The Event Expo: Glasgow, 9 February 2011

The ‘Event Expo‘ was a one day conference at The Garage in Glasgow: by event management students, for event management students. (Yes, it was in a night club. Got a problem with that?) Plenty of variety on the bill and an impressive line up of speakers. These are brief notes on Joe Goldblatt’s (popular and well attended) talk.

  • The internet has contributed to the globalising of the events industry, as part of a globalising economy.
  • There’s a need to be aware of ‘black swans’: unexpected innovations which change what’s possible and therefore can affect a whole industry… you have to keep up.
  • Joe was eloquent in linking special events to various academic fields, maths, Enlightenment themes and the ability of all locations to use events: a level playing field?
  • Four forces affecting events:
    • Population growth, particularly as societies overcome Malthusian limits on population growth; will also be reflected in rise of BRIC nations – note awarding of mega events to Russia, Brazil, Qatar, etc.
    • – ‘The next economy‘: a complex world, demanding experimentation and pragmatism, where the current economic environment is one of uncertainty. Joe noted his recent paper on key areas affected by the global recession on events, following industry research:
      • less sponsorship
      • overall slowdown
      • ticket sales
      • food and beverage sales
      • charges for previously free services
      • loss of some events
      • more competition
      • new levels of creativity
      • more technology available
      • consolidation within the industry
    • Technology: a discussion about the need to set up apps, use augmented reality, virtual events and to carry on experimenting.
    • Environmental: noting that the environment in which such discussions take place is one informed by Rio 1992 and subsequent summits.
  • What do we do now? The answer is certainly one affected by the policy objectives of government agencies (People 1st, etc.) as well as important reports (Tourism  Framework for ChangeBridging the Gap [London 2012]).

The whole day was well received by those who attended, with students from across the central belt in particular. Will there be another…? Depends on next year’s cohort of students.