Andrew Evans: Here to help

Waiter-NEW-resized.jpg

Andrew Evans, divisional MD of Centaur Media and chair of the AEO’s FaceTime Working Group, explains why the association has insight firmly prioritised for 2016.

 

The events industry is made up of many different vibrant, dynamic and ambitious businesses, and in the UK they’re large and small but what unites them all (or at least it should), is a need for great market, sector, or customer insight to drive strategy and enable their success.


Progressive businesses rely on insight but all too often what should be considered a vital tool for event organisers is at risk of being undervalued with trading taking the priority of attention.


How an event organiser can set long-term strategy without having a deep understanding of what the market needs and wants confounds me. All too frequently we fall back on intuition, which is often confused with entrepreneurialism, but how can we know where future customers will come from, articulate their needs and know how they’ll react to our event propositions without insight?


Working with this insight is a skill and while larger organisers have structured themselves around this discipline, others rely on traditional marketing teams or event directors to interpret the future.


In the AEO, the events industry has the benefit of a robust and steadfast trade body representing its collective interests and one of its watchwords in 2016 is insight. This year alone the AEO is working on five major research projects on behalf of members.


Two of the projects, SASiE and the international research, both focus on the events market, its size, audience and global reach. This is particularly valuable for leaders who are responsible for driving growth and development of their businesses, whether in the UK or further afield. Our objective is to provide AEO members with a comprehensive understanding of the value of the UK events industry to the economy and demonstrate where growth opportunities exist.


By contrast, the AEO FaceTime initiative has commissioned two projects to deliver insight designed to enable member teams to sustain and grow individual events. The first project, the Power of Live Events, is complete and results are now available for AEO members to access via the FaceTime team. The findings prove the value of investing in live events compared to other forms of media such as print and broadcast.

 

These digestible and easily translated insights will support event sales and marketing teams in putting together a persuasive argument as to why their prospects and customers should invest in live events over other forms of promotion and marketing.


The second FaceTime project focuses on advocacy to understand the profile of what a high value visitor to an exhibition is and how, as a show advocate or conversation catalyst, they behave in terms of talking about the event afterwards - whether it’s days or weeks later. This large piece of research is currently underway and results are expected towards the end of the year. AEO members will be able to use the output to inform their strategy on how to identify and then engage with conversation catalysts from their markets.


For example, a potential outcome could include developing new, exciting show features, more engaging ways for the organiser and exhibitors to market to visitors and ultimately a more compelling value proposition to get the right audience to attend their events – in turn delivering greater value to exhibitors.


The final research piece is the annual AEO salary survey, which provides insight to help senior management, and HR professionals attract, retain and develop talent throughout their organisations.


Back in February, AEO chair Simon Kimble, highlighted some of the projects the AEO has created to maintain a strong industry community.

 

In attending our programme of events, members leave having harvested experiences from their peers and industry outsiders, which stimulate their thinking and challenge their preconceptions on how to operate in an ever-challenging environment. The largest of these events, the AEO Conference, is being held at The Grand, Brighton, on 8-9 September.


Today’s marketing landscape is littered with choices; unsurprisingly many of them are digitally led. But the events industry is alive and kicking. To maintain our share of the marketing spend it’s imperative that we understand how to shape our events for the industries that we serve - not for the short term but for the long term. If we’re to succeed, insight will be the key and the AEO is here to help.

ANDREW EVANS
Posted by ANDREW EVANS
PopularComments
Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn

Related Stories

Exhibition World launches Global Exhibitions Day Awards

Exhibition World, the sister magazine of Exhibition News, has launched the inaugural Global Exhibitions Day Awards, celebrating the diverse creative initiatives occurring globally around 7 June.

Movers & Shakers 26/04/17

People moves at Blitz|GES, Gallowglass, Mojo Barriers and more.

Multiplay launches event hardware rental arm  

Mutiplay, organiser of events such as MineCon, Insomnia and BRICKLIVE, has announced the launch of Multiplay Rentals, its new event hardware rental arm.

Others on EN

Apps – what are they good for?

Apps – what are they good for?

Exhibition apps are about as useful as a chocolate teapot, says Reftech’s Simon Clayton.
Fit for the 21st century

Fit for the 21st century

Andrew Harrison, ESSA director, says we should always fight to bring talent into the industry and encourage an appetite for success.
I'm a believer

I'm a believer

Sam Cande, group commercial director at Centaur Media, says no secret sales technique can compete with belief in a product.

CONFEX 2017 LIVE

Most Read Stories

Fit for the 21st century

Fit for the 21st century

Andrew Harrison, ESSA director, says we should always fight to bring talent into the industry and encourage an appetite for success.
I'm a believer

I'm a believer

Sam Cande, group commercial director at Centaur Media, says no secret sales technique can compete with belief in a product.
Lourda Derry: Making the connection

Lourda Derry: Making the connection

Lourda Derry, director of Easyfairs UK addresses the science behind operations and the profile of our audiences.

Latest News

IGNITION to return to the SEC

IGNITION to return to the SEC

Following a successful inaugural event in 2016, IGNITION Festival of Motoring will be returning to the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) on 4-6 August.
Exhibition World launches Global Exhibitions Day Awards

Exhibition World launches Global Exhibitions Day Awards

Exhibition World, the sister magazine of Exhibition News, has launched the inaugural Global Exhibitions Day Awards, celebrating the diverse creative initiatives occurring globally around 7 June.
Future In 15 episode 3: ExCel London's James Rees on co-operation and using space

Future In 15 episode 3: ExCel London's James Rees on co-operation and using space

In Episode Three of Future In 15, James Rees, director of conferences & events at ExCel London, shares how the venue repurposed under-utilised space to create CentrEd.

Latest Features

Alt Venues: Stamford Bridge

Alt Venues: Stamford Bridge

In our monthly Alternative Venues feature, EN pays a visit to Stamford Bridge.
Breaking barriers

Breaking barriers

The London Muslim Lifestyle Show is bringing Muslim businesses to the world stage, despite the occasional far-right protest.
My Working Life by David Chalmers

My Working Life by David Chalmers

The senior marketing director, Europe, at Cvent discusses how he got into the industry, his inspirational children and why he’s called The Doctor.

Latest Galleries

A sneak peak at Somerset House's new event space

A sneak peak at Somerset House's new event space

Some of the industry’s leading event organisers were treated to an exclusive preview of Somerset House’s largest and most versatile indoor event space at an open house event on 19-20 April.
EN Awards 2017

EN Awards 2017

The best of the exhibition industry were out in force on 30 March at ExCeL London for the 11th annual EN Awards.
Natural & Organic Products Europe 2017

Natural & Organic Products Europe 2017

The 2017 Natural & Organic Products Europe celebrated its 21st edition earlier this month (2-3 April) as well as attracting its biggest attendance yet to ExCeL London.