Home' micenet eMag : micenet December 2018 Contents A
nd the risk is, according to an
International Live Events
Association (ILEA) study, that
clients will choose on price and
The 2018 Global Events Industry Report
tabled by ILEA at its recent Global Event
Forum reports that the commoditisation of
events can drive end users to demand
cheaper services and faster turnarounds, and
ultimately devalues the overall idea.
“Essentially, commoditisation is a lack of
distinction. And when buyers of a product
see an offering as generic and widely
available, they perceive a reduction in value,”
the report says.
“When this happens in a creative field,
such as professional live events, it’s difficult
to combat. Creativity, by definition, is
intangible, and when there’s no clear
distinction between different creative
offerings, the consumer will choose the
“This mentality opens the door to `the
cheapest bid’ getting selected versus
customer choosing the vendor that best suits
their needs. It also drives end users to
demand cheaper services and faster
turnarounds, and ultimately devalues the
Apparently, the live events industry isn’t
alone in dealing with the problem of
“Everything in advertising used to be
magic, from concept and strategy to production and implementation. It used to be difficult for
clients to find a vendor who could produce and place high-quality advertising. Now, it’s never
been easier, cheaper or more available,” says Jonathan David Lewis, author of the Forbes
article: ‘Advertising is Commodotised – but you don’t have to be’.
“Building design and construction management firms face the issue, as well, and have been
for many years, as an article on ‘Confronting Commoditisation’ from 2013 examines. ‘If a
customer can’t or won’t understand the difference and value between similar competing
professional services, then price becomes the only deciding factor,’ author Joan Capelin states.
“While no industry has ‘solved’ commoditisation, an article published in Ad Age suggests
that, to combat commoditisation, agencies ‘[de-layer] their account organisations, and [bring]
team into client strategy conversations more often and more prominently’. Having a seat at the
table to share unique, customised ideas with clients is a worthwhile goal but, in many cases, the
live events profession has impediments particular to the field to overcome first.”
To effectively communicate the value of events, participants of the study said event planners
must understand their value.
“Live events professionals inherently know they provide a valuable service, but what makes it
so? What is the irrefutable value of the live events industry, of hiring an event professional? What
should stop consumers from going on Pinterest and DIYing their wedding? What should stop a
company from hiring a non-professional internally to pull off their important corporate event?
“Simply put, event professionals understand how humans interact. There’s science and
psychology behind every choice a serious event professional makes in the design and delivery
of an event – and they’re able to inject creativity and innovation into them, as well.
“Knowing what you’re communicating is important, but doing so in a unified way is just as
crucial. In order to establish itself as a profession, the live events industry needs a common
language to describe what it does. Everyone knows what an anesthesiologist is and does, and
there aren’t other names for that job title. So, why are event professionals still regularly referred
to as ‘party planners’? Because the profession is not yet firmly established or respected.
“Consumers are confused, and when there is confusion, there isn’t trust. A step in the right
direction would be to develop a unified glossary of terms and use that language in our
“Once you know what you’re communicating, you have to pinpoint who you’re
communicating to. There are three main audiences event professionals work with: participants,
NEWS | BRAD FOSTER
Event planners run the risk of their work and themselves
being commoditised because of a perceived lack of distinction
between one event and another.
EVENT PLANNERS RUN THE RISK
OF SELLING CHEAP:
10 | micenet
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