Conferences & Conventions: A Meeting of Minds; the Best Conferences and Conventions Now Pack an Even More Powerful Punch as They Align Themselves to the New Demands of Business
Byline: Vivienne McLean
When the going gets tough, the tough get going -- to a conference. In tight economic times, focus fixes firmly on developing people. Conferences and conventions play an important role in transferring knowledge, connecting and motivating people. Within a wider framework of continuing economic constraint, organisers report conference activity has held up "reasonably well". Now, they say, there are signs of growth.
As corporates adjust their conference spend, they are fine-tuning their priorities. In most sectors, conference social events are being trimmed as emphasis shifts further towards investment in content and speakers. Today's focus is on smarter thinking and new technology to ensure time-pressured delegates get maximum value from their conference experience -- before, during and after the event.
Gillian Officer, Sky City Entertainment Group's director of sales -- conventions and outcatering, says although the market has held up quite well, the number of delegates has declined.
"Where companies would once send four or five attendees, they have been sending one or two. We're seeing some recovery although it's slow. People are a lot more conscious about where they spend their money, especially around non-essential items such as theming, and are spending where they see the value -- on speakers rather than flowers."
Tracey Thomas, director of Conference Innovations in Christchurch, says conferences are slightly shorter, with some forgoing the welcoming cocktail function and opting to launch straight into the conference. However, he cautions, it's important to balance this quick-start approach with, for example, ensuring value for exhibitors.
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Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Conferences & Conventions: A Meeting of Minds; the Best Conferences and Conventions Now Pack an Even More Powerful Punch as They Align Themselves to the New Demands of Business. Contributors: Not available. Magazine title: New Zealand Management. Publication date: September 2012. Page number: 48. © Not available. COPYRIGHT 2012 Gale Group.
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