In the first of our three-part conversation with Oscar Cerezales, the Chief Strategy Officer of MCI Group gives his take on business events’ outlook, how it is changing and what areas to invest in to facilitate recovery.
As business event professionals and organisations begin to come out of the woods since the start of the pandemic, the industry is still reeling from its impact despite an optimistic outlook. Cerezales says it is not about when business recovery will happen but how and in what form. A fragmented business recovery varies in volumes, formats and financial margins, which he highlights has been narrowing even before Covid-19 began.
Speaking to hotels, agencies, destination marketing organisations, convention centres and other industry stakeholders at the IMEX Frankfurt trade show, Cerezales understands that business has returned to an average of 60 per cent pre-Covid levels. Despite an eventual business recovery, he warns that organisations need to fine-tune their business models and change the way value is captured and delivered.
With mindset shifts, perspectives have changed, resilience has become a way of being and priorities have evolved. An increased focus on mental and physical well-being is pushing companies to work on improving their business and operating models to attract, retain and motivate talent.
Cerezales says people and businesses should not be obsessed with what is going to change but what will not change. “Avoid obsessing with what’s going to change. Think about what won’t change. Communities will still need to be created and activated, organisations need to communicate in hybrid formats, professionals need to connect and educate, and platforms for peer review will still need to be created.”