By: Stephen D. Pickett, Chief Strategy Officer at Live Group
The past two years have seen unprecedented transformation in the events industry. Now, businesses are looking for new ways to sustain this innovation, drive success and create environments that enable them to thrive.
From this perspective, the role of the Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) has never been more important. Research suggests that effective management can contribute to around 48% higher profits. A CSO can play a role in supporting this growth by helping business leaders recalibrate their view of events by establishing strong messaging built from in-depth audience insights. This lays the foundation for events which provide the perfect environment for meaningful engagement.
CSOs will continue to drive necessary change
Over the past two years, almost every industry has undergone a dramatic transformation. In no sector was this as profound as in events.
During the uncertain period of lockdowns, a flurry of innovation occurred in the events space. Hybrid and virtual formats booming around the world, allowing families and friends to stay in touch, children to be educated and professional networks to grow.
It is now vital that the industry continues to move forward, instead of regressing to pre-pandemic habits – with almost 40% of events industry practitioners expected to increase the virtual elements of events in the coming year.
Now is a crucial time for businesses to consider revolutionising their long-term communications strategies by leveraging events to drive consistent and accessible connections with their audiences. The role of the CSO in driving such a change cannot be understated.
A shared vision
A central pillar in the role of a CSO is to drive connectivity. Beyond fostering relationships between event attendees, this means ensuring that our clients are connected internally with a shared, consistent vision and a deep understanding of their target audience.
A CSO must build relationships with internal stakeholders to drive growth from within – and this does not just mean the Marketing Department. Collaborating with colleagues from HR departments to those responsible for data protection and security is essential for building cohesive and common goals for a business.
It does not matter if you have a team of 5 or 500, a shared vision is key when looking to amplify your business.
At Live Group, over the past two years, we have experienced a 200% increase in clients seeking a long-term and reliable partner in the events industry. To ensure the success of these longer-term strategies, it is vital that internal stakeholders are aligned. This means we can deliver an ever-improving series of successful, safe and engaging events.
Connection and meaningful engagement
The easing of COVID-19 restrictions offers a chance to transform how events are delivered, with technological solutions flourishing while ingenious ways to keep us connected have emerged.
The external pressure to innovate might not seem as powerful as before, so action must come from within the industry. The CSO will be key in helping to formulate and facilitate continued transformation in the events sector while communicating firms’ strategic initiatives and future goals.
Virtual and hybrid elements of events have the unique ability to connect audiences from any location and allow them to learn, engage and network. The benefits of hybrid and virtual events have been proven during the pandemic – this industry is predicted to grow by 30% in the next 6 years, reaching new levels of popularity.
Alongside this, the demand for in-person events is growing massively once more, allowing for genuine face-to-face interaction between the host, clients, and other delegates. Research suggests that 96% of event planners will host an in-person event this year.
Whatever the format of the event, it’s essential that audiences are offered an environment where they can connect, collaborate, and engage in a meaningful way. This is the CSO’s guiding principle of delivering successful events and contributing to a prosperous long-term communications strategy.
During the pandemic, we became used to elevated levels and methods of connection. It’s now essential for businesses to recognise this fundamental change and take advantage of it. This means reconsidering how we define and deliver events in order to ensure meaningful engagement and enhanced connectivity, in an inclusive environment.
The CSO stands at the helm of this mission for any business. They are responsible for fostering, driving, and delivering a shared vision for their clients, whilst capitalising on technological innovation and the renewed access to global audiences.