Why we need to lose the 9-5 mentality in order to acquire and retain new business in 2019
The events industry is a thriving 24/7 industry, offering full service to catering, venues and accommodation around the clock. Unbound by the typical 9-5 time constraints, events can take place at any time, anywhere. Though, paradoxical to its services, the ability to organise an event would have remained catastrophic had the technology not evolved to support the demands of the new age planner - many of whom today, have adopted a flexible working schedule.
Our research suggests that 58 percent of event organisers search for function space outside of the traditional office hours. And so, with the evolution of the digital era, many businesses have begun to embrace a flexible working approach ensuring their customers are being serviced at the point of decision; where and when they’re willing to transact.
As with most trends, this impacts the meetings and events industry and how it responds to the requirements of today’s buyers so that opportunities are no longer missed and venues can maximise their potential to increase profitability. Fortunately, the rise in intuitive technology provides businesses the ability to operate as though they were “open”, without incurring the costs for additional staff and overtime.
As digitisation advances, consumers will naturally become more dependent on mobile technology. With the demand for heightened connectivity increasing, those who are not trading outside of hours will simply become invisible.
Just as event organisers are not limited by international time differences or the traditional working restrictions, the same remains true for the suppliers. What was once an inefficient way of seeking information, today, buyers are provided instant access to services in their area, to satisfy their immediate needs. The opportunity at hand is for the Meetings and Events industry to automate the booking process, much like many other industries that can, and are already offering their products around the clock, to meet the interests of their customers.
There is a need for disruption to bring venues out of the dark-age and up to date with rest of the world, and the answer is automation. Technology provides venues the ability to directly connect their shopfront - in this case, their website - to their buyers in real time. This in turn offers the opportunity to significantly increase customer retention through improved on-site experiences.
People are afraid of change. Often the talk of technology ignites the fear that automation will replace human interaction. But, the reality is, automation will provide visibility over business operations that manual processes simply could not. The meetings & events industry needs to become accustomed to the fact that we operate in a buyer led market, so just as the business must evolve, so too do the roles within them to ensure a smooth transition to the ever-inevitable digital landscape.
About the Author
Lauren Hall is the award-winning Founder and Chief Executive Officer of iVvy. Lauren is a passionate entrepreneur with more than 25 years' business management experience at Executive and Board level, successfully building multiple companies from startup to strategic and financial exit. With a background in programming, accounting and marketing, Lauren’s expertise spans manufacturing, retail, advertising and technology industries in both South Africa and Australia.
Since its 2009 launch, Lauren has overseen iVvy’s continued growth and global expansion to New Zealand, Asia, Europe and North America.
Ernst & Young recognized Lauren as a future global leader of industry through the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women Asia-Pacific program. Lauren has also won 4 prestigious Global Stevie Awards for Best New Product, Entrepreneur of the Year, Innovator of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year (Asia Pacific). She has been awarded the Queensland iAwards for Best Innovation in the Digital Economy, as well as Gold Coast’s Business Woman of the Year, Innovator of the Year and was presented with the Gold Coast Mayor’s Award for Innovation.