The Business Tourism Scotland Conference 2013 offered valuable insights and information on trends from the speakers, conference sessions and audience responses.
This summary provides key insights and tips drawn from the entire conference, which can be applied not only within a business tourism context but for the wider tourism industry also. Keeping up with trends and technology is particularly important in this sector, as well as knowing and understanding your audience, in order to communicate with them effectively.
Audiences and Trends
Dr Paul Redmond of Liverpool University provides valuable insights into how to engage and attract multiple generations and Ray Kopinski of the Million Dollar Round Table continues the focus on Millennials and Generation Y, this time as business travellers and delegates. Ray offers an insight into future trends in our industry, with a particular focus on technology and its impact on meetings and conferences.
Managing Clients and Event Planning
We also learn about the importance of meeting client expectations, the right questions to ask from a client brief and gain some useful insights into the value of meetings. When designing and creating unique events and experiences, Kevin Jackson of George P Johnson highlights how “The Experience is the Marketing” and stresses the importance of relationships at all levels.
Chris Elmitt of Chrystal Interactive provides practical strategies for tailoring events to our audience when planning events and Bonny Shapira of Cisco Live delivers an event case study highlighting the importance of team work and collaboration, with valuable tips for creating content, using technology effectively, adding value and engaging with your audience.
Talk, Listen, Learn..plus Teamwork and Technology!
Key Insights & Tips:
- Listen to your customer, keep listening, find out what they want, need, know. At the planning stage and at all stages of managing client expectations, ask the right questions, be honest with your client, listen and review continuously.
- Know your audience, your customer, listen to them and create opportunities and ways of engaging them and allowing them to respond and talk to you via technology but also person to person. Which generation, which segment, who are they, what are their needs, how can we make it easy for them to interact with providers?
- Planning, preparation, attention to detail, collaboration and teamwork are key for effective events and successful delivery: partnerships, listening and learning from mistakes.
- Technology: use it to facilitate experiences, enhance experiences, engage with audiences, listen to audiences, get customer feedback, improve the customer experience. It can also be used to enhance registration, payment, physical aspects of conferences and events, communicate messages, build communities, get people talking to each other, participate in the speaker presentation. Social media and mobile technologies such as apps are the key tools but don’t forget audio visual, video, lighting, sound and other media.
- When designing events fit for purpose bear in mind your audience and provide the opportunity for feedback on things they liked as well as what they didn’t like.
- Don’t forget that although technology is hugely important and we rely on it for how we develop events and meetings, the focus should always remain on people- human interactions, teamwork, trust and listening. One to one interactions, attention to detail, and human exchanges and interactions are vital and are not going to go away.