Events Council Blog

Safety on the Minds of Industry CEOs

Oct 26, 2017

The Events Industry Council’s Council of Delegates, whose members comprise the CEOs of more than 30 of the leading industry associations, recently met in Las Vegas to discuss trends and issues facing our industry. These associations represent more than 103,500 individuals and 19,500 firms and properties involved in the meetings, conventions, and exhibitions industry.

While many of the themes echo the discussion from the spring meeting of the council, we’ve also seen new topics come to the forefront.

  1. Safety and Security

    Safety and security has been top of mind for all of the industry associations. The events of 2017, including floods in South Asia, hurricanes in the United States and Caribbean, acts of terror such as the bombing at the Manchester Arena, the mass shooting in Las Vegas and the release of the WannaCry ransomware attack, have strengthened the resolve to provide risk management education and resources to industry professionals. Also discussed was a shift in perceptions about safety and security measures. The need for metal detectors at public events, for example, has gone from their presence being questioned, to their absence being questioned. Also reported was the coordination between convention centers and relief organizations and federal agencies in establishing mega shelters and providing services for first responders.

  2. Cyber Security and Data Protection Regulations

    Cyber security continues to be an important issue for our industry. The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that come into effect in Europe in May, 2018 will have a significant impact on how organizations in our industry manage Personally Identifiable Information (PII). The regulation not only affects European organizations, but also any organization that offers goods or services to Europeans.

  3. Demonstrating Relevance

    A common issue discussed at the meeting was the need for associations to demonstrate their relevance. Many of the associations are re-examining membership and management models as well as event formats and are tailoring their programs to meet the specific needs of stakeholders. While recognizing that associations can’t be all things to all people, there is a need to be relevant to all membership segments, as well as for the industry as a whole. Augmenting the relevance of events themselves, through better event design, greater engagement and improved practices for knowledge retention, was also a focus.

  4. Workforce Trends

    A number of factors are affecting the workforce of the future in our industry. As we consider the role of automation, outsourcing, new technology and disruptors that are changing cost models, it is clear that new skills will be needed to meet our changing needs. Workforce development, defining career paths, staying ahead of technology, and acquisition and retention of talent continue to be top priorities.

  5. Diversity, Inclusion and the Value of Global Perspectives
    The importance of protocols for encouraging diversity in supplier selection, accessibility guidelines and opportunities to encourage greater representation and interaction between different facets of the industry and global regions were recognized as valuable for the industry’s future. 

All of the above trends will be important to monitor in the coming year. The Events Industry Council, together with its member organizations, will be developing additional tools and resources to help professionals in our industry address these issues, mitigate risks, and maximize opportunities.