Co-operation and competition as the future of the meetings industry of the region
In the shadow of significant events after the rainy summer season in Belgrade and Novi Sad took place the conferences ICCA CEC and INSIDE that will surely leave a permanent trace in the meetings industry of the region.
Pretty general generic names of both conferences did not suggest the actual content yield of both conferences. In the Balkans, more than twenty turbulent years have passed when finally the possibility of putting the regional co-operation on new foundations is showing. Premium content delighted the participants of both events and put the region in a new perspective.
The legendary Christian Mutschlechner with his presentation of the co-operation between Barcelona and Vienna hit the nail on the head and triggered a wave of positive thinking among the participants. Mutual trust and friendly relations are possible if there is chemistry between the partners. He called the co-operation between the two cities, which lasts for the last two years CO-OPETITION and explained in detail both parts of the concoction. Co-operation in the areas where the two cities are complementary and that are the mega congresses, which in terms of infrastructure can almost exclusively be organised there. In all other areas it is about normal conference competition, which is the engine of business opportunities and innovation. Even in such a way both cities maintain their position on the scale of TOP5 world congress destinations.
In the region of South-East Europe once circulated a series of conferences and events. It seems that they are setting themselves up again. If you ask Uncle Google about the Southeast Europe Conference, it shall immediately return some 41 million hits. For details, please refer to the end of the article.
Proof that something is really happening were inspiring lectures on congress projects, which were based on overcoming the regional barriers. All the presented congress projects turned out to be successful. Regional congresses were getting their place under the sun in the context of European or global associations, or as own professional and entrepreneurial initiative. They are also positively accepted by the industry, which has through such events easier access to the markets and knowledge transfer.
[pullquote]If we transfer the conclusions of Prof. Gudić to the meetings industry, it would read something like this: No two meeting destinations that make their living in the identical way can coexist. Each one must be different enough to have a unique advantage.[/pullquote]
A key obstacle for more efficient obtaining of such events is improved understanding between the meetings industry and the scientific and corporate organizers. In particular, in this area we need positive “co-opetition” projects.
That we really have no other choice Prof. Gudić explained to us picturesquely on the case of the model of Russian scientist G.F. Gause – Gause’s Principle of Competitive Exclusion. When he put two protozoa with the same genetic make-up in a tube of food, one of protozoa did not survive. If the two protozoa had different genetic make-up and found themselves in the same situation, both survived.
If we transfer the conclusions of Prof. Gudić to the meetings industry, it would read something like this: No two meeting destinations that make their living in the identical way can coexist. Each one must be different enough to have a unique advantage.
For the success we have in the region a real chance if we, as was announced by Prof. Gudić, carried out the following processes:
- INCLUSIVENESS be better than the others
- EXCLUSIVENESS be different from the others
- GROW AND IMPROVE be better than yourself
- CHANGE AND INNOVATE be different from yourself
I have never spotted a better recipe for further development of the meetings industry of the region. Co-operation in joint projects which will be designed according to the above principles brings positive long-term benefits. I am glad that this strategically important topic was thoroughly highlighted in Belgrade, which is experiencing a meetings revival and is becoming the leading congress city of the region even before Athens.
The potential according to “uncle Google”:
- South East Europe Conference 45 million hits
- South East Europe Meeting 9, 1 million hits
- South East Europe Congress 1, 6 million hits
- South East Europe Symposia 1, 2 million hits
- South East Europe Seminar 0, 7 million hits