While outside it is sizzling hot, the end of the year is fast approaching and with it the need to review the year and set objectives for the next for meetings with dealers, vendors and sales teams.
How much should companies spend on events in a downturn? How many events should be organised? This depends completely on the strategy of each firm.
But it is proven that face-to-face meetings are crucial as a platform to enable human connections to be established. This also is the biggest driver of business results as research shows.
In the recently published EventView by the Meeting Professionals International (MPI), 52 percent of 942 sales and marketing executives in management positions in Asia-Pacific, North America and Europe believe event marketing to be the discipline in the marketing mix that best accelerates and deepens relationships.
Organise fewer meetings, perhaps, rather than cancelling meetings. Use new technology such as Twitter to keep the momentum of a conference and build-up on feedback generated on this platform to re-engage delegates for next meetings.
Is the champagne served to sales people who achieved their target appropriate, for example, or considered too much “icing on the cake”?
I believe people who achieve the goals set for them should be rewarded and further motivated to maintain their performance – be it in measurable results or support functions.
The perception of shareholders does count though, and excessive, over-the-top events may not be appropriate and may not fulfil objectives either.
Creativity and highly targeted solutions in times of a downturn become much more important.
Meetings are also a time to renew trust, which might be reduced in the minds of many employees and customers if they are not receiving continuous information and reassurance.
Having senior management deliver the messages and company strategy in person and having them directly engaged with the situation show employees and clients that they are appreciated. Both stakeholders are made to feel that they are essential in helping the company weather the storm.
People attending these events will remember this personal touch when the good times roll again.