It’s a brave new world

By Michelle Crowley on 15/08/2017

The hush of the audience, as they listened intently, and gasps heard when big predictions were made at the Vision 2050 session at the 2017 Singapore MICE Forum was very entertaining and a reminder of just how shortsighted we can be.

Operating day in, day out within the industry, we frequently forget to take the time to look beyond. There was truth in all predictions and many I believe will occur faster than we think.

Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) becoming knowledge vs. convention bureaux – this is already happening. Ambassador programmes are one step towards this mindset, as well as local university and partner connections.

In an era where everyone is about producing/regurgitating content, this is natural. Peer reviews and opinions are frequently valued more than establishment if you trust the peer. Leveraging local thought leaders and their networks is critical.

Convention centres being built as more modular spaces that can adapt based on need (picture four elevator shafts together – the elevators can move and create one large, flat space together or can be one, two, three, or four separate pieces pending preferred size).

In condensed cities that do not have much space, this vertical solution could work quite well. In fact, as the automated car industry grows and people own and drive cars less, perhaps this is a natural way to utilize (what will be) empty parking garages. The clear point of this group is that space must be flexible, customisable and unique.

I firmly believe it is all about reconsidering your business models. That being said, the empowered consumer of today does not care what your business model is - they just want ease and value. It is our job to change and ensure we are providing them that, otherwise we should expect them to go elsewhere.

I commend the SACEOS Education Committee, mentors and staff for daring to break away from the standard industry panel and give the audience some serious things to think about. It connected well with the theme to re:imagine and set the mindset for the rest of the education sessions. Bravo!

Michelle Crowley leads the Professional Convention Management Association’s (PCMA) global development strategy, global education and communications channels. She joined PCMA in 2009 to develop and grow PCMA’s brand and education outreach. Michelle and her team support PCMA’s global business event strategists with education and resources which in turn help them further their own organisation’s global initiatives. She is responsible for building strategic relationships and partnerships with target markets, and architects and executes programmes in regions throughout the world.

Crowley has a degree in International Relations and a minor in Spanish from the University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign. She is a 2019 MBA Candidate from the Kellogg School of Management – Northwestern University.


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