The goal of most corporate meeting departments is to plan programs that get high marks from attendees and save money in the process. David Rich would like to upgrade that goal by adding a bigger purpose for what you do, a purpose that already guides your company’s marketing events: growing the business.
“It’s a new way for meeting professionals to see the value of events, and to play a role within that greater value,” says Rich, senior vice president, strategy and planning worldwide, at George P. Johnson Experience Marketing in Boston, one of GPJ’s 30 offices worldwide. “Your stakeholders are looking to influence and persuade audiences in order to create business results, which means your meetings should be looked at as marketing.”
The shift in perspective could rewrite the meetings industry story. “We are not just putting on a meeting,” says Mark Shearon, managing director at Proscenium in New York. “We are driving a communications program that has an effect, and you can measure that effect. The meetings industry needs to think about things in that way. We need a mindset change. We are driving performance for our clients’ businesses and brands through a live event strategy. It’s just as important as advertising.”