LONG THINKER PANEL
By Matthias Schultze, Managing Director GCB German Convention Bureau
The COVID-19 pandemic brought the event industry to a virtual standstill overnight. After the gradual restart we will live in a state of “new normal”. Several megatrends have been shaping the business events industry for several years now, including digitalization, sustainability and an increased need for security. The Corona crisis now acts as a massive accelerator – everything we had predicted for the coming years arrived within two weeks. Like many other players, Convention Bureaux are faced with the question of how to shape their future role.
Everything we had predicted for the coming years arrived within two weeks
The main tasks include the relationship with local providers and partners, with customers from home and abroad, and the inner world of the CVBs. What services will customers be requesting from CVBs in the future? What services will help local partners to present themselves in the best possible way? What organizational structures and skills of the team members are required to act agile and trailblazing?
Customers will expect services individually tailored to their needs. Inter alia, data analytics and conversational interfaces like chatbots, for example, can help CVBs to focus fully on those needs. In relation to their local partners, one of the essential tasks of future CVBs will be to make business intelligence accessible to providers to help them get a better understanding of their customers’ needs. This shift requires new skills among CVB team members, including data skills, IT and IT security skills and, last but not least, the readiness to work in interdisciplinary teams.
To make business intelligence accessible to providers to help them get a better understanding of their customers’ needs.
Digitalization and automation are only the beginning: In an increasingly complex environment, artificial intelligence and the platform economy, for example, can help us develop groundbreaking new business models and create new criteria for measuring success. The key lies in consistent customer centricity.
Such a future requires intensive dialogue between all stakeholders and a large portion of courage and willingness to change. The GCB is working at full strength on innovative concepts and is looking forward to bringing them to life together with its partners.
Germany is the number one conference and congress destination in Europe and comes second worldwide behind the USA. To secure this position and improve on it, is among the GCB’s core tasks. Conferences, congresses and events are platforms for exchanging experiences and ideas. They promote innovation and know-how transfer and contribute to international understanding which is a key concern for the GCB. It is our aim to further the exchange of experiences and ideas as well as promote conferences and congresses with the forum that we provide for the industry.