Sector Insights

The passion for organising events as global economic impulse projects.

Trade fairs, exhibitions, congresses: managing global projects.

What do we think when we organise global events? We think that these events are designed for a specific market/sector, but they are established as a cornerstone of the economy of the city that surrounds them.

It is not an isolated issue that major city authorities strive to have the best events within their municipal infrastructures, as it is a competitive advantage over competing cities. This is where we start to talk about the power of city branding. The first element
to consider when managing these global projects, and how this can benefit the branding of the event to be organised.

When we think of organising an event, fair, congress, congress, party, or public act, the first objective is to interrelate groups with a common goal. Therefore, we must determine what the objective of the event is, what its scope is, what market need it responds to, what the differential value is, and then what the development and
implementation of this in the desired destination is.

When we talk about global projects, seasonality, the city hosting the event, international suppliers, local suppliers and, most importantly, the “time to market” of the visitor, who will be the one who can really measure the success of the event.

Now, physical and virtual formats are being established as two complementary formats to be able to respond to the need of the exchange market.

Exchange in a very broad sense, knowledge, experiences, goods, investments, everything that requires the establishment of a market where there is supply and demand.

The cultural, market and composition adaptation of this event on an international level means that not only the logistical part plays an important role, but also the strategic part plays a fundamental role.

If we are talking about global events with a concentration in one geographical point, their positioning and brand image must be clear, when we are faced with global events that face different market moments, establishing themselves as “chapters” by country, the positioning is different, and we must also respond to international itinerant events whose brand image must be taken care of regardless of the city where they are held.

Three types of international, global, and transnational events mean that the management of these projects has an “alchemy” that goes beyond understanding the process of the materialisation of the event. It establishes a unique strategic vision that is linked to the creation of the reputation of the event’s brand, linked to the content and the strength of the destination that hosts it.

A clear example of the management of these events can be found in the operator of the city of Barcelona: Fira Barcelona, which acts as a generator of global events, hosting international global proposals and being an important player in the city’s economy.

Fira de Barcelona has a long history of experience dating back to the great exhibitions of 1888 and 1929. Officially established in 1932, it has always reflected the country’s business activity and social changes, a showcase for innovations in the different sectors and a driving force for the economic promotion and international projection of companies.

Its trajectory is closely linked to the demands of the market and the evolution of society. Thus, the trade fairs of the mid-20th century evolved towards specialisation to consolidate the current trade fair format.

Today, it is one of the most important trade fair organisations in Europe with two venues, Montjuïc and Gran Via, which have nearly 400,000 m2 of gross exhibition space, and hosts more than 150 trade fairs, congresses, and corporate events every year.

Fira combines commercial tradition with innovation, competitiveness, and technological development to meet the challenges of globalisation and anticipate changes in the trade fair market with creativity and leadership.

Companies that participate in professional trade fairs use this event as a great opportunity to communicate, exhibit and sell their products and, above all, their brand, to close new collaboration agreements and make direct contact with potential or current clients. Both companies and all attendees have high expectations of the planning and organisation of the event.

For all those involved in the organisation of an event, there are several steps that are necessary to determine the success of the event. Each participant must determine his or her own, and this is part of the mystery of organising global projects.

When we are faced with a global project with a strong positioning in a sector, we must carry out in-depth market research to be able to adopt the form, content and format that best represents that brand of event in time, form and layout.

It is important to determine the objectives, positioning, market segmentation, and to know our “buyer persona” to establish the best strategy for capturing supply and demand.

In many cases, the symbiosis of the two worlds configures a unique “marketplace” that is in tune and establishes broad interrelationships between the two sides of the same coin.

In order to design and build this platform, we must be able to understand the “time to market” of both groups, together with the “stake holders” and be able to design a project that attracts investors to bet on this service that is going to be provided at a specific moment in time that leaves an important mark on the economy and that is established as a hub for the transfer of knowledge, technology, talent and, of course, goods and services.

Once this global concept to be managed has been determined, we must consider the quality standards expected by each of the target audiences and be able to tailor the product/service to meet them.

Therefore, we must manage the brand from its positioning, generate a brand content plan linked to the objectives of the participants, establish a unique, visual image that has a direct impact on our target audience.

In these times, where the VUCA environment is impacting us, carrying out these actions has a great alchemy content, mixing large doses of flexibility, opportunity, and risk control.

To establish this global project, and after market research, objectives, and strategies, comes an action plan that goes beyond a detailed plan for the execution of a series of sequenced actions.

To carry it out, you need passion, you need to listen to the heartbeat of a market that is constantly changing, you need to be involved with the sector, you need to feel that you are one more piece of that gear that will create a unique magic: the event.

But the event does not live by passion alone, far from it. We need to be able to reach a consensus on its visuals, determine an exhaustive communication plan that will provide us with a difference and traction power, a content plan that will generate that reference, as well as a perfect implementation “momentum”.

Many projects management software cannot contemplate all the versatility involved in managing a project at a global level. The thousands of actions to be established, in many cases cannot even be accounted for.

But without them we could not survive, the planning of the event is fundamental in the pre, during and post stage to be able to manage the web of rules of participation that exist when it comes to balancing interests and meeting expectations.

Someone always must create some basic rules of coexistence so that the objectives can be fulfilled in an optimal way.

Fusion between “relationship”, “momentum”, “time to market”, make it possible for a global brand to manage an event in time, form, and format.

The times of COVID have taught us to export events, to promote on-line debate platforms, to establish discussion tables with masks, and to promote interaction as a fundamental axis of the profession and the market.