Home' micenet eMag : micenet AUSTRALIA August September 2014 Contents The digital music revolution started with Napster – the file-
sharing service dreamt up by two teenagers in 1999. The
RIAA sued, so did Metallica and Dr Dre. The record labels
battled, all to no avail!
A similar occurrence is happening with movies as we see a
massive surge in bit torrent downloading despite the huge
amount of advertising around it.
Both the music and movie industries have scratched and
fought to stave off change and both have all but been defeated!
So what does this have to do with the events industry?
I believe what we are seeing in the events industry is no
different. Massive change is occurring. Changes that will
reshape our industry and the players that currently hold sway.
But what is that change and how will it affect the industry and
specifically the traditional role of the event manager? And can it
Historically corporates have either outsourced their events,
done them in-house via an in-house events team, or done a mix
of both. An external event manager has usually played a part in
most of the above scenarios. From creativity, to activation, the
event manager has provided part or all of the content support,
labour, suppliers, and help in some form or another.
But with the advent of readily available information off the
internet, clever business development and direct marketing
campaigns by suppliers, social media and in general, a greater
awareness by consumers, we are seeing more and more events
being done in-house and without the use of external event
More often than not, this is becoming the domain of the EA
and PA and more and more I am seeing the role of the event
manager as we have known it, being discarded.
With easier access to suppliers and more information at their
fingertips, corporates are taking the traditional need for event
managers out of the picture. With prop suppliers, catering
companies, venues and theming and styling companies all
offering “event management” services, the corporates are using
them as an add-on to their own in-house personnel.
The industry is changing and will continue to do.
Just like the music and movie industries we are seeing a shift
in the way things have always been done and just like those
industries; we need to change with the times.
However, don’t get me wrong. Change is always a good
thing. Shaking up our industry has always happened and is not
a bad thing either. Now more than ever, events are a critical part
of a company’s or a corporate’s engagement strategy, with its
supply chain, customer base, and the general public all needing
to be considered. We are more sophisticated as an audience
and definitely more discerning and it is up to the events industry
to move and change as needed or lose out.
Greater understanding and knowledge means we are seeing
the ante being lifted... a lot! It is no longer acceptable to just
offer up the event packages we have seen in the past, to
regurgitate the same list of events year after year.
It is not good enough to do the age-old tortured willow in tall
glass vases on the table, with some blue lighting and the ever-
present corporate band chugging out their rendition of Boogie
So what is to become of the event manager? What role will
they assume in the future? Is there a role for them? And how will
that integrate with an ever-changing industry?
The answer is, of course, a resounding yes!
As the industry changes I am seeing a change in company
names and how event companies describe or define
themselves. We are seeing the arrival of: creative agencies,
strategic event companies, design studios, brand activation
agencies, etcetera, all in an effort to delineate a new set of skills
rather than JUST an events company.
While this may seem humorous and we smile as we hear
someone introduce themselves as part of a strategic design and
events company, this is in fact becoming the new reality.
More and more events companies are heading into that
frightening zone of collaboration, of shared creativity, of working
with others to create something unique: a space where creative
agencies, suppliers and clients come together to create
something that engages, awes and moves your audience; a
space that should not frighten, but excite us!
The one thing that event teams will always be able to bring to
the table is a knowledge of what is out there, the best way to use
it, and an ability to create using what is at hand.
Whether we create individually or as a team does not really
matter. Clients have always hired us for our ability to create magic,
to build an alternate reality that is meaningful to them and their
clients. For our ideas. The changing industry does not negate or
stop that. In fact it just makes us all the more important.
Collaboration is the way of the future and now more than ever,
we are being forced to think outside that box we always talk
about. This is an incredible opportunity for our industry to
reinvent itself and take it to a new and very exciting level, to
really allow the creativity to bloom. To work with our clients to
really create events that cut through, engage and deliver.
The times they are a changing – and so must we! m
Stuart Katzen can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org .
Stu Katzen asks what is the future role of the event
manager in today’s changing environment?
BY STU KATZEN
The future of the
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