Convention centers, particularly in Europe, are expecting a slower growth rate in 2013 than in past years, primarily because of economic recovery stagnation.
That’s just one of the findings from a recent survey conducted by AIPC – the International Association of Congress Centres. Convention venues in 54 countries participated in the survey, which also identified international competition and government policies toward meetings and events as top concerns.
“Growing competition amongst centres worldwide has been an issue for some years, but this very real spike in concern about government attitudes toward business events is a disturbing new development,” said AIPC President Geoff Donaghy in a statement. “At a time when economic growth and stabilization is a big priority amongst governments all over the world, we would have hoped they would have made the connection this has with business and professional interactions, but our member experiences are suggesting otherwise. This shows we need to work even harder on making sure our value proposition is better understood and appreciated by policy makers.”
Survey participants say that corporate event business is driving growth, but that conventions and exhibitions remain stagnant. Many venues are also seeking alternate revenue opportunities, such as “event creation, sponsorship and advertising, and enhanced services.” To encourage more business, the venues are open to increased risk sharing with clients.
A rapid change in event formats and growth in technology and connectivity demands were other areas of concern.
“Overall, what this tells us is that there is no instant business upswing in the cards for centres in the near future,” Donaghy said. “As in many other sectors in today’s economy, success in ours will have to be based on innovation, flexibility, and an ability to be competitive in a highly contested market.”
What steps are you taking to stay flexible and competitive? Please share your answers in the comments.
(Image of the Dublin National Convention Centre via Flickr: Greg Clarke/Creative Commons)