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Standards, Not Standardization!

In a time increasing globalization, when many events are rotating widely, there is truly something to be said for the development and maintenance of venue performance standards that can provide a level of confidence amongst users that they will get what they need and expect.

That’s why AIPC has invested a lot of time and effort in developing standards in key areas of center management and created an audit process to help members demonstrate their accomplishments. It’s also why we have ongoing competitions that recognize special achievements and encourage center clients to take these into account when making their venue selections.

ECN 052015_INT_AEG Ogden venues_Cairns_Convention_centre

But standards don’t mean standardization. The same research that documents the significance of performance reliability also indicates the importance both organizers and delegates are placing on having a unique and satisfying event experience, particularly when so much hard information is readily available through vehicles other than conventions and conferences. A big part of that uniqueness relates to what a venue can deliver in terms of special services and ambiance that reflect what makes their facilities and destination different from everyone else.

By ensuring that they are delivering at least part of what makes their part of the world unique and distinctive, centers can be active participants in shaping the event experience to the benefit of all. This can include anything and everything from center location and decor to helping facilitate community connections or arrange off-site events that both relate to an event’s own objectives and at the same time create something unique. And it’s not just event organizers and delegates who benefit – it can also reward the local community itself by helping it realize a greater overall return from the events they are hosting.

Education takes many forms – and travel can and should be one of the most important of these. At the same time, an exciting and distinctive environment is stimulating to delegates, particularly those who may have been attending a particular event for many years. All of these are good reasons for centers and destinations to make the extra effort to deliver a distinctive event – one that not only respects organizational aims, but honors the destination and its qualities.

So while we must strive to respond to the international standards that increasingly define client expectations, there’s another important area where centers can distinguish themselves – and that’s helping deliver something unique. High standards don’t have to mean just conformity – they can also open the door to the kind of creativity increasingly valued by participants.

Geoff Donaghy is AIPC President, CEO of International Convention Center Sydney and Director Convention Centers AEG Ogden.

For more information, contact marianne.de.raay@aipc.org or visit aipc.org

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