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GLOBAL TRENDS AND LEARNINGS Presented by: Andrea Michaels President Extraordinary Events USA and Mexico. The Future of Events Industry in Developing Countries. Higher expectation of the level of service and quality from clients as time passes. No more excuses

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Presented by:

Andrea Michaels


Extraordinary Events

USA and Mexico

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The Future of Events Industry in Developing Countries

  • Higher expectation of the level of service and quality from clients as time passes.

  • No more excuses

  • “We’re just a developing country”

  • No more passive acceptance

  • “We’re just a developing country; you can’t expect more; we can’t expect more”

  • Increasing competition for local event companies from foreign event companies moving into their market.

  • - Foreign clients have the tendency to work with companies from their home countries. Why?

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The Future of Events Industry in Developing Countries

  • Best strategy is to match level of quality of international agencies. Don’t try to compete on price alone but rather on quality plus extensive local knowledge.

  • Accept transparency especially in the RFP process – most global companies are afraid to work with local developing countries because they think they are being cheated; clear proposals with no hidden costs, no kick-backs, no speed money, clear agency fees, clear external costs…transparency!

  • Growth of meetings as a means of communication – vital to economy.

  • Growing middle class will travel more and more – huge implications for infrastructure around the world.

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The Future of Events Industry in Developing Countries

  • In developing countries where English is spoken, development will be faster than countries such as Brazil, Russia, China and Korea.

  • Huge growth opportunities in the area of meeting support services, specifically in regard to Pharma sector. More and more clinical trials being conducted in Asia and Latin America. Where there are trials, there are meetings. Develop expertise in these areas.

  • The event industry in developing countries will be deluged with high end expertise as event professionals from mature markets set-up shop there.

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The Future of Events Industry in Developing Countries

  • The internet will play a key role in the events industry. Customers will have immediate access to sources including pricing. The producers role therefore will become one of creativity and producing ability rather than knowledge of the marketplace.

  • Relationships will be the key to success.

  • Support, Inform and Train your staff.

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Means to the Right Strategic Path

  • For Local Companies

  • See what’s out there. At home. And abroad.

  • Travel and check quality of events abroad.

  • Cooperate with an international agency to exchange ideas as a start.

  • Learn from what other countries have done and not done.

  • Work on access, internal infrastructures.

  • Educate service staff.

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Means to the Right Strategic Path

  • Balance “selling” and “operations” – make sure you can handle professionally the business that is generated.

  • Practice “joined up thinking” – all stakeholders need to work together cohesively in an integrated way.

  • Make sure that political agendas are not at loggerheads with public and private sectors.

  • Establish a presence at international meetings and industry shows, such as ITME, EIBTM, IMEX and do them well.

  • Be “green” from the beginning of the efforts.

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Means to the Right Strategic Path

  • Innovative and customer oriented marketing will be key to sales success.

  • Planning carefully to strategize with an eye for the needs and types of meetings and events that will be the biggest source for the industry.

  • Establish strong partnerships with both clients and suppliers and build a solid foundation to build upon.

  • Strategic thinking means thinking about tomorrow and not today.

  • Know the overall market inside and out.

  • Know target market inside and out.

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Means to the Right Strategic Path

  • Join professional associations.

  • Network to advance education.

  • Stay current with meetings, websites and literature.

  • Know what is going on elsewhere.

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Means to the Right Strategic Path

  • For International Agencies

  • Don’t limit yourself to international companies.

  • The big money is in local companies.

  • Do not assume you’re better just because you come from abroad.

  • The local market knows the local market better than you do.

  • Find a competitive advantage.

    • 1. More creative.

    • 2. Better customer service.

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Means to the Right Strategic Path

  • Go local ASAP.

  • 1. Hire local staff and train them on international standards.

  • 2. Decision makers are local, not foreign and like to work with other locals.

  • Never accept “but this is the way we do it here”; international standards are applicable and possible in any country.

  • Do infuse “change” but never with (for instance) “this is the way we do it in the U.S.”

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Learnings from the International Scenario

  • Putting a destination on the map and keeping it there is a minimum of 5 - 10 year project.

  • Take Abu Dhabi as an example – India has a cultural matrix that Abu Dhabi can only dream about but look at how it is systematically positioning itself by a combination of infrastructural and brand development.

  • There is no substitute for professionalism.

  • Creativity and delivery.

  • On time, on budget, on target.

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Learnings from the International Scenario

  • Ethnical behavior.

  • You must have trust and confidence in everyone you work with.

  • If you lose money, you can always find a way to earn more; if you lose your professional reputation and credibility, you lose everything.

  • Translators are necessary even in “English speaking” countries

  • Know your customer’s culture

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More to Talk About

  • What constitutes a professional environment

  • Processes and systems

  • Building Creative Intellectual Assets

  • Strong Client Relationships

  • Vendor management

  • New Marketing Trends

  • Technological Advancements

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More to Talk About

  • Human Resource Development

  • The Meaning of Contracts

  • Ethical Behavior - what does it mean in different cultures

  • What does time mean in different cultures

  • Communications Styles

  • Who’s Right and Who’s Wrong

  • Strategic Growth

  • Hygiene

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More to Talk About

  • Safety

  • Sense of time

  • Attention to detail

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Additional Notes

  • If you disagree with any of the perceptions you need to change them.

  • Why do foreign countries work with companies from their own culture? Because they are more familiar with their goals and their way of working; have no problem with communication, and understand their needs better.

  • Most companies are willing to pay for quality of service even if price is higher.

  • Transparancy is a new requirement that we all have to meet, like it or not.

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Additional Notes

  • Pharma meetings must occur for a drug to be properly tested so data can be submitted for regulatory approval.

  • Relationships are the key to success.

  • You need to make the process easy for your client; Even if the end product is perfect, but the path has been painful, you won’t see the business again.

  • Training of your employees as well as any new staff…needs to be ongoing so start now.

  • Go to schools and start an educational program using EEMA members.

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Additional Notes

  • Get interns from your own community or internationally - three month internships.

  • Do an employee swap with another country’s employee.

  • Offer jobs to synergistic foreign staff who would welcome an exotic adventure; ultimately they will train your staff.

  • Enter for awards in various events programs such as The Special Event or EIBTM

  • It IS important to meet in person. You can tell far more from a person’s facial expression than you can from an email.

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Additional Notes

  • One effect of downsizing in U.S. (and you should watch out for it) is that when an employee from event dept. is laid off, they become independent event planners and do business with their former companies.

  • Do not be afraid to share, ever. The positive aspects far outweigh any negativity.

  • Give your clients a totally detailed job book at the end of the job. It gives out the message “I trust you”…complete with vendor contracts, invoices, contact list. Give it out at your face to face debrief with client.

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Additional Notes

  • ROI is not as important as ROE (Return on Education, Return on Experience) or ROM (Return on Motivation) and is difficult to really measure. MPI has some measurement tools in place for ROI.

  • A new U.S. challenge is the RFP where client says they own the entire proposal and all ideas created within. This is a problem for us and might become one for you.

  • When foreign countries travel they expect the same level of quality as they get “at home”

  • Foreign companies will initially have a competitive advantage over local agencies for international clients. The key word here is “initially”

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Additional Notes

  • The “big money” is local. Example: Tata’s budget in India is about 10x higher than GM’s Indian event budget.

  • All nationalities want to work with their own, that’s a natural process.

  • When you work abroad, hire local as it’s more affordable for you and your client.

  • International standards must be met anywhere you go.

  • Clients expect change and will pay for it - just explain why you’re doing it a better way regardless of the origins, local or foreign.

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Additional Notes

  • Always visit your client’s website within hours before meeting with them or preparing their proposal or doing their event; know them better than they know themselves.

  • You must have insurance; your vendors must also have insurance.

  • You need to start bringing more women into your businesses. Some foreign companies will mandate this.

  • You need to train your vendors on how you do business, behaviors, etc.

  • Start teaching at global meetings and seminars. Make yourselves known as a player in the industry.

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Additional Notes

  • How can you be perceived as a partner in the brand. It’s tactics (fulfillment) vs. strategy. Do not be order takers.

  • Reach out with ideas and do not wait for a request for the client. “I have a great idea for improving sales” will put you in the best position to gain their loyalty and see you as a true partner.

  • Build on experience and never claim to do what you don’t really do.

  • Discuss your organization and its benefits as it will be seen through their eyes.

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Additional Notes

  • Realize that your client does not want to hear about you. They want you to talk about them, concern yourself with them and deliver what they need and not what you want to sell them.

  • Focus on them, and them only and only show your capabilities in the context of how they apply to them.

  • Read “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne. It’s a blueprint for how to discover new market share.

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Additional Notes

  • Download “Marketing Myopia” by Theodore Levitt. This is about how if you focus on marketing strategy and customer’s lifetime value you can rise above myopia. This can entail the use of long term profit objectives sometimes at the risk of sacrificing short term objectives.