It’s that time of year again…

Business Events News - - News - Peter Gray, an in­de­pen­dent Mo­ti­va­tion Con­sul­tant, presents a reg­u­lar Business Events News fea­ture on cur­rent is­sues in the Con­fer­ence and In­cen­tive in­dus­tries. Peter Gray is an in­de­pen­dent, Ac­cred­ited In­cen­tive Prac­ti­tioner and mo­ti­va­tion con­sul­tant. He

…AND I’m not re­fer­ring to Christ­mas or what­ever other fes­ti­val you may cel­e­brate around this time. Fre­quently re­ferred to as ‘the silly sea­son’, this year seemed sil­lier than ever. It’s the time when sup­pli­ers dust off age-old mail­ing lists and de­cide to tell the world that they have amaz­ing, un­be­liev­able, never-to-be-re­peated (ex­cept they are, fairly fre­quently!) of­fers which are avail­able ex­clu­sively - to the re­cip­i­ent of their un­wanted and of­ten down­right an­noy­ing emails or even text mes­sages.

I have sud­denly heard from sup­pli­ers I have never used be­fore, nor am I likely to, and not only do they thank me for my pre­vi­ous business (which never hap­pened) but they in­fer that they are fully aware that my clients will need their ser­vices in the fu­ture. In their dreams!

Ho­tels and des­ti­na­tions seem to make up the ma­jor­ity of these un­wanted com­mu­ni­ca­tions but they are do­ing them­selves a dis­ser­vice. Not only do I have a very ef­fec­tive spam fil­ter on my lap­top but my ISP also fil­ters out the most bla­tant rub­bish be­fore it even reaches me (I know this be­cause I check this spam fil­ter too). Once on one of these spam data­bases sup­pli­ers’ com­mu­ni­ca­tions will not reach me and so, even if they sud­denly start do­ing some­thing that may be use­ful to me or my clients, they are shut out.

That this traf­fic has in­creased this year is, I think, re­flec­tive of the way the meet­ings and in­cen­tives in­dus­tries are head­ing, or to be more pre­cise, the way many of the on-line event man­age­ment soft­ware pro­duc­ers would like us to go. It doesn’t im­press me nor does it im­press many of my in­dus­try col­leagues who also re­sent hav­ing their time taken up by deal­ing with un­so­licited com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

That many in­cen­tive com­pa­nies and meet­ings/ event man­agers now rely upon rec­om­men­da­tions not from pro­fes­sional col­leagues but from event man­age­ment soft­ware com­pa­nies is not do­ing our in­dus­try any good. It’s not what our clients are pay­ing for… un­less yours hap­pens to be one of the ‘pile it high, sell it cheap’ com­pa­nies which are now ev­i­dent in the mar­ket­place. Low mar­gins (and I mean very low mar­gins) mean that revenue has to come ei­ther from il­le­gal hid­den com­mis­sions or by tak­ing on a large num­ber of client projects at once with the in­evitable re­sult that ser­vice - real ser­vice - suf­fers.

With the ad­vent of AirBNB and ho­tel con­sol­i­da­tion web sites every­one thinks they can be an in­cen­tive prac­ti­tioner or con­fer­ence or­gan­iser. The re­al­ity is, as we all know, that it takes a lot more than buy­ing cheap ho­tel rooms or air­fares to make an event the success our clients de­mand.

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