Face to Face is the Ultimate Interactivity.
By Yeoh Siew Hoon
Tuesday, 13th October 2009
The meetings industry is on its way back to recovery, according to Robin Lokerman, President Asia/Pacific, CEO Institutional Division for MCI, one of the world's most dominant association management and conference organising companies.

After two years of no growth and much lower profitability, MCI is now forecasting a 20% growth for 2010, he said.

Lokerman (right), who will be part of a Business Events panel at WIT-Web In Travel, moderated by Elizabeth Rich, chief executive of the Business Events Council of Australia, said that budgets and meetings which had been put on hold are starting to be released.

He said that the economic crisis had caused people to question the real value of meetings and events and whether they had more to do with fun than with real business.

"We need to be a much more responsible industry in demonstrating value," he said, adding that the industry had responded professionally to critics of business events during tough economic times.

The Singapore-based Lokerman also believes that, apart from the environmental issue which would have a major impact on how meetings are conducted, technology was the next big ver of change.

"We've seen the green revolution over the past four to five years. The next big thing will be integrating digital media and social media into meetings and events, and into learning and marketing and we see great opportunities in that area."

While new technology will result in more meetings being held virtually – whether through webinars or video conferences – he said these new platforms offered opportunities for the meetings industry.

By having people communicate and interact more, he said we would create a bigger customer base because communication begets more communication.

The more people connect, the more they want to connect, in other words.

Face to face, he said, is the most interactive we can get – "to see, smell, touch and look people in the eye" – and it was up to the industry to fully integrated digital and social media into its events.

"As an industry, we need to completely embrace digital technology to help us reach the objectives we are trying to achieve for our clients or projects. It is another medium in addition to, rather than a replacement.

"The Internet and digital  media will enhance face to face – in the end, it will increase the number of physical meetings."

Listen to Robin Lokerman's podcast here: www.webintravel.com/index.php/podcasts.html

Yeoh Siew Hoon, one of Asia's most respected travel editors and commentators, writes a regular column on news, trends and issues in the hospitality industry for 4Hoteliers.com.

Siew Hoon, who has covered the tourism industry in Asia/Pacific for the past 20 years, runs SHY Ventures Pte Ltd. Her other writings can be found at www.thetransitcafe.com

Get your weekly cuppa of news, gossip, humour and opinion at the cafe for travel insiders.

4Hoteliers is the "Official Daily News" of WIT09 - www.webintravel.com
...[Click for More]
 Latest News  (Click title to read article)

 Latest Articles  (Click title to read)

 Most Read Articles  (Click title to read)

~ Important Notice ~
Articles appearing on 4Hoteliers contain copyright material. They are meant for your personal use and may not be reproduced or redistributed. While 4Hoteliers makes every effort to ensure accuracy, we can not be held responsible for the content nor the views expressed, which may not necessarily be those of either the original author or 4Hoteliers or its agents.
© Copyright 4Hoteliers 2001-2024 ~ unless stated otherwise, all rights reserved.
You can read more about 4Hoteliers and our company here
Use of this web site is subject to our
terms & conditions of service and privacy policy