Carlo Zoccali, account director at the new Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre in South East England, will have a busy 2018 as the venue, scheduled to open in late spring, comes to life with a full diary of conferences, meetings, events, and exhibitions. He is currently president of ILEA’s (International Live Events Association) UK chapter and his 13 years’ worth of experience includes hotel, hospitality and sporting venues and events work. We asked him what he thinks will shape the industry this year.
This year I think we’ll see events trying to deliver a more intense experience over a shorter amount of time. The Meetings Show in June will change from a three- to a two-day format. It’s a key show for us here at Farnborough and always a great showcase as well as a phenomenal networking opportunity. Bringing it into two days is an opportunity to intensify the experience. I’m looking forward to telling everyone the new venue is open, so the challenge for us will be to meet as many quality buyers as we can over the new format.
In the wider industry, we’re seeing the emphasis shifting towards fewer, but bigger live events often with longer durations. We’re certainly seeing an increase in enquiries for larger, more experiential events here at Farnborough. Companies are pooling multi divisions and costs to utilise venues for back-to-back conferences for a bigger experience for the delegates. It’s an exciting, creative proposition for all of us to make this new space work as hard as possible.
Although it’s a given to count technological change as one of the “things to watch” in any given year, putting my wider industry hat on, I think we will see more of an emphasis given to training teams on technological capabilities this year. Many venue spaces have excellent technological capabilities at their fingertips, but the sales team may need more confidence when it comes to exploiting every aspect of how to apply it. Training is key here and could unlock many more opportunities for client and sales team alike.