Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

January 28 2013

Understanding the Global Market

By Carolyn Clark, Vice President, Marketing & Communications

Stephane GarelliNo matter where you do business, it’s time to start thinking about how business gets done elsewhere.

That was the key message that Stephane Garelli, director, World Competitiveness Center, International Institute for Management Development, brought to Convening Leaders in Orlando. With an economic weather map of the world that highlighted the state of each region’s economy, Garelli gave attendees a crash-course in global finance. From the tax revenues that countries collect to growth statistics to unemployment rates, the presentation provided a perspective of how the future looks for different sections of the international community.

Garelli outlined estimates for global growth, and one fact was clear: everything is changing.

“The world is not in sync anymore,” Garelli said.

Looking Ahead to 2050

As planners and suppliers continue to look for new opportunities in new places, Garelli’s address reinforced that there are emerging possibilities in emerging markets. Within the next 40 years, the US will population will grow, but the rate of growth pales in comparison to Africa where the population is projected to more than double. It’s important for organizations to capitalize on current opportunities in India, China and Brazil, but it’s equally essential for those groups to develop a strategic framework for long-term success.

“Business opportunities in these new markets will take time to develop,” Michelle Stoddard Crowley, manager, global development, PCMA, says. “When they finally arrive, it’s important for meeting professionals to be ready.”

Adopting the Right Attitude

While it’s a must to understand market forces, dollar signs and growth forecasts, that’s not all that matters when it comes to fueling success.

“We aren’t just competing with the market,” Garelli told attendees. “We’re competing with a mindset.”

As meeting professionals hear doom and gloom reports of the continuing US debt crisis, the political upheaval in Washington, D.C. and the challenges in the Eurozone, it can be easy to blame a sluggish economy for sagging attendance numbers or an inability to innovate. However, Garelli highlighted the importance of thinking optimistically in the face of those obstacles.

For more on the international meetings industry, read Michelle Stoddard Crowley’s thoughts here

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