Q: Why did you decide to start holding your own workshop?
The main reason that brought us to start organising our workshops was to meet our members, and in general, the whole Italian meeting industry, to “rationalize” their sales efforts. The industry has become much more selective when looking at trade shows, which are always a good window on the market, but we must say that for most of them, the ratio between investment (which includes the cost of participation as well as the time spent outside the office) and the outcome is not particularly positive. During workshops, you have the opportunity to meet the same number of clients you usually need a three-day agenda for in a trade show in one day. Moreover, at a workshop, with the support of reliable local partners, all clients have potential business for your destination.
Q: How efficient are such events, compared to other marketing strategies?
The core of our industry is that face to face meetings are priceless. That is exactly the strong point of workshops. The number of clients involved is relatively low, the personal interaction that happens during these events makes the workshops extremely effective.
“Clients have the possibility to meet interesting partners and to experience the culture and the flavour of a destination.“
Q: What are the advantages of events of this sort?
Workshops are a way to immerse clients into the culture of another destination. This happens thought the location, the set-up, the entertainment and, of course, the food. It is not just about good presentation skills. I think this is the main advantage of a workshop. Clients have the possibility to meet interesting partners and to experience the culture and the flavour of a destination.
Q: How do you measure the results and long-term effects of such events?
This is the most difficult part. There must a be a long and trustful relationship with both buyers and suppliers. We conduct surveys among the participants at our events to monitor if the relations built during the events have actually led to real business.
Q: Do you believe such events are the future, or will we stick to large B2B fairs and why?
Over the last few years, there have been increasing efforts for marketing campaigns to be “targeted” and “experience-based”. A workshop fully meets these trends. Thus, they will still be used in the future. Of course, it cannot be the only action of a destination. There must be a 360-degree approach, which includes live events and a strong digital presence.