The Top Technology Trends Transforming the Events and Tradeshow Industries and What It Means For You!

Corbin Ball_HeadshotCorbin Ball discussed at the PCOA Conference & Exhibition 2017 how technology will likely change events more in the next five years than it has in the past fifteen!

His presentation covered the major technology trends creating these changes and what you can do to prepare for them.

Corbin said the Meetings Industry is going through a tsunami of change and the drivers of this are technology and millennials making big changes in meeting design.

Corbin shares his thoughts in a post conference interview published on the PCO Association website home page.

Corbin Ball CSP, CMP, DES, MS from Corbin Ball & Co is an internationally recognized expert on technology. His articles have appeared in hundreds of national in international publications and he has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USAToday and US News & World Report.


Following extensive lobbying by the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA), of which PCOA is a member, the economic value of business events to the Australian economy has received significant further recognition in the Federal Government’s tourism policy.

The Hon. Steven Ciobo, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, has announced Tourism Australia’s Business Events Bid Fund Program will receive $12m over the next three years.

This is one of the most significant announcements for the business events industry in recent times.

The investment will help PCOs and their clients to bring international business events to Australia.

It will help Australia attract more international conventions, which boost trade, investment, and jobs, and will allow PCOs to showcase their capabilities on the world stage.Barry Neame

“This investment, we believe, will be returned to the Australian economy many times over,” PCO president Barry Neame said.

“This is a great outcome from the ongoing discussions by BECA with the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.”

Barry Neame CEM
PCO Association

Sponsors making it harder for associations, with an increase in meetings and events demands

The associations sector of business tourism not only needs new funding sources to replace falling membership, it also is finding it more difficult to attract sponsors, with those vital supporters demanding a better return for their investment in conferences and meetings.

Barry Neame

Barry Neame

“The demand by many sponsors today is the ability to demonstrate their products and services to justify the fees they pay,” said Barry Neame, president of Australia’s PCO Association.

“Some associations are unable to adjust the structure of their programs to be able to do that either via a conference or trade exhibition.

“We expect this increasingly to be a focus. Sponsorship dollars are needed to help support our conference or exhibition. components.

There also is a direct correlation between attendees and sponsorship funding. But sponsors today don’t just want numbers, they want the right demographic numbers to justify the spend.”

Neame said there is going to be an ongoing challenge to ensure up to date and relevant sponsorship content can be integrated in a program or workshop to make sponsors feel they have achieved their meetings objectives without it sounding like an advertorial.

Millennials who know they are ‘watching an advertisement’ are less likely to feel their conference attendance and membership fees have been well spent.

Call for new solutions

The problems are exacerbated by the fact that many presentations used at conferences today have been heard or seen elsewhere via the internet, social media or the presenters’ own web sites. The days when presenters wrote new material for every conference on the assumption that at least a small percentage of the audience ‘might’ have seen existing presentations are long gone.

Physically sitting together with fellow delegates to network still has its following, but those members want fresh and relevant content not available elsewhere.

“Perhaps (these changes are) not altogether a bad thing. When times are good, no problems, but when the market tightens up it forces business to create new ways of doing things to maintain customers, or in this case members,” said Neame.

Meanwhile, artificial intelligence (AI) and greater use of virtual reality and automation are being tipped by the international exhibition association UFI to play an increasing role in conferences and events in Australia.

“It is already happening with many associations in a bid to keep costs under control, said Neame. There now are more online membership renewals and more training sessions are automated or becoming so”

#69 issue can be viewed here

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