Successfully reported this slideshow.

Industry leaders look into their crystal balls


Published on

Published in: Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Industry leaders look into their crystal balls

  1. 1. 2014 PreDICtIoNS Industry leaders look into their crystal balls… what will 2014 bring? Zelda Coetzee, national chairperson of SAACI GAZING into the proverbial glass ball, I see mixed – but mostly positive – signals for the business events industry for 2014. I know most industry members will agree with me that we have not quite turned the corner on the tough economic times we’ve found ourselves in over the past few years. Chris Prieto, CMP, regional director Africa of ICCA I BELIEVE the industry will see a slight increase in meetings and events in 2014. People are finally realising business events bring in more revenue than just tourism, and that is making people see it in a different light. However, although the number of meetings will probably increase, I think the number of attendees will drop as companies become more budget-conscious and concentrate on 12 Business Events Africa 2013 Clients – including corporates, government and associations – continue to demand more return on their investment. Budgets are tight and expectations are high. I am willing to bet this will still be the scenario in the foreseeable future, which tells me 2014 will be just as challenging as 2013. The upside is that we are constantly being innovative, forging new relationships and breaking barriers to deliver seamless and top quality conferences and events. Combine all of that with the good old ‘I can’ South African spirit, we have a winning recipe. Another positive factor is the fact that more and more international business opportunities are opening up. I worked in China earlier this year, for instance, and South African organisers are really soughtafter. The conference industry in the rest of Africa, in particular, is growing phenomenally, with lots of prospects. Which brings me to SAACI’s focus for 2014. Our new national board has a number of ambitious, yet reachable goals, aimed at entrenching SAACI’s position as the leading events industry organisation in the region even further. Without letting the cat out of the bag entirely, I can mention that we are looking at establishing new branches, not only in South Africa, but also in the rest of the region. The fact of the matter is that southern Africa has an integrated economy and that conferencing has a vital role to play in growing it. We are also taking a hard look at SAACI member benefits and will make announcements early in 2014 as part of our new business strategy. So, despite a challenging and tough business environment, I believe 2014 has a lot going for it. It is up to each and every one of us to arm ourselves with knowledge to understand the industry better, including the latest trends, so that we can get down to business. My wish is for 2014 to be an exciting and I prosperous year for us all. sending less people, but with more relevance, as delegates. The length of meetings might also become shorter. Instead of having three- or four-day conferences, we might see shorter ones. If the corporate world continues to organise conferences and meetings on a regular basis, but in smaller numbers and less delegates, association meetings are the ones growing in a fast, steady way. Not only are they growing in numbers, but also in number of delegates. The location of meetings will probably also change to “closer to home”. Venues will have to be more creative and find ways to differentiate from each other in order to secure business. The loyal repeat clients are no longer accepting just anything. Their loyalty is there, but they expect to see value for each meeting or event they have. Unfortunately, some venues take these clients for granted and think because they have always come back, they don’t need to do anything new to keep their business. They will have to find ways to maintain these client’s interests focused on their venue, besides ensuring that service offered is faultless. Sustainability and ecological considerations are also growing concerns that will be very important on the choice of not only venues, but also organisers. Other important factors that I think will prevail above all, will be service. The better the service offered, the bigger the chance of securing the business. Also, with new large convention facilities being built around Africa, competition will be stronger between African countries. Conference programmes will have to be attractive and interesting in order to attract delegates. Networking opportunities also plays a very important role when people are deciding whether they should attend a conference. When speaking to some delegates at a conference recently, I was told by quite a few of them that they considered the networking even more important than the educational programme. And, finally, social media and technology will also influence the number of meetings, as with webinars and virtual conferences becoming more popular, companies might just change the way they think, mainly when it comes to smaller meetings and use the available virtual I opportunities to save money. Vol. 33 No. 12
  2. 2. 2014 PreDICtIoNS Nigel Walker, chairperson of EXSA IT is an exciting time to be involved in the events industry. Clients know what they want, although they may not be able to verbalise the needs in the format of a brief. Special events, in particular, are now, more than ever, being used as a competitive tool for engaging with a particular focused target audience. This has created a new dynamic for event organisers which significantly impacts on how an event is organised; what is expected from the organiser and, lastly, the experience the attending guests will walk away with. Clients and organisers more than ever want originality; they want their event whether social, corporate, exhibition or conference related to be unique, engaging and different enough to be remembered well into the future. This dynamic Cheryl Mulder-Verbruggen, manager: Convention Bureau & Event Support, WESGRO CAPE Town, in particular, will experience much excitement as the city celebrates being World Design Capital 2014. The Cape Town & Western Cape Convention Bureau is poised to go to the next level as a cohesive team that collaborates well with its many and varied partners. In addition, work on the extension at the CTICC will be underway meaning that the city’s flagship venue will enhance the destination’s offering further. poses a very real challenge for the future of our industry, and the people who work in it. More is expected from us, often for the same fee, however underpinned by a new set of competencies embracing higher levels of knowledge, expertise and trend setting. The expectation of the historic event organiser has been revolutionised; clients rely on us to not only be the experts in creating the ultimate experience, but also to be the experts in terms of governance, health and safety adherence and legislation. As competition continues to increase within the industry and the number of, not only national organisers, but also international organisers continues to grow, these areas of expertise may, in fact, become the most important competitive edge we all strive for. These areas of emerging competencies are difficult to master, in part because of the challenging operational environment we all experience in terms of the wide variation in the application of and interpretation of the “legalisation” and “house-rules” between venues, consultants, organisers, and companies. We are all aware of how technology and, in turn, social media has shaped, and will continue to mould, the world we live in. The experience becomes immediate, the assessment and judgement levelled at the organiser and the event itself is instantaneous and dynamic. Event organisers need to be constantly on their toes, tuned into the event and their audience like never before. The need to be ever-mindful of ideas and solutions that could dramatically enhance a client’s event is essential. Exhibitions have always recognised, and social media has now built on the fact, that “face-toface interaction” will remain the cornerstone objective of our industry. Success will come about by providing solutions that are integrated with every touchpoint the target audience comes into contact with. That is why there is such strong synergies between these two mediums and, as such, both mediums will continue to exhibit strong growth. One thing that remains evident is that as our industry will continue to need to bring into it new, young and aspiring talent. The newlyformed Young Professional Forum within EXSA was in direct response to this. Professional recognition, skills development and training will remain crucial, not only because of their understanding of both new technology landscapes and target audiences, but also to ensure we continue to shape the industry into one which is not perceived to be glamorous, but rather one to be perceived to be essential in how we communicate in the 21st century. The continuous investment in training and development for individuals in the industry remains an important dynamic to ensuring we meet our client’s expectations of providing the ultimate experience for their target audience and positioning their brand cleverly in the minds I of those who interact with them. We expect to see Africa come into its own even more, with Cape Town entrenching its position as “Easy Africa”. Nationally, I think we’ll experience strong co-operation between the main convention cities, while the SA National Convention Bureau matures and continues to support us. In doing so, South Africa will secure its place on the global stage as a sought-after business events destination. Still on the national front, we are optimistic the partnership between the public and private sectors will strengthen and become even more meaningful. Association events are likely to require more delegate boosting. The very large events are likely to be even tougher to secure. Convention centres will be under pressure as hotels and other meeting venues continue to regain popularity. Hybrid meetings will increase, but not replace face-to-face meetings. Free Wi-Fi will be non-negotiable. Incentive business will continue to grow, and we should expect to see particular attention being paid to emerging markets and how we reach them. Traditional source markets will need to be carefully maintained. Corporate meetings are likely to increase too, although this growth is more likely to come via the private sector and their efforts. Exhibitions will be more attracted to Cape Town, particularly with the additional facilities on the horizon. Sponsorship for exhibitions will be hard to secure and the organisers will need to focus on partnership, in combination with sponsorship. Greening will remain important, but cost will be a factor to consider, meaning budget will take precedence over greening. Healthy food at business events will be the norm and not an option. The days of chicken wings, sausage rolls, fizzy drinks and fruit juice are over. Delegates will insist on smaller, quality portions which can be easily accessed, rather than rude buffets with poor traffic flow. More attention will, hopefully, be paid to skills and staffing. We have highly professional people in our industry, but there are not enough. The business events industry is one in which experience cannot be under-estimated, and so mentorship needs to become popular. Lastly, for Cape Town, it is likely that the rewards of the Convention Bureau being located within Wesgro will be felt more significantly. The co-operation between the Bureau and the Trade and Investment Promotion Units within the Agency will simply be good for the Western I Cape and its economy. Business Events Africa 2013 Vol. 33 No. 12 13
  3. 3. 2014 PreDICtIoNS Mati Nyazema, executive director of Sandton Convention Centre WITHIN the three main sectors in which SCC operates, namely exhibitions, corporate and government, there are a number of different trends we see emerging in 2014. In the exhibition sector, the established shows at the SCC are set to return next year, and those that have invested in their brand equity Mmatsatsi Ramawela, chief executive officer of Tourism Business Council of South Africa THESE are the top trends I foresee for 2014: • More international hotel brands will enter the South African market, manly through management buy-out. Increased international brands in sub-Saharan Africa. • The airline industry to remain under immense cost pressure mainly due to fuel and encroachment of carbon emissions control. The need to implement YD will come into sharp focus with a selection of African countries opening their skies for African airlines. • The hub and spoke policy will come under threat in South Africa and the rest of the continent and world, with predictions of Nairobi or Dar es Salaam being the East Africa hub and the one in West Africa between Accra and Dakar. Threat coming from Middle East airlines and some 14 Business Events Africa 2013 and developed strong databases and client relationships are likely to show growth. We are also looking forward to the entry of international shows previously held elsewhere in Africa and other parts of the world, coming to South Africa and bringing new concepts and topics to both the trade and consumer audience. The entry of international exhibition companies or products coming to showcase in South Africa gained momentum this year with events such as Discorp, which will returning for a second year in 2014, making Johannesburg its new home. We will also be launching a new show, Days of the Dinosaur, which is a completely new concept for South Africa. The arrival of this show highlights another trend, namely longer-term exhibitions, which have become a feature for a number of international convention centres. These shows generally have an element of education, as well as being highly experiential and offering exceptional family entertainment. The advent of these shows in South Africa reflects the changing profile of the maturing of a destination, as we move to a higher level of upmarket family entertainment. In the corporate sector, it seems we have finally put the recession behind us. 2013 showed the conferencing market is back on track, and we are looking forward to a strong performance in 2014. At SCC, a number of international events will be taking place, including 21st World Orchid Conference (WOC21), the 21st General Meeting of the International Mineralogical Association and, in 2015, the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) World Congress. The outlook in the conferencing sector is positive and the market is buoyant, with many PCOs having stabilised their business. However, from a venue perspective, there is a lot of product on offer and venues need to remain competitive. Finally, within the government sector, the trend towards last-minute bookings is set to continue as procurement policies become more stringent, thereby placing pressure on I decision-making. European legacy carriers. • More airline consolidation predicted with the US leading, followed by Asia, while Europe will be lagging behind and Africa being slow off the mark, first with open skies and then consolidation, if any. • Tourist arrivals to continue increasing from Africa as standard of living and income levels improves due to improved economic performances, Asia with China leading and India, then Latin America with Brazil in the lead. Continued arrivals growth from North America, while Europe will continue to be under pressure – UK, etc. • The South African economy will continue to struggle mainly due to lingering structural issues in the economy – mismatch between employment opportunities and unemployed. • Technology to continue its dominance in the sector with operators choosing to use social media channels such as Twitter, Instagram for their promotions and consumer facing campaigns. Facebook losing its appeal and benefit to these operators. • South African government to revisit its stance on sustainable (hunting) use policy because it’s part of the tourism industry with positive effect in the four key areas of our tourism economy – geographic spread, seasonality, average spend and average stay for inbound tourists/arrivals. • An increasing awareness of the importance of our bio-diversity with continuing slaughter of rhinos which may affect other species and the integrity of our natural heritage. • The escalating inequality in our economy is going to become a big issue in the new year since we will be celebrating 20 years of democracy. • Corruption will increase for a while before there is a radical shift in government, which will usher a new order code. There is a I bright future in the country. Vol. 33 No. 12 Nonnie Kubeka, executive manager, Gauteng Conventions & Events Bureau CONVENTION bureau should pursue local partnerships instead of big name brands to boost partnerships with naming rights. The trend seems to be exhibition, sports and music venues that generate additional revenue and economic spin-offs for the destination through naming rights, so the drive is on for convention bureau to partner with exhibition, sports and music venues for new revenue streams and economic impact drivers. The competition is fierce across the globe, but exciting times are ahead and would be I fantastic to see it all pay off.
  4. 4. 2014 PreDICtIoNS Julie-May Ellingson TRP (SA), chief executive officer of Durban International Convention Centre THE meetings and events sector is fundamentally stable and has proven its resilience over recent years and will continue its growth, albeit slow, in the year ahead. The industry is not without its challenges at the moment, but after another successful year of operation at the Durban ICC, I am cautiously optimistic about the upcoming year. The trends and developments taking place in the meetings industry, which must be kept in mind, include increased competition, rapidly evolving technology, and the demand for new meeting formats. These factors will have a significant impact on the way meetings will be held going forward. James Seymour, chief executive officer of Durban KwaZulu-Natal Convention Bureau The past year has seen increased competition in the meetings space from existing players and the entrance of new competitors from Africa and the rest of the world will only continue in future. Enhancement and promotion of an organisation’s unique selling points will play an important role in a company’s survival and, ultimate success, in the year ahead. Conference delegates are more tech-savvy than ever before, and the industry must be willing to embrace new ways of doing business. Hybrid meetings using virtual technology are becoming more and more popular in South Africa, and 2014 will see more events offering conference content available via webinars. Applications for smart phones and tablets are changing the meeting experience and making it easier for delegates to connect and retain those connections long after the conference has ended. The traditional use of meeting space is also changing. Innovative use of outdoor space, smaller areas for limited gatherings and different seating styles are all popular requests which are here to stay. I believe the quality of our team will be an important differentiating factor in effectively meeting these requirements in the year ahead. I believe that if you enjoy what you do, your enthusiasm will be contagious and your team will follow suit. I believe that one of the most important jobs I can do is to motivate people who genuinely feel their contribution is valuable and their jobs are more important than money. From an international events perspective, the slow-down in the global economy has negatively impacted long-haul destinations, and South Africa has not been immune to the effects of this reality. In the past, a number of international associations and organisations consistently rotated their conferences between Europe and other long-haul destinations. However, owing to the difficult economic times, some of these organisations have opted to remain in Europe and limit the number of events they host in long-haul destinations. Despite this fact, I believe Durban is still an affordable, value-for-money destination offering delegates a world-class venue and truly African experience. This is evident in the number of conferences coming to the African continent for the first time in 2014. These include the Congress of International Union of Architects and the 21st World Congress of the International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions. I hope the current buzz around “Africa Rising” will translate into a real commitment from more associations to host their events on this continent in the years I ahead. International Marathons. Approximately 200 delegates will attend this event in May. • International Retrouvaille Council Meeting and Workshop. Some 400 delegates will attend this meeting. • The World Ports Congress. In the order of 400 delegates will attend this event. • The World Medical Alliance, which will take place over 8 -11 October, and expected to attract at least 500 delegates. • The World Youth Chess Championships 18 – 30 September. Some 3 000 players are expected to participate. • The Karate 1 World Cup Leg for the 21 – 23 February 2014 and associated meetings. Some 1 000 international delegates and participants from 50 countries are expected to attend this event. In addition, approximately 1 000 national delegates and participants will be involved. • A “Flexi Exposition” for Pietermaritzburg. • The Sport and Event Exchange, Africa’s most important sport tourism trade show, which is scheduled to take place in September. In addition, there are a range of possible events for Durban and KwaZulu-Natal in 2014, I which are in the decision “pipeline”. THE Durban KwaZulu-Natal Convention Bureau is of the view that 2014 will be a reasonable year from a business events perspective for the City of Durban and the province of KwaZulu-Natal. This agency has assisted, with the aid of a range of partners such as Durban ICC, Tsogo Sun and relevant associations involved, to secure the following events for Durban and the province in 2014: • Sharks International, a congress of some 200 delegates scheduled for June 2014. • Congress of the Association of Business Events Africa 2013 Vol. 33 No. 12 15
  5. 5. 2014 PreDICtIoNS Craig Newman, chief executive officer, Johannesburg Expo Centre Rashid Toefy, chief executive officer of CTICC THERE has been a definite shift towards more aggressive bargaining terms and conditions as event organisers are under pressure to deliver world class events within stringent budgets. This has necessitated the need for industry to enhance their value proposition in terms of their products and services. Clients expect services like Wi-Fi to be standard and are no Tes Proos, president of Site SA IT appears inbound conference and incentive business is in excellent shape for the year ahead. Some of our markets that were hit really 16 Business Events Africa 2013 WHILE the local economy is taking longer than hoped to gain positive momentum, things are certainly moving in the right direction and South Africa’s economy continues to grow. That is a positive influence on all of South Africa’s industry sectors, including the exhibition and events industry. 2014 is going to be an interesting year for South Africa. For one thing, we will have our next round of national elections and the whole country is ready for positive change and growth. We believe this will bode well for the local exhibition and events industry, and also bring a great deal of global interest to our shores. Despite 2013 being a very turbulent year in many ways, we still experienced encouraging outcomes, and we therefore have an extremely positive outlook for 2014. As usual, our focus will be on innovation and exceptional customer service, as well as working hand-in-hand with leading local and international partners to ensure we deliver world-class events for clients and delegates. We had a phenomenal start to this year, and we expect no less in 2014. While it’s been clear that previously recessionary conditions have impacted the industry, it has forced us to adapt, change and focus on strategy and innovation. These can only bring positive changes to the industry and force us to keep on our toes and continue to deliver outstanding exhibitions, conferences and events each and every time. I longer willing to pay for these conveniences. Venues need to be cognisant of this and adapt their service offerings to suit these needs. In keeping with this trend, the CTICC offers complimentary Wi-Fi to all delegates and guests to the Centre. With Wi-Fi becoming a standard offering, venues will need to start looking at alternative revenue streams. One trend we will see emerging is the development of innovative conference apps, which can be a value-add service offering to meeting and event planners. Technology will continue to play a vital role in changing the current meeting architecture of events. We believe event organisers will be increasingly put under pressure to deliver unique events in order to combat the trend of declining attendance figures. The nature of conferences and events is evolving and it is important for the events industry to be flexible and innovate in this space. Agility is key. Meeting professionals and venues need to be able to adapt to schedules and programmes on-site in order to cater to the real-time immediate feedback of their clients. International exhibition organisers are also viewing Cape Town as the springboard into Africa. Cape Town is seen as the “Gateway to Africa,” and as an ideal platform to tap into the one-billion consumers on the African continent. We have seen a growing trend of international exhibition organisers partnering with local organisers to gain a foothold in the local market. The acquisition of one of South Africa’s premier food, beverage and lifestyle exhibitions, the Good Food & Wine Show by international group, Fiera Milano S.p.A and the recent joint venture between Reed Exhibitions and the Thebe Exhibitions & Projects Group (TEPG), bears testament to Cape Town’s desirability as a sought-after exhibition destination. The CTICC will play host to Africa Travel Week in April next year, which will be comprised of three co-located shows – WTM Africa, IBTM Africa and ILTM Africa. This is a fantastic coup for Cape Town and South Africa on the eve of I World Design Capital. hard by the global recession of recent times are carefully coming back. We have seen an increase in enquiries from the UK and US, and some of these are finally converting into confirmed business. Some DMCs are experiencing increased business from European markets which is very encouraging, as well as an increase on CSR projects, which is becoming increasingly more important for these markets. This also gives us the opportunity to explore new incentive offerings for our clients. Peter-John Mitrovich, of Grosvenor Tours states: “A great year filled with a good blend of international conference and incentive groups. Africa is definitely becoming more of a meeting destination with more enquiries into East Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.” While there are some big incentive groups confirming, most group enquiries from Europe and the UK have become smaller, between 20 – 60 delegates per group. Daryl Keywood, managing director of Walthers DMC, said: “We are seeing signs of recovery and the interest in Southern Africa at Imex America was high. 2014 might still be a challenging year, but business for late 2014 and into 2015 is looking extremely positive with larger numbers and improved budgets.” ACSA airport taxes remain a deterring factor though, as we are still losing groups to other destinations due to the high cost of airfares. With the positive increase projected for 2014, we need to ensure we stay ahead of our game by ensuring superb service at all levels. Site South Africa is undertaking a number of industry workshops during 2014 to discuss trends, share critical information, as well as present training to all incentive industry players. I Here’s to a wonderful year ahead. Vol. 33 No. 12
  6. 6. The Last word Trends to look out for in 2014 By Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, executive manager at the South African National Convention Bureau N othing stays the same, least of all in the dynamic and competitive global business events industry. For a destination to thrive and grow, it not only has to keep track of trends and respond to them, but must also be a trendsetter itself: leading from the front and initiating new and better ways of doing things that add value to the business offering. Having recently returned from global ICCA conference in Shanghai, I’m going to chat about trends in the global business event sector, and what these trends mean for the South African (and African) industry.    South Africa’s time is now South Africa’s stature as a business event destination grows as investment proceeds apace, and as the business event infrastructure grows. The Cape Town International Convention Centre is expanding; the recently opened Port Elizabeth Boardwalk Convention Centre gives depth to our capability. Business-specialist facilities such as The Maslow Hotel send a strong message to the world of South Africa’s competitiveness, ambition and competence. This time last year, we had two hosted buyers confirmed to attend Meetings Africa 2013. Right now, we have 55 confirmed hosted buyers for Meetings Africa 2014. This interest for our Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, executive manager at the South African National Convention Bureau. 32 Business Events Africa destination comes from all over the world. But there is especially keen and growing interest from the Asian and African markets.   New markets New, emerging destinations and markets (such as South Africa, some other African countries and also Asia) have arrived on the scene as viable, attractive and capable business events destinations, giving considerable completion to the established Western European and North American destinations. This is the result of strategically-directed hard work and through partnerships across private- and public-sectors and across cities and convention bureaux that have traditionally viewed each other as competitors, rather than partners. For the next few years, we are going to see still steady and significant growth in business for South Africa from China and India. We will also see the African association meetings rotate more and more as we go forward. More African destinations are set to follow South Africa’s lead and establish convention bureaux. This is all exceptionally good for the continent, and gives real substance to our invitation to the world to “Rise With Us”. November’s ICCA conference in Shanghai had record attendance for an ICCA conference outside of Europe, giving undisputed evidence that these new and emerging markets have arrived to take their place on the international scene.  The rise and rise of authenticity We must never forget who we are, and what we offer. As our destination comes of age and, as we attract a growing number of highly profitable and prestigious global events and meetings, we must remain honestly authentic to who and what we are. Uniqueness is what will sell destinations in the future as the competition is growing and everyone can deliver a successful event. Our unique culture and service ethic attract business to our shores as much as our capability, track record and infrastructure do. Nevertheless, consideration and deference to the culture and traditions of delegates is vitally important, too. This is very important if we want delegates to return again to South Africa, and if we want them to recommend our destination to others. Delegates are more demanding and want more than just one experience when on conference, and meeting planners seek out destinations that offer proven capability alongside authentic and unique experiences. It’s all about 2013  Vol. 33 No. 12 packaging. If you package intelligently, you will be successful. Package well, and the people will come. Offer diversity and offer choice: choice in extra-conference activities; choice in meals; choice in boardroom set-up. People resist, and resent being standardised.   Technology matters While it’s true that technology and digital platforms have a profound impact on the sector, face-to-face meetings, conferences and congresses are here to stay. In fact, ICCA reports an increase in the number of association meetings held last year ... not a decline. Technology comes into its own when it enhances business events, making them more accessible to more people all over the world; giving delegates seamless platforms to connect electronically; and giving more people an opportunity to express opinions, ask questions and engage via the social media and other digital platforms. “Interactive” is the golden word, where technology is put to work to make discussions at business events accessible to millions, rather than just the thousand (or hundred) people physically present in the meeting venue. Apps for your conference are not a choice anymore. It is a must if you want to be taken serious. They add substantial value, and are inevitably one of the very first things that delegates will expect in the future. Therefore, free Wi-Fi is no longer a nice to have. It’s absolutely compulsory and an essential part of the destination service offering.   Economic upturn Interest and uptake in business events and incentives return as the business world recovers from the crippling global recession of 20082010. But, budgets remain tight, and the demand in these post-recession days is for resultsdriven events: sales conferences, networking events that deliver measurable returns and meetings that quantify growth of the knowledge economy. Post-recession, the industry is also seeing a slightly longer booking and decision lead times, especially for corporate meetings and incentives. Longer lead times give both client and service provider more time to plan and to hone and deliver events and incentives that serve the very specific needs of delegates and businesses. It gives the industry every opportunity to shine, and to deliver supern personalised service.