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Mice Net : October 2008
azure ad.qxp 20/12/2006 12:01 PM planners’ checklist By Bryan Holliday the value in sticking to your knitting M Despite what some may believe meetings are changing in form and style. eetings come and go and on the surface they seem to change little from one year to the next. Advances in technology enhance the quality of communications but in the main meetings follow many time-honoured rituals. Look below the surface and the situation is very different. The very architecture of meetings and how the various components are delivered is constantly being redefined. Everyone is trying to do everything and the traditional territory of the professional conference organiser is being invaded by a plethora of suppliers who see themselves as competent to offer a whole range of services other than their core activity. We find special events companies offering registration services or travel management direct to clients. Convention bureaux are becoming de facto accommodation agencies and taking commissions as part of their funding process. Catering companies offer full service event management. Travel companies are supplying conference management services and global conference organising companies have brokered relationships with international associations to the extent that local conference organisers are effectively out of the client relationship loop and are merely service providers for accommodation and logistics. Just who owns the client relationship has become very murky in some instances and thus the trust, loyalty and respect between the client and the traditional primary contractor, the PCO, can well be at risk. As international and national meetings continue to grow in size and complexity so too does the degree of financial risk. The PCO with a good track record is uniquely placed to ensure that critical elements such as sponsorship, marketing and relations with venues and accommodation providers are in sync with the overall vision for the event. An orchestra can manage without a conductor after a fashion but there’s a world of difference when the baton is wielded by a true professional. Australia has among the best collection of purpose-built convention centres in the world and our reputation is such that we win a goodly share of international association meetings. However, the reality is that our market share is slipping, mostly due to factors outside of our control. We have to be alert and we don’t want to squander the goodwill we enjoy by trying to capture business that we’re not fully equipped to service. Long after the glow of a low price has faded, the disappointment of a poor job will still burn bright. For more information contact Bryan Holliday at ICMS Australasia at (02) 9254 5000 or visit www.icmsaust.com.au. mice.net 29 There are 74 islands in the Whitsundays. Host your next event at the finest. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.hayman.com.au