No surprise here: The number of natural and man-made disasters that have arisen in the past several months, event safety and security has risen to the top of the list of concerns for events industry CEOs. Following a recent council meeting, the Events Industry Council has released the top five trends that are currently shaping the events industry, based on its recent meetings:
1. Importance of Safety and Security
Safety and security remain top of mind for all industry associations. The events of 2017--including floods in South Asia, hurricanes in the United States and Caribbean, acts of terror such as the bombing at the Manchester Arena, the mass shooting in Las Vegas, and the release of the WannaCry ransomware attack--have strengthened the resolve to provide risk management education and resources to industry professionals. Also discussed was a shift in perceptions about safety and security measures. The need for metal detectors at public events, for example, has gone from their presence being questioned to their absence being questioned. Also reported was the coordination between convention centers and relief organizations and federal agencies in establishing mega shelters and providing services for first responders.
2. Importance of Cyber Security and Data Protection Regulations
Cyber security continues to be an important issue for our industry. The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that come into effect in Europe in May 2018 will have a significant impact on how organizations in our industry manage Personally Identifiable Information (PII). The regulation not only affects European organizations but also any organization that offers goods or services to Europeans. Because of this, the Events Industry Council has created a resource for everyone to ensure they are prepared and in compliance.
3. Need for Associations to Demonstrate Relevance
A common issue discussed at the meeting was the need for associations to demonstrate their relevance. Many of the associations are re-examining membership and management models as well as event formats, and are tailoring their programs to meet the specific needs of stakeholders. While recognizing that associations can’t be all things to all people, there is a need to be relevant to all membership segments, as well as for the industry as a whole, EIC says. Augmenting the relevance of events themselves, through better event design, greater engagement and improved practices for knowledge retention, was also a focus.
4. Rise of New Workforce Trends
A number of factors is affecting the workforce of the future in our industry. As we consider the role of automation, outsourcing, new technology and disruptors that are changing cost models, it is clear that new skills will be needed to meet our changing needs. Workforce development, defining career paths, staying ahead of technology, and acquisition and retention of talent continue to be top priorities.
5. Importance of Diversity, Inclusion and the Value of Global Perspectives
The importance of protocols for encouraging diversity in supplier selection, accessibility guidelines and opportunities to encourage greater representation and interaction between different facets of the industry and global regions were recognized as valuable for the industry’s future.