The Events Industry Unites in Support for Ukraine
InEvent’s Pedro Góes summed up the prevailing mood perfectly in the above statement, which accompanied a post offering remote positions to those affected by the crisis in Ukraine.
Despite some incredibly positive news for the event industry this week, and lots and lots of successful in-person events happening everywhere, one look at the news is a brutal reminder that there are bigger things happening than events and exhibitions.
But we cannot look past.
The events industry has been proud to speak up with a united voice against the violence in Ukraine. Ukrainian flags have been raised at Messe Frankfurt, Messe Muenchen, Koelnmesse, NürnbergMesse and elsewhere at event venues across Germany and beyond in support of Ukraine. Others #lightforpeace to express solidarity for victims of political, physical and psychological violence worldwide.
Event venues have stepped up to help too. Deutsche Messe has turned Hall 27 in Hannover into a safe harbor for refugees with a capacity of 1,152 sleeping places to those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. Working with the city of Düsseldorf, the Deutsches Rotes Kreuz e.V., the Düsseldorf Fire Department, and Messe Düsseldorf similarly has created safe accommodation for Ukrainian refugees, and has expressed solidarity with those suffering from the war. Messe Muenchen has opened a collections point for donations to be sent to those in crisis areas.
For event companies, it can be difficult to navigate the “right” communication and strategy in the wake of such tragic scenes from the crisis unfolding, especially as many organizers and events are affected. Companies should be mindful of their communication. And in no instances should you lean on the crisis for their own event marketing purposes (as this example painfully demonstrates).
If you’re looking for a way to respond in support of Ukraine, here are some suggestions that may be helpful as well as some examples from others in the industry (InEvent, Diversified Communications) that you may find useful.
Here’s what I’ve been catching up on this week:
The events industry unites in support for Ukraine:
- Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) leadership condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine [SISO] SISO, one of the leading membership organizations for entities that own, produce or provide full-service management of “face-to-face” trade shows, consumer shows, expositions, conferences and events has suspended all Russian members from participating in events and membership activities. SISO members produced thousands of events each year around the world. The organization has also begun a fundraising campaign to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.
- ExpoPlatform calls on eventprofs to stand with Ukraine | Conference News [Conference News] UK-based eventtech platform ExpoPlatform has called on the industry to help support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine under the hashtag #EventsWithUkraine. ExpoPlatform’s Ukrainian-born founders have shared resources for event professionals to help support those in Ukraine after their friends and family members were impacted by recent attacks.
- More events industry associations, including EIC and MPI, condemn Russian invasion of Ukraine – CMW [Conference & Meetings World] The Events Industry Council and Meeting Professionals International have been the latest to condemn the war in Ukraine and have suspended operations in Russia in response.
- Event venues respond to the call to house refugees. [Linkedin] Venues across Europe have begun to transition from event spaces to refugee shelters in support for Ukraine and its refugees, echoing the pivot many event spaces made at the beginning of last year to transition to vaccination centers. Among them, Jaarbeurs in Utrecht, Deutsche Messe in Hannover, and Messe Düsseldorf
- Sanctions leave wide impact on the Event Industry, banning participants [Multiple Sources] Events across Europe have banned participants from Russia, including: Web Summit and Collision, IMEX, MIPM, Frankfurt Book Fair, Messe Frankfurt, Barcelona Wine Fair, Crufts dog show, Barcelona seafood expo, London Book Fair and more. In the US, Russian exhibitors have been excluded from NAB Show.
The Event Industry:
- UFI Releases 28th Global Barometer on Events finds enthusiasm for event industry restart [UFI] The UFI’s latest report is one of their biggest yet, surveying 401 companies worldwide and finding many positive results for the recovering industry. On the whole, 71% report increases in revenue, anticipating the sector to bounce back quickly, a push towards hybrid events and increased importance of sustainable solutions for event concepts in the future.
- Cvent Projects 2022 In-Person, Hybrid Meetings Spike | Business Travel News [BTN] Event Industry veteran Cvent has posted a 25% revenue increase in Q4 2021, projecting a strong year of growth and revenue for the event industry. The company’s adoption of hybrid and virtual event solutions ensured the company remained profitable throughout the pandemic and grew their international presence.
- Mobile World Congress Marks a successful return to in-person events across Europe [Meetings Net] The past weeks have seen a flourishing of successful face-to-face events held in person across Europe, and Barcelona’s recent MWC brought a sizeable crowd and a return of enthusiasm to the events sector. Over 60,000 attendees took part in the event, which was one of the first in Europe to be cancelled by the covid pandemic in 2020.
- German Exhibitions Industry continues to call for end of vaccine restrictions [AUMA] Germany’s continued lack of recognition of some coronavirus vaccines has prevented the return of some visitors and exhibitors from outside of Europe. Auma, the trade fair industry body has again called on federal authorities to abolish the last restrictions on vaccines administered outside the EU, in an effort to improve the participation of international visitors.
- UK Virtual Mtgs. Platform Tevent Raises $2M [Business Travel News] The event fundraising news hasn’t slowed in 2022 as UK-based virtual event platform Tevent has raised $2million in seed funding to launch in the U.S. Tevent was founded at the onset of the pandemic, in March 2020.
- gamescom 2022: hybrid, grün, sicher und ambitioniert [Gamesmarkt] A glimpse at the upcoming Gamescom, returning partly in person in 2022. The event will include a combination of digital and physical components, and endeavors to be climate neutral, and support their visitors and exhibitors in reducing their environmental impact.
How to do it:
- The Reverse Pivot: Insights on Pivoting From Virtual to In-person Events [Event Marketer] As events return enthusiastically in person, don’t let some of the big lessons from online events be lost. Four industry professionals cover some of their top takeaways from pandemic-era online events that they will continue to bring forward to their physical events this year. One of our favorites? “Rightsize expectations on speaker talent”. Accessing top speakers in person will likely be a barrier this year. Don’t oversell to your participants at your physical event, and emphasize the physical aspects over the top name keynotes. Ensure your attendees arrive with the right expectations for your event.
- 3 Technology Advancements that Improve Virtual Events – Calendar [Calendar] Don’t just survive your next virtual event, thrive by further adapting your technology stack. Communication and interactive elements have rapidly progressed since the beginning of the pandemic. Don’t be afraid to utilize new technologies or tools to enhance your attendee’s experience.
- The Best of Both Worlds: Five things to consider when organizing hybrid events [CWT] Hybrid events continue to dominate the event landscape for 2022. Convention specialist CWT outlines 5 key takeaways to keep in mind when building hybrid experiences. One top tip– don’t forget the cocktail hour, and don’t keep your virtual participants out of the party.
- Beyond Zoom: What’s the future of hybrid networking events? [Protocol] It’s time to think outside the online event when it comes to networking in a hybrid world. With experiences split between online and offline, networking needs to get creative. Some really interesting suggestions in this piece include using Google Docs (yes really!) to collaborate and exchange during online events as well as using food and catering to connect those joining in person.
- The Tricky Dilemma of Excluding Russian Participation From Events [Event Manager Blog] Sanctions against Russia and Russian companies have prevented the participation of certain exhibitors and participants at upcoming trade fairs and events. Excluding the participation of Russian attendees and exhibitors from events is not a straightforward process. EventMB’s helpful post outlines some of the efforts by the industry and how others have navigated event participation since the onset of the crisis in Ukraine.
Don’t miss it:
- Is Your Event 2SLGBTQIA+ Inclusive? [Meetings Net] Just because your event is online, or virtual doesn’t mean it’s inclusive. Physical and hybrid events can become no-go spaces for those of diverse backgrounds— and can no longer be an afterthought. In 2022 your event planning must incorporate how to take sexual orientation and gender identity issues seriously, and safely. Here’s a great guide to get started.
- Freeman partners with Hubilo to offer new events solution [Exhibition World] Global events specialist Freeman partners with Eventtech platform Hubilo to offer a new strategic initiative for digital events of all sizes. This news is compelling as this partnership follows one of our predictions for 2022– a greater consolidation of event industry players. We predict further consolidation of industry players as the pandemic slows, as the crowded eventtech marketplace continues to compete for stronger market share and diversification. Ultimately, partnerships between technology newcomers and established event industry veterans will leave consumers and organizers with more solutions than ever.
- Greenage launches EVENTsmart to track carbon emissions for responsible meetings and events [Event Industry News] Since the beginning of the pandemic, event organizers everywhere have become more conscious about the environmental impact of the events they produce. Calculating carbon emissions for events is not always straightforward, especially for hybrid events. This is further complicated when some of the biggest carbon impacts of events are related to attendee travel– something that many existing calculators have left out. To fill this gap, Greengage, a longstanding provider for the meetings and travel industry has launched EVENTsmart, to help organizers better measure the impact of their events. The software platform is able to include impacts from travel as well as catering (& food waste) to help organizers better understand the impact of their events.
- Events aren’t what they used to be: Inspiring future generations of skilled event organisers – CMW [Conferences and Meetings World] With widespread talent shortages in the event industry, inspiring and retaining talented junior event organizers is a critical need for the industry. How to continue to encourage the next generation? Liesel Leary Perez argues the digital turn in the events industry can be a strong selling point for the next generation of event professionals.
That’s all for this edition of The Lookout! If you’re looking for some more great content, don’t miss the PIRATEx Event Resources Hub. If you’d like to be featured here, just reach out!
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The Lookout Newsletter #57
PIRATEx Managing Director