In actuality, the conference and meetings market keeps progressing, although new trends emerge that force companies operating in the market to adapt new approaches to business and offer customers new services. As the conference is organized by a European car manufacturer and this conference is the annual sales conference, the conference can face the challenge of balancing event costs against rising participant expectations for a combination of a quality learning experience, demonstrable return on investments and strong personalisation. Today, the car manufacturing industry faces considerable problems which result from the financial crisis of 2008. The economic recovery raises the problem of saving costs for car manufacturers. Naturally, the European car manufacturer is also inclined to saving costs. On the other hand, the company cannot refuse from the conference which is essential for their sales force. Therefore, the company will attempt to balance costs and benefits that will meet participants’ expectations. The conference should bring positive effects to participants and they should grow confident of their professional growth after they attend the conference. In such a situation, the conference should be balanced in terms of costs and bring progress to participants. Hence, the conference should involve all essential technology and commodities to conduct the conference and focus on intensive training and knowledge sharing to maximize positive effects of the conference on participants.
At the same time, the conference will have to deliver compelling experiences to a multi-generational, globally distributed and culturally diverse audience. As sales force of the European car manufacturer is attracted from different parts of Europe, the conference will take place in the multi-cultural environment. Therefore, participants of the conference will have different needs since culture of European countries varies substantially. Therefore, the conference should focus on universal values and culturally neutral programme. For instance, the conference should allow participants to choose the place, where they stay beforehand or to offer the diverse menu to meet cultural specificities of different people. For instance, some participants may need a special diet because of their religious beliefs and the conference should provide them with an opportunity to get all the products that match their diet. Hence, the conference management company should monitor key trends in diverse European cuisines to meet requirements of the conference participants. The same approach should be applied to other elements of the conference programme. Hence, the conference should have hybrid event design solutions.
Economic/Social/Legal Matters Influencing the Conference Organization
Today, the conference management involves economic, social and legal issues which are very important and may raise substantial obstacles on the way to the successful organisation of the conference, if they remain unresolved. In actuality, the growing pressure to control costs becomes one of the major economic trends in the contemporary conference management. The European car manufacturer is likely to set accurate control over costs of the conference. Therefore, the conference management company should offer a set of proposals which allow saving costs, while it is up to the customer to choose the best plan. For instance, the conference management company can offer the customer 4-stars hotels for participants instead of 5-stars hotels, or the company may offer cheaper hotels but higher transpiration costs may be needed.
In actuality, specialists (Berridge, 2007) distinguish three control tactics for event owner, including closing unprofitable meetings; running shorter events; co-location of events with other organisers to share venue costs. In case of the European car manufacturer the best choice would be running shorter-events. For instance, the European car manufacturer can count on four-five days conference which may be reduced to two-three days. Hence, the company will save costs as well due to lower costs spent by the company on the accommodation of participants, fewer events during the conference, and lower transfer costs.
On the other hand, the event owner is likely to be concerned with generation of additional revenues. In this regard, specialists (Steel, 2007) recommend three tactics to be used, including learning from sectors, such as sport, about attracting sponsors and exhibitors; making the event the launch platform for year round revenue-generation; premium pricing options within the event, such as exclusive, extra features and benefits. In this regard, the conference management company can offer the customer extra feature and services and it is up to the customer to choose them or not. For instance, the conference management company can offer excursions for participants of the conference in London and the European car manufacturer can either refuse from this option, or accept it, or accept it partially, allowing participants to make excursions but limiting the amount of landmarks they can visit or distance they can go.
The technology is likely to have the most significant impact on the event, since the rapid progress of technology increases and diversifies customer needs. In actuality, the conference should provide customers with the following options: mobile apps that help delegates, speakers and exhibitors connect, interact and share knowledge; free Wi-Fi; streaming video for remote audiences. The aforementioned options are essential to conduct the conference successfully. As participants can have access to advanced technologies, especially telecommunication systems, they will feel comfortable and satisfied since they will be able to communicate with each other as well as they will be able to communicate with their colleagues in their home countries or family members. In addition, new technologies will increase the effectiveness of the conference since participants can save time using these technologies as they need to meet all the people they want to communicate with, for instance.