The changing world of live events
Welcome to Easyfairs and our 2020 Activity Report. Over the past two years we have further consolidated our position as the largest privately owned pan-European events company and one of the 20 largest companies in the exhibitions industry worldwide.
I attribute our success to three simple words: Visit the Future. Our mission.
Our drive to the future has won recognition that goes way beyond the events industry. In 2018 we were named Belgium’s Enterprise of the Year. In 2019 Deloitte named Easyfairs a Best Managed Company.
But those three simple words also teach us humility. They constantly remind us that we must never rest on our laurels, because the pace of change means the future is closer than ever. We must constantly adapt. We must surf current trends and embed the latest technologies and agile processes into our organisation.
Let me provide some examples of what I mean.
We live in a world where customer-centricity and delivering a great customer experience are mandatory for any business. In the context of live events, this means giving visitors complete immersion: they want a truly life-changing experience: a mix of education, entertainment and networking opportunities as well as doing business. An experience that engages all of the senses.
We live in a world where time is precious. Visitors to our events want a great return on their time investment.
& Founding Father
We live in a world where technology makes everything easier, more enjoyable, more personalised and more effective and meaningful. That is the reason companies like Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, Apple and Uber are so successful. They easify. We must now strive to do the same for the events industry.
We have already made progress on this journey, as you will discover in this Report, with innovations such as Smart Badges, EasyGo and My Easyfairs. All of them easify life for our visitors and exhibitors. Giving them a great customer experience.
We live in a world in which the Holy Digital Trinity – the Internet of Things, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence – plays an increasingly significant role in our lives. The technology may be invisible, but what it does has radically changed people’s expectations of business: “know me, know what I want today, and anticipate what I will want in the future”.
The events industry must also embrace this challenge to deliver on visitors’ needs, desires and expectations.
And yet, the more the world changes, the more some things stay the same. People will say: “I like the tech, but I want the touch!”
That is why the events business has a great future ahead of it. There is no substitute for “being there”. In the events business, technology is never an end in itself. The role of technology in events is primarily to make “being there” even more meaningful and satisfying.
We also live in a world that faces unprecedented challenges, not least climate change and sustainability. The Easyfairs model of compact, regional events, with exhibitors hiring re-usable stands, and visitors collecting material digitally, is contributing by making events greener.
Finally, we live in a world where talent is in short supply. The events business is a “people business” and our success ultimately depends on attracting and retaining individuals who deliver great customer experience. That is why over the past year we have worked hard to turn Easyfairs into a veritable talent magnet.
Our drive to the future will be guided not only by exhibition industry specialists but also by talented data scientists, market analysts, social marketeers and creative entertainers.
So join me on our journey. Our mission is to visit the future and we intend to have lots of fun on the way!
Group CEO & Founding Father