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Live events will thrive in digital world

Keynote speaker Peter Weedfald, president of Gen One Ventures, told participants in the Exhibition and Convention Executives Forum (ECEF), held in June in Washington, D.C., that live events will flourish in the coming decade, despite exhibitors’ increasing reliance on digital forms of marketing.

Weedfald’s prediction was underscored by closing keynote speaker Roch Parayre, international consultant, Blue Ocean strategist and professor at Wharton School, who presented a live event’s value curve based on his original research in the exhibition and convention industry.

Parayre advised ECEF participants that by redrawing the curve they could attract new customers to their events.

“We learned that our future is sunny,” said Sam Lippman, ECEF producer.  “As Peter Weedfald noted, exhibitors will continue to invest in events as long as event producers innovate – innovation is the key to competing with digital. And as Roch Parayre pointed out, we can grow our industry if we redefine the value we provide exhibitors and attendees.”

ECEF’s one-day program featured a diversity of other experts chosen by Lippman to address issues of growth and improved delivery of face-to-face marketing events, including Peter Censky, executive director of the Water Quality Association; Roger Dow, president and CEO of U.S. Travel Association; David Etzler, CEO of OutsourceWorld; Wayne Jacobs, president ofJacobs, Jenner and Kent Marketing Research; Helen Marano, director of the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, U.S. Department of Commerce; and Kathleen Schmatz, president and CEO of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association.

The number of senior executives who pre-registered for ECEF increased, from 206 in 2009 to 209 in 2010. The number of ECEF sponsors also increased, from 24 in 2009 to 26 in 2010.

Sponsors of ECEF 2010 included the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (Platinum); Freeman (Gold); Fixation Marketing (Special Thanks); a2z; Airways Freight; ASP Events; The Augusta Group; Berkery Noyes; CompuSystems; Convention Data Services; The C. W. Allen Group; EventKaddy; Exhibitor Invites; Experient; EXPOCAD; Fantail; FISH; GES; IMN Solutions; Jacobs, Jenner and Kent; Map Your Show; Maritz; Singapore Expo Convention & Exhibition Centre; Three Stage Media; Ungerboeck Systems International; and Wheelhouse Solutions.

Marking its 10th consecutive year, ECEF 2011 the will take place June 2 at the J.W. Marriott in Washington, D.C.

Those interested in ECEF can visit the web site at www.eceforum.com.


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