Home' micenet eMag : micenet AUSTRALIA October November 2014 Contents Q. What is the driving force behind this new need
for centre / client collaboration?
A. I’d say that the top driver is the rapid evolution in event
content and formats, brought about by factors ranging from newly
available technologies and changing delegate expectations to
shifts in program requirements and an increasing engagement by
participants in shaping the event structure itself. These shifts can
require a significant investment of effort by all concerned – often
with little time in which to do it - but there’s a lot at stake for
everyone. Organisers know the importance of responding to
changing expectations if they are to retain attendance, and those
expectations are changing daily. Many features that were
considered luxuries even a year or so ago – like sustainability
programs or available connectivity - are now simply expectations,
while others such as multiple media and remote technologies are
moving rapidly in that direction. And this is all coming at a time
when event finances are still challenged from years of global
Q. How are centres responding?
A. Centres have some unique challenges; it’s a lot easier to
change a program on paper than it is to reconfigure a building
which may have been designed and built to meet different
conditions. Also, many of the new services now in demand are
costly to support, and organisers are not always willing to pay
the extra expenses. However, the centre product is itself
constantly evolving, and that creates new opportunities to revisit
how changing event requirements can be supported.
Q. What about the organiser interface?
A. I think there are two factors for success in this respect;
the first is creativity and the second is transparency. In the
creativity department, the need is to anticipate new program
demands as far in advance as possible. This means an ongoing
dialogue between the planner and the centre during the period
between booking and delivery in order to take full advantage of
new services and program options that may be developed in the
interim. It’s often possible to address new requirements very cost-
effectively through programs already in place at the venues,
provided everyone knows about them. So in areas like
sustainability or space configurations, creative solutions can often
be found easily if there is advance information that lets the venue
look more widely at available options.
As far as transparency, again it makes sense to get all the
expectations on the table and keep updating these as
conditions evolve so there are no surprises on either side. By
keeping this conversation active and updated the surprise factor
can be minimised – and in the meantime, everyone can be on
the lookout for greater savings and efficiencies.
Q. Why does all this matter?
A. In the end, only one thing really matters for both parties –
and that is to ensure the delegate has the best possible
experience and comes away from the event feeling they got a
good return on their investment of both time and money. So it
makes sense that more than ever, centres and planners should be
collaborating on how to deliver that experience as powerfully and
cost-effectively as possible. m
Geoff Donaghy is AIPC President, CEO of International Convention Centre
Sydney and Director Convention Centres AEG Ogden.
AIPC represents a global network of more than 170 leading centres in 54
countries with the active involvement of more than 900 management-
level professionals worldwide. It is committed to encouraging and
recognising excellence in convention centre management, based on the
diverse experience and expertise of its international representation, and
maintains a variety of educational, research, networking and standards
programs to achieve this. Visit www.aipc.org
Convention centres are emerging from the challenges of the
global economic slump with some valuable new lessons in
business operations, explains president of AIPC, Geoff Donaghy.
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