3 Things that Make Your Event Fail

February 23, 2009   |   AUTHOR: Julius Solaris   |   POSTED IN: environment

Are you sure you are getting the basics right? This post investigates what are the new basics for a suffering and evolving event industry.

fail
Photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

How it used to be

Ten years ago the basics use to be a great mix of performers, a great mix of sponsors and a great location.

It didn’t get further than that.

The job of running events was all about putting the three above together. Most of the times it wasn’t about quality, it was about budget.

Our point

Let us save you some time and get straight to the point, basics have changed.

Why?

– Because current economic environment sucks. Sponsors are not willing to give away generous portions of their budgets as they used to.
– Because networking, which is a great motivator for attending events, is happening for free both online and offline.
– Because technology is changing the way we consume events.
– Because the world we live in is not as it used to be. Or at least, we are now more aware of it.

What are the new basics?


1. A powerful concept
What made you pay the rent yesterday is not gonna work today. Putting names of famous speakers or performers is not enough anymore. You need to engage in new ways. The same old event structure means you failed.
Want two positive examples? Pecha Kucha and Unconference

2. Respect for the environment
If you don’t offer recycling, if you don’t source locally, if you are not sustainable, you failed.
Your environment is also your people.
If you don’t think about the disabled, if you prefer excluding instead of including, you failed.

3. Use of Technology
Technology is part of our lives, whether you like it or not. Although we notice a lot of people talking about it, we are not seeing a lot of implementations. If you only talk about it, you failed.
If you are running a conference for seniors and assume they don’t know what Linkedin is, you failed. I met online people from 20 to 80 years old. If you think events are separate from online communities, you failed.
If you don’t integrate online and offline, you are actually saying no to extra streams of revenue.

Who are you to tell me that?

Last time we talked about these issues we received aggressions, threats and a lot of anger.
We understand change is not easy to digest.
You should listen to us because we were talking about twitter when Lehman Brothers was still up.
We were stimulating user generated events when Linkedin had 20 million users (it is now 35 millions).
No it’s not easy to accept, but you have to deal with it and you have to do it soon.

  • http://www.movingfrommetowe.com KareAnderson

    The loud evening mixer is no longer enough. Design the sequence of formats for easier networking: vary the ways people can connect to collaborate, buy, sell or simply catch up. Like you note in another post, Pecha Kucha (could be a session) + meet the pros small groups in a ball room + 10-minutes meet the buyers session + ….

    People will keep attending the conferences, events and meetings that enable them to have face to that help them grow their skills, client base and opportunity to find potential partners to co-create a differentiating benefit, enter a new market or reduce cost of client acquisition

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/ Julius

    wow what a great comment Kare.

    I think there is a lot to learn for all of us!

    Thank you
    Julius

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/ Julius

    wow what a great comment Kare.

    I think there is a lot to learn for all of us!

    Thank you
    Julius

  • Garth

    Your 3 “new basics” are valid, however “respect for the environment” isn’t new. Never met a client who has mentioned it, as it’s a given.
    But intensely politicized labels like “sustainable” are a quick way to lose a client. They don’t like suppliers imposing ideology here, when pragmatic insight is what’s required. All due respect to the religious true-believers on climate change (a.k.a. “the weather”), but ours is not to preach, but to do.

  • Garth

    Your 3 “new basics” are valid, however “respect for the environment” isn’t new. Never met a client who has mentioned it, as it’s a given.
    But intensely politicized labels like “sustainable” are a quick way to lose a client. They don’t like suppliers imposing ideology here, when pragmatic insight is what’s required. All due respect to the religious true-believers on climate change (a.k.a. “the weather”), but ours is not to preach, but to do.

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/ Julius

    Hi Garth

    I really wish it was like that. I am talking about basics that are lacking. 2 out of 3 events I attend here in London have no recycling facilities or disabled access. We are not talking about preaching but if you show up at a job interview stinking of fish, you have to reconsider your approach.

    I am not a fan of Greenwashing and over-Greening, but the fundamentals are lackig here. I will be more than happy to lose clients who do not care as I built my client base on those who embrace new inputs.

    I would really love to move on and talk about newer basics, but it is not my reality.

    Thanks for the precious comment
    Julius

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/ Julius

    Hi Garth

    I really wish it was like that. I am talking about basics that are lacking. 2 out of 3 events I attend here in London have no recycling facilities or disabled access. We are not talking about preaching but if you show up at a job interview stinking of fish, you have to reconsider your approach.

    I am not a fan of Greenwashing and over-Greening, but the fundamentals are lackig here. I will be more than happy to lose clients who do not care as I built my client base on those who embrace new inputs.

    I would really love to move on and talk about newer basics, but it is not my reality.

    Thanks for the precious comment
    Julius

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