MARCOM and Social Project Assistant, AIM Group International; Milan, Italy

Members of PCMA’s 20 in Their Twenties class of 2019 see a bright future for the business events industry, a future to which they plan to contribute. Giulia Ineke Sarri shares her impressions of and expectations for the industry.

What do you like most about your job?

I am personally in charge of the digital communication- and brand identity-related activities at AIM Group International. I love that no day is like the other. The art of communicating and spreading the word about what my company achieves means to examine every detail of the event and to present the best parts of it. Any time a promotional document needs to be prepared, I notice any detail that could be useful to help deliver the concepts I have in mind. There is no real success without … proper communication around it.

Where would you like your career to go?

First of all, I wish to have massive fun in doing my job! My main interests within our vast industry are:

  • Marketing & communication
  • Meeting design
  • CSR and sustainability integration

Putting those three concepts together, I would like to find the way to deliver impactful content on powerful events that integrate disruptive, sustainable solutions. Practically, this means that I would love to be that meeting designer who is committed to making our world a better place to live in while being capable of efficiently communicating these achievements to the rest of the world.

What’s the best day you’ve had in the meetings industry?

My biggest achievement is delivering a presentation, “How to Integrate a Social Media Strategy in Destination Promotion,” at the headquarters of the Japanese National Tourism Organization in Tokyo.

This happened in March 2018 at the end of the Meet Japan Programme, organized by JNTO’s MICE division, which I joined thanks to INCON. (AIM Group International and JNTO are INCON’s active partners.)

JNTO wanted to start a social media strategy within its operations segment, but didn’t have any experience. JNTO asked the AIM Group-INCON partnership for advice. That’s why INCON’s executive director appointed me as speaker for this session for almost the entire team working at JNTO.

I gave a general overview of the 2018 digital trends and of Japanese social media habits and preferences. After that I outlined the most common uses of social media platforms within the Convention Bureaux around the world and why it is so important to promote a destination on these communication tools. Then we analyzed some best practices and finally, I offered practical tips on how to create a powerful editorial plan and how to maintain it. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience!

What will be the biggest change in the industry over the next 20 years?

Going beyond the client’s requests is what has the power to change the way events are conducted in the future. It is not sufficient to simply provide the services requested with a high quality level; clients take that for granted. What organizations should do is demonstrate their added-value and deliver a unique way to exceed the customers’ expectations.

As I envision an organization responding to this trend, I identify four main skills and features:

  • Start from the client’s objectives rather than from the mere requests on the RFP.
  • Position yourself as a strategic consultant rather than a supplier for logistical services.
  • Find the right balance between quantitative and qualitative benefits for the client.
  • Focus on innovative meeting architecture solutions rather than on seeking the perfect realization of a standard traditional format, even if that format proved to be effective in the past.

Considering the last of these four points, I would identify the concept of “meeting architecture” as the ultimate trend that could tip the balance between success and failure of an event in the future. Being able to seek an efficient meeting design means to identify those experiential activities and logistical arrangements that create an opportunity for attendees to use many senses and engage in the event in a “hands-on” way.

Many architectural solutions enhance the attendee experience, including an inspiring atmosphere with a consistent brand identity, alternative formats, activities for powerful learning, and activities for better networking.

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