The global Meetings and Events (M&E) market was valued at about $797 billion in 2017, and it is expected to grow at 6–7 percent in 2018. North America is the leading Meetings and Events industry, growing at a rate of 4–5 percent.
The use of technology in every phase of an event production or as a substitute to physical meetings is gaining importance, and also aids in creating an impact with the participant. In an industry that is caught between technology revolution and regulatory constraints, category intelligence acts as a ready reckoner for those who are involved in the decision making process.
1. Choice of Venue
Choosing a best-fit venue is critical for a successful outcome of an event. Category Intelligence plays a crucial role in making the right choice. Most event planners usually use the Internet for research and learn the tricks of the trade through word of mouth. However, more than relying on Internet search, a meeting and events planner needs access to category intelligence that would help them with the right venue choice.
Besides laying out market information, category intelligence will help an event planner with:
- Key benefits of selecting the right venue
- Challenges faced while researching the venue
- Role of technology in venue selection
- Factors to consider before selecting a venue
2. Technology Evolution
Technology plays a significant role – right from the start till the end of an event cycle. However, when it comes to meetings, one size does not fit all.
Event planners are now using four or more software tools for a single event, which makes it difficult for them to track key data such as the cost incurred at every stage, payments made to vendors, attendee registration and activity details, venue details, the event’s return on investment (ROI) and analytics from each of the tools separately
Meetings, incentives, special events, and tradeshows among others, have varying set of requirements. Several companies have started developing software tools for each of the categories. However, developing end-to-end planning software is the ideal solution as it allows planners to manage all aspects of the event process from a single point while improving the efficiency and controlling the overall technology spend; yet, it is a complex task for service providers to meet such wide range of demands.
In such a scenario, category intelligence can empower the events planners with the following information:
- Key benefits of software integration
- Integration of multiple event tools into one platform
- Advantages and disadvantages of cloud-based integration
- Key suppliers and trends
3. Green Meetings
When compared to average temperatures recorded during pre-industrial revolution, the Paris agreement envisages keeping global average temperature from rising 2 degree Celsius by cutting down on carbon emissions. The deal aims to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C.
Beyond 2 degrees, a section of scientists argue that the world risks catastrophic climate change in the form of higher seas, changes in rainfall patterns, food and water crises etc.
Businesses across the globe are trying various methods to reduce their carbon footprint. Meetings and Events is an area that can contribute towards this goal.
As defined by the Green Meeting Industry Council, “a green meeting incorporates environmental considerations throughout all stages of the meeting in order to minimize the negative impact on the environment.”
“Greening” of an event is the process of integrating eco-friendly decision-making into the production of an event, starting from planning to execution. It incorporates sustainable development practices in all the stages of event management. It starts at the conceptualization stage and involves all the key stakeholders, such as buyers, organizers, venues, sub-contractors and suppliers. Energy saving, waste management, recycling, paperless virtual event management and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions are various ways to produce a “green event”.
Category intelligence can help event planners by answering the following questions:
- How do events affect the environment?
- Why producing “green event” is important?
- What are the best practices in “greening of an event”?
- What are the steps involved in producing such an event?
- Which greening practices the stakeholders should consider while producing such an event?
- Who are the suppliers who organize “green events”?
4. Looking Ahead
Besides providing current market trends, category intelligence can also point towards the future. For instance, if one were to ask a question: Can 3D Holograms substitute real-time meetings? The answer will be yes.
Holographic telepresence helps attendees in multiple locations to see each other through a projected 3D image. Estimates indicate that $215 billion is spent on business travels each year and 3D holograms can be cost effective — although production can be time-consuming.
This technology has been already used in media and political events. Examples include holographic projection of Michael Jackson at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards.
Category intelligence will present such information in a coherent manner backed by data and context. This effectively spells the end for decisions based on guesswork.
Guest article written by: Beroe is unique in its exclusive focus on Procurement. We enable Procurement decision making in Fortune 500/G2000 companies by providing access to category specific market intelligence, risk management and green procurement services across the globe.