase through globalization - especially competition with emerging markets as the BRICS states - there will also be an additional demand generated by people in those markets with a new type of client. This means that event organizers will have to learn what the needs of their attendees and exhibitors are, which will require an increased demand for intercultural skills. Mastery of other languages will become the standard, along with the acquisition of intercultural knowledge and competence.
As the number of organizations operating internationally will grow through globalization, so too will the need to effectively exchange ideas in person, and the GCB predicts an increased demand for events as the platform for international networking processes.
Just like many other sectors, the meeting and events industry will have to face the challenges that arise from the increasing globalization of the world, but the industry might also see opportunities to benefit from a growing demand for in-person events