Just a few weeks ago, we launched our new project, the “Vienna Coffee House Chat”, where a small group of leading journalists from the business events sector met in a hybrid format. After almost two hours of exchanging ideas and solutions for the future of our industry, the sentence with which we closed the event was “Viva la revolución!”
At first, I thought it was a bit dramatic as a solution to the crisis that we all, especially the events and live communication worlds, are suffering from. However, thinking twice, today I see the situation a little more clearly. If the Covid-19 has completely taken over the reins of our lives, keeping us on our knees for long months, controlling our movements, our social relations and above all our economy, we have no other alternative in order to discourage the oppressor than revolution.
Don’t get me wrong. It is not about taking up arms (we could see the coming vaccine as a weapon) to fight against a common enemy (the virus). It is more a question of analyzing how each of us sees this revolution, which can help us overcome the crisis and reinvent ourselves.
In line with our acronym exercise that we performed together with the participants at the #ViennaCoffeeHouseChat, here is how I see this revolution in the field of business events and live communication, and the “weapons” we must use:
The ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties, or the quality of being able to cope with a difficult situation. We were prepared to face totally different challenges until Covid-19 hit us. Now we need to change our tactic. Putting our bets on the choice of the people with the right set of skills will be the right thing to do.
Seen as a common metric for evaluating social media performance. It may not necessarily translate to sales, but it is clear to us all that we are living in the media era and the engagement on social media now is more important than it was ever before in order to spread the message. Social media managers will definitively be an asset for many of us.
It happened once, and it can happen again. We have learned (the hard way) how, from one day to the other, the world just turned upside down. Looking beyond the next quarter may not seem very important for many who are fighting to survive. However, we need to try and see beyond this time. We might have to change completely the way we will do business in the near future, innovate, and go out of the comfort zone.
O-ptimistic (not positive)
There is a clear difference, according to Simon Sinek, between optimistic and positive: whereas the positive thinker sees all good and nice but without reasons to do so, the optimistic clearly sees and takes note of the reality of a negative situation, but sees also the light at the end of the tunnel. Meaning the optimistic has a goal to reach and will much easily focus on getting the ways to the end of the tunnel.
We must measure the ROI not only in the amount of money, but on the legacy you will leave behind with what you do. Legacy is something left or handed down by a predecessor; a notion hard to measure, as it implies changing the lives of the attendees and the community.
Thinking outside of the box is imperative during these times in order to keep yourself in the picture. Trying new things, innovating, learning and staying creative will make you stand out over those who stay with their usual, old ways. I believe one must never stagnate but follow the new trends and look for breaking solutions.
I think one of my favorite quotes coined by Elbert Hubbard that will explain the meaning of how being transformational may solve the problem at hand says: “When live gives you lemons, start making and selling lemonade”. In other words: be flexible and adapt to the present.
Success is not measured by the amount of money you make, but by the amount of lives you impact. This has been one of the most used words lately, almost a mantra for many, but how can our event be impactful, how can we leave a marked impression with our event in a positive way?
Here are a couple of tips that may help:
- – Placing mind and heart on building a positive culture.
- – Focusing on creating an event that is inspiring. Emotions have a significant impact.
- – Building your events always around a clear sense of purpose.
- – Embracing an environmental cause.
- – Focusing on inclusiveness.
This has been a recurring topic during the pandemic and afterwards with more strength than ever. It was actually an important matter already before COVID-19 happened, but it gained new relevance in the current conditions and looking into the future of business events: no matter the format (face-to-face, hybrid or online), your event must have a solid purpose and content in order for it to be successful. The technological means must only complement it and make it possible in case a virtual environment is needed, but the core and the essence of it remains in the content and the objective you want to achieve with the event.
N-ext generation thinking
Millennials are already in the game and the Z generation has a foot in the door of the business events industry. They are bringing new perspectives, ideas and mind-sets, and the experienced event professionals cannot just stick to their usual ways and fall behind, but rather learn from the new trends and integrate them into their schemes.