Meeting Newz Septeber / October 2022

E V E N T R E V I E W OF F I CE , PA & EVENT PL ANNE R SHOW] “Regardless of whether it's a conference or a nightclub event, there is still a story of perseverance at some point, there are stories of failure. “The commonality is that you’ve got to have that desire and passion to succeed because you have so many roadblocks, there are so many variables of things that can go wrong in any event.” Lowe says there were pros and cons to the Covid pandemic. “I know people say the last couple of years have been hell and in some ways I 100% couldn't agree more, but in other ways it's created so much opportunity,” he says. “New Zealand did handle it a lot better than other countries, so we were able to bounce back. We had some time off but then we were able to do shows that sold twice as many tickets because people hadn't been for a few months. So we were fortunate enough to have a really good run through that period. “Obviously if you're delivering one event per year it's heartbreaking if you couldn’t put it on, but because we were delivering shows every week we were able to be fluid. It's the whole ‘don't put your eggs in one basket’ scenario, because we were still able to deliver great shows.” Lowe says that now we are coming out the other side of Covid, the events scene is busier than ever. “Everyone is putting on events, so there's venues constantly booked and events going on the same day, so there are pros and cons to it all,” he says. “I feel like the events landscape is back 150%. There's just so much going on at the moment.” INNOVATION, COLLABORATION, SUSTAINABILITY, CAPABILITY Innovation Innovation doesn’t have to be scary, and there are things the event industry can do on a small scale to help influence change going forward, according to Chris Randle, CEO at Blerter and NZEA board member. “When we think about innovation, we think about this crazy big stuff that is almost too hard to grasp, too hard to engage with,” he says. “After Covid, we got past this holding on phase that we've had for the last nine to 12 months, where we were holding on to hope. Right now, we have an opportunity to be engaged with what the future could hold, and some of those are micro opportunities.” Delegates taking time out to enjoy a massage Tracey Dickinson, Kordia Group; James Niu, Sudima; Ashley Stenberg, Kordia Group; Leigh Higgins, Sudima Collaboration Randle says collaboration is key to a successful events industry. “I think in the past we got a bit too hung up on protecting our IP. Covid has been great for people understanding that you can have IP but you still need the capability of executing on it,’ he says. “So my recommendation is share some of your IP with other people, because that will open up really productive conversations.” Capability Capability is one of the biggest issues right now for the events industry, but it's also one of the biggest opportunities, according to Randle. “The workforce availability we have is under immense pressure. Not just at the event organiser’s level but all the way through our supply chain,” he says. “The availability of fresh talent is a little bit lower, but we've got the opportunity to work out how we can build the capability in the industry at the same time. There are great programmes out there, the NZ Events Association has a great mentors programme, so get out there and find the programmes you can get involved with.” Randle says networking is key. “Find people to build your teams, build your network and hire good people,” he says. “They might cost you a bit more in the short term, but if you get the right people on your event and you get them to keep coming back, they’ll know what to expect.” MC Hilary Barry welcomes delegates meeting newz [sept oct] 2022 [25]