Blog post

Event Sales - the great divide

  • Posted by Tim South
  • on Tuesday October 6, 2015


It's probably not a big shock that the majority of event salespeople responding to our survey see driving revenue as the big issue facing them – just over half thought generating sponsorship revenue was the biggest challenge.

We think the biggest challenge is to balance the pressure to bring in short-term cash against the need to deliver true long-term value for both sponsors and delegates, which can help turn a good event into a market-leader.

The pressure of bringing in short-term revenue is what I want to focus on in this blog post as it is a theme that keeps cropping up in our conversations with Directors and hiring managers.

This is highlighted in the following comment from our event industry survey.

“There is a lack of respect for the conference industry (same as estate agents). Due to competition there’s lots of pressure to generate revenue which leads to “quickwins” selling where business development executives don’t really care about the needs of the client. This has earned the industry a bad reputation.”

There seems to be two competing ideologies amongst events businesses. On the one hand there are companies aggressively launching new events hoping a small percentage will be commercially viable and turn into repeat events. The flip side of this method is being genuine thought-leaders and trying to offer a quality, content-driven event that improves year on year.

For lovers of the industry the second model is a lot more attractive. We want to see the quality events grow and add real value to the sectors they are in. Building an event brand is difficult – but is crucial to creating sustainable portfolios. It is pleasing to see strong brands emerging in some markets.

It is not just us that think this. Reading Brightbull’s '30 Experts Predict The Event Trends That Will Shape Your 2015', their co-founder Sonia Molina thinks that ‘Narrow mindedness of SOME event leaders wanting to “Get a lot of delegates quick” & squeezing their teams for it’ is a challenge for the industry.

For more information please refer to the full results from our survey. Or please let me know your thoughts on sales professionals in the industry below.


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