Earlier this year we were delighted to welcome Rita Conde Luís to our teaching team as an Associate Facilitator. With specialist knowledge of global event operations for large corporate organisations, Rita is ideally placed to observe new trends in events in the UK and internationally.
We caught up with Rita as pandemic restrictions were lifting and the event world was trying to determining what the new 'normal" would be.
Could you tell us about your role as Global Event Operations & Optimization Manager at Accenture?
My role at Accenture includes leading the event management’s ROI program, working with Data & Analytics and other teams to fully leverage the power of data, the creation and design of global event management best practices and leading several event management taskforces globally such as diversity & Inclusion, virtual networking opportunities amongst the more traditional event responsibilities.
How do you feel about going back to in-person events yourself? Do you plan to attend any in the coming months?
Human behaviour dictates that we are sociable creatures and face-to-face interaction in the form of in-person events will continue to be the most effective and trusted marketing channel in the future. Nevertheless we must cater to the different attendee needs and when for example budget or travel becomes an issue then we should focus on what the Hybrid model can offer attendees.
How do you think events can encourage people to attend and make them worth their while after we've all got used to participating virtually?
In a nutshell you need to be able to cater to everyone’s needs. First and foremost you’ll need to decide what elements of virtual events will benefit the live experience and how best to incorporate your newly gained digital knowledge into the basics of event management.
These basics are now more important than ever - factors such as strategy, budget, venue sourcing and the delegate journey all align with your company’s strategy.
Analyze your audience and define what’s important to them, put the right metrics in place to track results, decide whether it should be virtual, in-person or hybrid, and determine who the attendees will be, along with their expectations in terms of engagement. They key is to create a desire to attend your event.
What kinds of events might you be running for clients - and how will you incorporate a virtual element?
We are still running tradeshows and Accenture hosted events such as industry specific conferences and meetings. Regardless of the format everything starts with strategic planning and includes a seamless combination of technology, flawless production and different ways to increase audience engagement. Any event should ultimately drive value for the firm but also for our partners and clients (the ship one is on a site visit btw).
What does the future hold for events? Can they get back to pre-pandemic levels of revenue for example?
I think the future for events is bright. During the past year and a half, we were forced to diversify the way we do events and create new ways of engaging customers. The seamless integration of technology became crucial and it’s here to stay.
How do events now fit in with a brand's overall marketing mix?
I would say that they are now more important than ever. As in-person events return it’s essential to remind ourselves why they are essential within a marketing strategy. Events support lead generation, sales pipelines strategies, they drive revenue generation and ultimately they provide more meaningful, trusted connections with your business and with one another.
Rita brings with her a wealth of specialist skills in corporate event management from a global perspective having worked as:
* Event Manager with Marcus Evans (EMEA & APAC)
* Events Executive Planner with Starwood Hotels/Resorts Worldwide
* Events Manager with PwC (Middle East)
* Senior Events Coordinator with Dish Catering and Events (Dubai)
* Commercial Events Associate with Flash Entertainment (Abu Dhabi)
* Global Event Operations & Optimization Manager with Accenture