In Italy, enthusiasm for PR and marketing is finally back. Companies are not prepared to spend more, but have started using this communication and engagement platform in the marketing mix again. From a European perspective we don’t see an increase in the demand for events, but a request for a new approach in regards to designing new event formats and a different ways of scheduling.
Today event planning needs to take a new situation into account: Editorial teams are shrinking and most editors have less and less time to attend events.
New event formats and digital channels
As a consequence event formats have to be adapted to this situation. They often address a smaller, more targeted audience than events have in the past. Additional digital services for editors who cannot attend the event – such as access to live streaming and remote interactive sessions – become becomes a necessary resource to redesign events rather than a special effect tool to impress audience and clients. The increased use of social media moves into the same direction, making them essential tools to engage participants, to promote events and to distribute the proposed contents.
High flexibility for timing and event venues
Preparation periods for events get shorter and shorter and do not longer respect the traditional 30 days from reservation to realization. PR and event organization teams are expected bring down time barriers, and can therefore only be successful if they can rely on established relationships to creative designers, venues and personnel.
One reason for the shortened period for event preparation and execution is the longer time-Frame needed for budget and quotation approvals. The final approval often shifts from the hands of a single manager to a chain of people and offices.
The event, therefore, must not only be digital, adaptable and increasingly light in organization, it must also be tailor-made. No more pompous and costly locations, not only due to cost control problems, but mostly for reputation and coherence reasons. As companies are faced with overall problems of cost reduction, from personnel cuts to salary cutbacks – it wouldn’t give the right impression to have an even at a high cost venue . Agencies are therefore expected to get even more creative, starting from the search for new and unusual locations, flower shops, historic bakeries, open parking lots and similar for simple and memorable formats. These become necessary solutions when the event participants’ time away from the office becomes more and more valuable and their event experience needs to become even more memorable.
But 2014 and 2015 will surely be years of growth for the Italian market because our country has become one of the most sought-after locations for event organizers. After all Milan Expo 2015 is coming up, with a forecast of investments equal to ca. one billion Euro…
… and we, here in Italy, are prepared to greet this new wave of business opportunities!
Author: Laura Rigodanza, Managing Partner at MY PR, GlobalCom PR Network member from Italy