Forces of Change session two saw 20 event marketing and tech agencies coming together to ideate for the future of the business events industry.


Forces of Change is an intimate peer-to-peer ideation and learning experience for leaders of the business events industry. It is also a platform where leaders share best practices and reimagine the industry’s future with their peers. Session two of this in-person experience co-created by Marina Bay Sands and BEAM was held on 25 August 2021.

The session’s “whisperer”, Henrik Kofod-Hansen of novosensus broadened minds through exploring the “above and below the line” growth mindset. His research informed the leaders about the power of psychological capital that potentially fuels team strengths, engagement and collaboration.

Henrik Kofod-Hansen, novosensus

Leaders in the industry coming together to share best practices and ideate collaboratively as a community is so valuable, and I think everyone got a lot out of today. For me, the most valuable takeaway was hearing the pain points, seeing how over the last couple of hours, we got together to solve some of those and looked at how venues, suppliers and agencies can partner up. It ultimately broke down the barriers and worked together in a true collaborative partnership that we all envisage is going to be a part of our future.

Anna Patterson, Managing Director, George P. Johnson (Singapore)

Three business models stood out from the impassioned brainstorming sessions:

The Collaboration Model – trust and respect centres successful collaboration models. There was a common sentiment that COVID presented agencies and cross-sector service providers the opportunity to work together to win future events for the destination.  Collaborative partners could also optimise the talent pool and segregate clear lines of responsibility to create new products and services. The key to collaboration is to align organisation values and to understand how all partners earn money.

The Value Perception and Communications Model – there is a need to create psychological safety when communicating value perception that agencies are here to help instead of replacing their clients’ jobs. Patience is the virtue when shifting from fixed to growth mindsets.  The complexity of safe event management may illuminate the vital role agencies play and their value to the return of investment and objectives. The common sentiment was that the focus must remain on the customer and their participants’ needs.

The Business Development and Adaptation Model – The first step to successfully develop profitable business opportunities is to move beyond the industry’s severe COVID narrative. The industry’s “first movers” would reshape talent with new capabilities and incorporate effective digital transformation that resolves gaps. These change agents could spark dialogue around how the industry has adapted by leveraging data on the shifting trends in demographics and their needs. The common sentiment was that to be effective in the post-pandemic world is to remain nimble when balancing long and short-term goals.

Christo Alexander of SongDivision Asia and his team took the position of “deep listener” and created an original song using the leaders’ soundbites from the discussions.

It is important for leaders to come together because we are facing the same problem as an industry. We're facing a situation where we feel clients have no idea what their next strategy should be, and we, as key opinion leaders, have an opinion on where we should be. We're in an industry of improving together, and we're in the business of bringing people together as well.

Petrina Goh, Commercial Director, CWT Meetings & Events

All of us represent different facets of the industry, and what we all hold uniquely together is that we have the same type of customers. In Covid-19, it is contingent upon us working together to meet customers' expectations and responses. Today's session really showed the collaboration that we have as an industry.

Sanjay Seth, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, BCD Meetings & Events

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El Kwang

Author El Kwang

Recognised in his global network as an ideas man who sees opportunities in every encounter. He looks for ways to connect dynamic people from across disciplines to unearth the potential for great ideas to become outstanding. With more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality, tourism and business events industry, both as a content strategist and a designer of immersive experiences around the globe, El established BEAM and built a team of Engagers committed to playing a vital part in ensuring that the world continues to move forward with innovation, growth and positivity.

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