Publicly-funded convention venues could be a casualty of the recession, according to ‘futurist’ Rohit Talwar.
Speaking the at the Conference Centres of Excellence first annual meeting in Birmingham, Talwar told delegates there could be two or three ‘dips’ in the next 10 years and civic convention centres could lose the support of ratepayers, leading to closures, if the venues could not pay their way.
Talwar, who is CEO of Fast Future, presented results of his Convention 2020 report – a global study on the future of business events. He said venues would have to change from being mere operators of venues to add more value to content structure, content capture and even aspects of event management such as providing delegate promotion software if they are going to survive.
He said: “You will need to embrace hybrid events and be in a position to provide the wherewithal for these to function in your buildings and your buildings themselves will need to be more flexible.”
Talwar said that venues would need to diversify their marketing to survive and become more collaborative in their approach with clients. He said conference centres would need to be owners and creators of events in addition to being mere venues.
- Mr Robert Denton of Robert Denton 28/07/2011
Is there a lot of money to be made in stating the obvious?
- Mr Hugo Ponsonby Smythe of PS Taker Ltd 27/07/2011
What utter puff. Do you know who else should be a casualty from the recession? Futurists. Especially those that have had a major project, yes the Convention 2020 report, sponsored by a publicly funded body. The guilty body? Hang your head in shame the QEII. Surely not the same venue as Mr Ernest Vincent…? And don’t forget those at Visit London either.
Rowit Talwar is absolutely right. Anyone who believes conference, exhibition and event venues can in the future enjoy subsidy from ratepayers is living in a dream world. My venue, the QEII conference centre, is government owned but has to pay the Exchequer a healthy dividend each year. All the centres in which I have worked over my thirty years in the business have all had to produce a positive bottom line result even though they are government or local authority owned. Public assembly facilities of all types will continue to thrive but they will need to be commercialised to a much greater extent. Ernest Vincent.