Why is collaboration still a difficult word in our industry? I’m sure that there was interesting debate at a recent Event Huddle about associations and how many there are etc. etc bla bla bla.(this is a conversation that’s been mooted since I had brown hair and I can’t even remember when that was and one that isn’t going to stop!)

If an association or organisation is offering a value proposition to its members, then it has a place as one learned successful association executive shared with me. But where my frustrations lie is when some organisations don’t consider the power of collaboration. No man (or woman as we now need to say) is an island. When you put the power of these bodies, plus the wider industry and start talking as a collective, this is when you start making an impact. Together, the events industry is currently valued at £42.6bn. What if we collaborated with the business travel sector (value approx. £11bn -source GTMC) and the hospitality sector (value approx. £57bn – source Oxford Economics Impact Study 2015)

With the improvement of communication and further collaborations, the value of what we work so hard to do would increase infinitely and all these battles our members of facing could be overcome as a collective. Utopia you might say, it’ll never happen..

Well, watch and see my friends! We are seeing the trend in agency world with the acquisitions and takeovers, this will Inevitably impact industry associations in terms of membership numbers and revenues. And with organisations constantly evolving and diversifying within our sector, the question is being asked by many (non-members) is why do I need to belong to just one group when my business existing across all? The Business of Events Summit in November demonstrated the power of industry, associations and government coming together to debate and collaborate to grow our sector. Everyone is a winner here, so why not continue with this strategy? Is it time to be honest with ourselves and realise that we would all become more successful with more collaboration? There are those who lead the charge on this, there are meetings and conversations happening with those innovators who accept change is inevitable and by working together, this will be of benefit to members of their respective organisations. With Global and nationally mutual challenges we face as a sector, professionalisation, talent acquisition and retention, mental Health and wellbeing, security, diversity and that small “event” happening on March 2019, it’s time to say thank you to those smaller organisations or individuals who’ve raised these issues within their individual sectors, and to tackle these issues as a powerful force with a buying power and industry influence that will not go away and will have to be listened to.

Revolutions have always been started by individuals and have always failed due to egos and self-interest! So, let’s be friends or at least colleagues in agreement, let’s recognise our own membership and value proposition and work as an industry, collaborative and make an impact.