Excitement, joy, disappointment, astonishment… January 2020

Word of the month: CONVENTA

1. When form dictates content
No trick works if the content sucks. This is especially true for events that happen every year. I’m glad that many colleagues have stopped falling for everyone, who says they’re organizing the best B2B event in the region, in Europe or the world. The time of run-of-the-mill events cast in the same mold has come to an end. We have to start thinking outside the box and stop copying old business models. I think that generic events will go out of fashion really soon if they haven’t gone already.

2. We organise events for ourselves and our soulmates
I take on every event, even if it’s the 60th edition like it’s my first time organising it. This keeps me going, as event planning is a competitive sport, where you are only as good as your last event. And money isn’t everything. If it were just about making a profit, I would be in a different industry. Happy participants are a priceless award. I always find some soulmates, who share the same enthusiasm (it seems to be contagious) and glow with inspiration after the event. There’s no room for bluffers and fast money-makers in our industry.

3. What genre of events does Conventa fit into?
It all started back when there was a chronic lack of B2B events. As opposed to now, when we are facing a chronic inflation. I often get asked about what genre of events does our largest project Conventa fits into. Usually, my answer is that Conventa is rock’n’roll. Not just in the sense of fun and not in music style, but as a rebellion against generic events that are all over the place nowadays. Moreover, Conventa developed spontaneously and is somehow, organic. There is no faking it in rock’n’roll and the same goes for event planning. That’s our guiding principle with Conventa.

4. We learn by experience
We expect daringness and courage from event venues. Some of them bring it to fruition, others stay in the comfort zone. Everything would be fine this year and I wouldn’t be ranting about it if it wasn’t for one of our partner venues. I was shocked by their business politics, taking on a very creative project with hairsplitting bureaucracy, obsessed with counting every chair and toilet paper roll. Thankfully, we managed to still create an innovative event with the participants leaving inspired. I don’t think congress centres can be run like factories, without any empathy.

5. Splendour for the eyes, blindness for the soul
International MICE associations often hide behind flashy slogans and are usually the savior’s on-duty when it comes to global problems of the meetings industry. Their business model should be based on satisfied members. But is that the case? It often seems that their sole purpose is collecting membership fees. To get to the bottom of this, we have decided to open a survey, asking international association members about their satisfaction with the organisation. It’s finally time that MICE associations take a good look in the mirror and reveal their agenda.

6. Why do we need meeting architects?
So that with their rich experience, they can satisfy all your event requirements and bring added value. The problem is that clients are not aware that they need a meeting architect. Let’s be honest. Most people haven’t even heard about it being a job. A lot of energy and patience will have to be invested for people to realize the importance of this role. Some things just have to be repeated over and over again.

7. M.B.C
M.B.C knows everything. From branding to event planning. No argument is solid enough. No one is a better marketer than M.B.C. It reminds me of a legendary song by Jani Kovačič about Žare Lepotec (“good looker”); the first one to have a bicycle, the first one to have a tricycle, the best and the prettiest. All until the premature end…

8. Greta and events
We live in a time, where the only word I can use to describe our environment is a disaster. I recently hosted a workshop attended solely by millennials. When I asked them if they agree with Greta Thunberg and her statements, I was shocked that most of them do not support her. I explained that we, event planners, need to make a strong effort to minimize negative effects on the environment. Completely green and ecological events aren’t really possible, but we can try to optimise them. Greta gets my thumbs up.

9. Boring meeting halls
Coming across incredibly boring and dull meeting halls has become a regular occurrence for me. Low ceilings, light suitable for a hospital corridor and furniture from the past century. I’m amazed that these kinds of halls still get booked. It would only take a small intervention to completely change the first impression. Creative furniture and pleasing lighting immediately lift the spirits of an event participant. Whoever manages these halls should read more about the Danish concept Hygge.

10. KISS (Keep it Simple and Stupid)
A while ago, I got an interesting invitation to a conference. The problem is, I can’t remember what the name of the conference was. The invitation contained words that would only excite SEO engineers and the name just was not attention-grabbing enough. A simple memory recall doesn’t work for me, which is why I always recommend doing the 5-second test when designing websites and invitations. In branding, less is always more and keeping it simple is key.

Stay tuned for another installment of the diary in the last week of February!

Yours sincerely,

The man addicted to events

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