Why we mustn’t forget what business we’re in: Emma Bowyer

'The impact of COVID-19 on our industry is yet another change in a constantly evolving world...but I would argue it is a change we were better equipped to handle as organisers.'

The delivery mechanisms for events may have changed over the past 12 months, but the outcomes remain the same, writes Emma Bowyer, managing director and owner of event management company ICMS Australasia.

Ever since I completed my business degree, I have often heard the adage that change is constant and how we must continually adapt to change to remain ahead of the game.

The impact of COVID-19 on our industry is, for all intents and purposes, yet another change in a constantly evolving world. I agree it’s a big one, but I would argue it is a change we were better equipped to handle as organisers.

What COVID-19 has demonstrated to me is that we have to be willing and open to change when big shifts occur. In the world of business, you only have to look back a little way to understand what happens if you don’t have that mindset.

I’m talking things like the impact on taxis when ridesharing was introduced or when Kodak failed to recognise the effect digital photo sharing was going to have on its printing business – filing for bankruptcy protection in 2012 when a few short years before it had been a billion-dollar company.

Our challenge since March 2020 has been to remind our clients that we are in the communication business.

Yes, prior to then we worked in a traditional live environment for communicating. Now, on the whole, we are orchestrating and managing events virtually.


Hear Emma Bowyer speak in-person at The Breakfast Club, a new networking event as part of Events Uncovered on 15 July 2021. Find out more here.

These are two different delivery methods, but both share the same required outcome: for groups of people to communicate together for a particular purpose and outcome. Having now run seven virtual meetings I can confidently say that we understand what it takes to run an event online. And, equally as important
to many of our clients, we have been able to monetise these events.

The largest of these was in late January this year for the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) 43rd Scientific Assembly in which we had over 2,000 paying delegates beaming in from all over the globe.

Continue reading this article in the Winter issue of Spice Magazine below (click the icon in the bottom right corner to enlarge).

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