Events sector – stay relevant, innovative and deliver leadership

Just few days ago, Bernadette Jiwa, writing in The Story of Telling, said “Most businesses, whatever their size are focused on growth. We want more leads, more fans, readers or subscribers, who will become more customers, resulting in more sales and more profits. We usually have a plan to get them, which involves cultivating the people we hope will be tomorrow’s customers. And all the while we are doing that we often forget to serve the people who have already showed up—the ones who have said, “we’re here, take us to where we want to go”. So we move on to the next thing. We innovate and build and create for people who may never arrive, instead of understanding the problems to solve for the people we know. It turns out that we find tomorrow’s customers by relentlessly focusing on the needs of the customers we have today."  The Story of Telling 10 Dec 2014.

The events sector has always been famously fragmented with many so called representative associations and this has led to a poor job of telling the industry story to Canberra. There has also been a variety of groups saying “We’re the Voice of Australian Events”. Greater collaboration is being pushed, with credit to BECA, between government, associations and industry to develop realistic incentives for businesses and to foster innovation and commercialisation.

Leadership is required to ensure Australia recognises and prepares itself for the new patterns of competitiveness and prosperity to be experienced in the highly interconnected globalised knowledge based world of the 21st century. New and rapidly changing technologies are today rapidly reshaping marketplaces and societies. It’s no longer ‘Business as Usual’. Complete new challenges brought by customers, technologies and new competitors are making being successful locally and globally tougher than ever for Aussie events companies.

We see the impact of innovations fuelled today by a range of disruptive enabling technologies. The world of events business today is far more competitive than it has ever been. No longer can companies differentiate by staying with their old brand identity and products and still expect to attract enough customers and prospects for survival. Those who continue to tread the same path will get less and less return for their efforts. Selling anything that is not a known specialty or commodity will also be difficult.

Writing in the Rust Report, on the technology sector, Len Rust’s comments perfectly apply to our own events sector. “History is littered with company failures that did not see the disruptive changes of technology arising: Kodak and the digital camera, hardware vendors and the minicomputer and personal computer onslaught, Dell’s move into other areas and likewise with HP. Fortunately history also reminds us of the successes of those who rode the waves of disruptive change: Apple with its iPad and iPhones, SAP and Oracle, facing challenges from Salesforce, Netsuite and Workday and many more. There are today huge rewards for those who recognise the indicators of likely disruptive changes and act accordingly. The penalty for the lack of response can be a struggle, failure or maybe even an exit.”

In a world that is connected and integrated by networks of information and knowledge every person in the new economy holds the potential for generating new ideas and also coming up with better structures, processes or systems for designing, marketing, selling and distributing goods and services. The tools of the new economy are so powerful that their application is only limited by the imagination and creativity of the people who deploy them.
The imperative is to stay relevant, innovative and deliver leadership and top quality to the market.
The winds of change are blowing; they demand a new feeling of purpose, new actions and many yet unseen opportunities. It is a time of limitless possibilities.


Originally published in "Back on the Block", 13 Dec 2014 – read the full edition and subscribe at

Eric Winton

Director, New Millennium Business

Comments are closed