Consuming industry news and views may seem like a luxury when added to the mix of days jam-packed with client meetings, site visits, creative brainstorming sessions and everything else that keeps event businesses ticking over. But keeping up with what’s going on in the industry can help your organisation grow, develop and thrive.
Here are ASE’s top three reasons to carve out time each week to take in what’s happening in our professional community.
Reading, watching or listening to what others are doing in the events space can give you ideas in two ways – the first being the more obvious – it’s a great way to discover products, services, venues and innovations for your next project.
The second idea generation concept is less straightforward but has a potentially higher yield for developing unique projects.
Taking in diverse information and ideas – particularly those which you may not ordinarily seek out yourself – and allowing them to brew in your brain can lead to development of new concepts.
“[Apple co-founder] Steve Jobs said that creativity is just about connecting things,” explains Tania de Jong AM, founder of Creative Universe which stages the award-winning Creative Innovation Asia Pacific. “I’d like to suggest that those things might be all the experiences in your life up to this moment. So, the broader and richer your experience is, the more tools you’ll have in your creative toolbox for when you want or need to get creative,” de Jong continues.
She also points out Harvard Business Review cites cross-pollination of people and ideas as the most essential factor in developing real innovation.
In-between experiencing the “positive human collisions” that de Jong’s conference is famous for (the next iteration is scheduled for 1-3 April 2019), reading industry news builds up your stock of ideas for innovative collisions in your own head.
Build better relationships and find new opportunities for your business
Much like personal relationships, business relationships thrive on the small details you know about the other. Industry news provides these: it’s like a switchboard, providing potential connections between people through bite-sized and in-depth insight into what each of us spends a great portion of our lives striving to achieve on a professional level.
“When you speak to someone and are able to show understanding and empathy about what is going on in their world, this builds trust and makes you stand out from the crowd,” says Jakki Govan, whose business, Clockwise Consulting, offers representation, training, sales, marketing and communication strategy for the Australian business events, hospitality and tourism sectors.
“We train our team in researching and staying up-to-date on industry knowledge, but also to use this knowledge carefully.”
Keeping abreast of industry news is also essential for picking the right moment to approach a sales prospect, so that your approach is welcomed rather than irritating.
“There is nothing more annoying than being sold something you don’t need,” says Govan.
“People come at you through LinkedIn, over the phone and via email, with a tirade of information, telling you what you need and why you should use them to provide it. It shows complete disrespect.
“When we teach proactive sales, reactive sales and account management, research is high on the agenda – whether thorough attending conferences, industry events or receiving industry publications. And when we write sales strategies, there is always a budget line for research.
“Sales is a fairly simple science. Many in operational positions think sales people are those with the gift of the gab – that’s not true. They’re people who are consistent, who use good systems, who are great listeners and good researchers.”
Whether you’re a salesperson or a company director, industry news offers exactly the kind of curated research you need to nourish your business partnerships – one of those rare times when something that seems too good to be true delivers on its promises.
Keep up with the competition
One of the easiest ways to keep track of what your competition is up to is to consume industry news and ideas in their various forms.
“Reading industry news from a supplier point of view is very useful to keep up-to-date with what new industry trends, technologies and designs are being produced by our industry colleagues,” says owner of Backdrops Fantastic Australia, Thomas Brown.
“Social media channels such as LinkedIn and Instagram are other great locations to see what our colleagues are up to, but this outlet tends to be snapshots of an event or a soapbox platform for brand awareness.
Brown also keeps tabs on event news to benchmark his company against the work of others, check his brand remains on the leading edge of industry innovation and to ensure the intellectual property of the company’s designs remains theirs.
Brown encourages a more substantial peek behind the drapes in an industry that can be a little shy of revealing its inner workings.
“ASE has done some great features delving into the ins and outs of some of the great and not-so-great industry events they have attended…[these] also [provide] insight into revealing the brains behind-the-scenes, along with the innovations and inspirations,” he says.
“It would be fantastic if industry news outlets could journalistically report on even more insights into and detail of some of the great events, trends and technologies that are being produced in Australia.
“In-depth Industry news in combination with social sites should be platforms for insight and inspiration to keep the industry pushing the boundaries and moving forward.”
We’re working on it. Stay tuned in. And if you aren’t already, subscribe to Australasian Special Events here.