Comment by Lara Simmons, ShowGizmo Marketing Executive
For me this wasn’t just another AIME, it was my first…it was also my first MICE event ever, having just joint the industry late last year.
One standout for me was the number of seasoned AIMEers in attendance, I met people who had been attending religiously for 5, 10, 15 and 20 years – and here I was with my first ever lanyard seeing it all for the first time.
I may not be an event veteran just yet, but what I do have is a fresh perspective from the eyes of a millennial – the next generation of event professionals. So, here are my top 3 takeaways from AIME:
- Technology isn’t as scary as you think
Being a marketer in 2016, it is my job to understand that not everyone sees technology the same way I do. Throughout my tertiary career I was continually prepped for tech resistance by tutors – I was armed to deal with techno-?phobia with logical reasoning and rational. Despite all of this, I was still shocked all the same to see event planners and managers at AIME disregard technology like it was a high school fad.
I desperately wanted to solve this problem by saying something bright and enlightening in this article, however after mulling it over for many evenings, I have resigned to the fact that people will always find technology scary, no matter what I say. My hope is that for those of you that do find it scary, you begin to warm to the fact that what’s scary for you, is as fluid as a second language to others.
This quite nicely leads on to my second takeaway from AIME…
- Event planners are enabling their target markets
During the hectic two days, I managed to find some time to sit in on a knowledge session or two – one in particular resonated with me; an ex-?marketer turned event planner talked about how they had resorted to using facsimile for their event marketing, her reasoning: because her target market didn’t understand technology.
This bugged me, so I decided to do some investigation for myself: interestingly, the target market in question has the highest distribution of employees aged between 25-?35 and is expected to skew younger year on year. It became
apparent to me that event planners are attempting to justify their tech resistance by putting it in their target markets court.
As Gareth Dimelow said during his session on event design at AIME, anyone who is in the event industry is also in the marketing industry. And what comes synonymously with marketing is the ability to separate your personal qualms from how you communicate with your target market – in an event scenario: your delegates.
- Events people are fiercely passionate
My final takeaway is more of an observation: Event people in concentration are something to behold. The desire to produce awesome events was everywhere, from over the top desert tables to Operatic performances and everything in between. This abundant passion is not present in any-?old industry, it was delightfully contagious. I left AIME exhausted but confident that the shared passion for the industry would allow it to evolve with future generations.