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Let's face it — every industry is competitive, and events could arguably be seen as one of the most cutthroat sectors out there. Not least given the issues still facing the industry as we arrived in the new year. When times are tough for an industry, those that work in it must band together, to remind everyone why they are important and shout about the value they provide for society.
Events industry resources and communities exist for this very purpose. In this article we round up the best of the best of 2023, with the aim of reinforcing those bonds and building strength across the events industry.
Over the last few months, Eventcube has drafted its own clients to expound on how they work in the new era that we're witnessing dawn, and how they adjusted and adapted to thrive in the pandemic. Case studies with broadcast and production specialists Trickbox, South Asian ticketing and live stream giant KTX, and debutant hybrid event EA Festival are all available to read, and we recommend doing just that.
We haven't produced these without good reason. Knowledge sharing is a vital part of any profession. For starters, it helps cement your reputation as a thought-leading company, confirming expertise, experience and innovation to any onlookers. But it's also the right thing to do, helping others gain a better understanding of the ways in which they can improve processes to be the finest at what they do.
And this is exactly why online industry communities are also vital. Not only do they offer a place to share concerns and gripes, they provide a platform for people to share best practices, allowing others to learn from their sage advice. From Facebook to LinkedIn groups, Twitter accounts to subscription websites, if we don't know what our peers are doing well there's every chance we're missing out on crucial insights that can improve performance.
Of course, for many people, the last two years have been all about surviving. According to this rather jaw-dropping article on Arts Professionals UK, in Britain alone, the events sector lost £57billion in the year to September 2021. Pre-pandemic, the overall value was 'only' £70billion. During the first 12 months of the crisis, 95% of events were canceled or postponed, shrinking the sector by an estimated 17% and leading to 126,000 job losses.
But that was then, and this is very much now. At Eventcube we believe in onwards and upwards as a professional and life philosophy. And while the future is never clear, it's also ours to shape as we choose, to some extent at least. 2023 has huge questions hanging over it, but also abundant opportunities to grow, develop, and excel.
With this in mind, we thought it would be fitting to dedicate some space and words to spotlight the best online resources promoters, organisers, and managers have at their disposal. Because when all is said and done, we're still staring down the barrel of a particularly uncertain future. Without further ado, then, here are eight examples we can no longer work without. And, chances are, you'll feel the same after giving them a go.
Note: the communities below are listed in alphabetical order
It's reassuring to see how many Black business and Black professional-focused directories and platforms launched in the past 12 months. A long-overdue move in so many industries, events are no different. Black In Events Network looks to signpost, support, and empower Black event professionals, with the sector still shamefully blighted by equity and representation issues.
Sign up and you'll find invites to IRL drop-in events, where members meet face-to-face, introductions to some of the most innovative and successful Black event professionals, and social media Q&As with bonafide benchmark setters.
Conference & Incentive Magazine is a global content powerhouse and, as you might have guessed from the name, its editorial policy is centred on the MICE industry. Combining consumer-style articles with in-depth and essential b2b reads, this is a great place to gain an understanding of new emerging trends, the state of the competition, and discover in-depth details about specific conferences and event-friendly destinations.
Think of it in the same way marketers and PRs do The Drum and you won't be disappointed.
Regular discussions, Q&As, workshops and more, often utilising Twitter Spaces as a platform, Event Planners Talk does exactly what it says on the tin — creating a safe and inclusive environment for the best in the business to talk about the issues that keep them awake at night, and the latest industry developments.
Billed as a 'micro-learning' opportunity, the platform runs everything from book clubs focused on event-related reads, to a YouTube channel filled with video guides and explainers.
We can't recommend the Event Profs UK enough — a digital bulletin produced by the boffins behind this group, where you'll find news stories, op-eds and short features, all tailored to event professionals. As the name suggests, Event Profs UK is aimed squarely at the UK sector, and if you're in that community there's a goldmine of information here.
The social element also offers a space to discuss concerns, experiences (good, bad, and hilarious), and share tips. Probably the best way to improve your skillset while also staying sane in the knowledge you're not alone.
If you missed our list on the most influential women in events, then we recommend taking a look. There, you'll find Helen Moon, founder of EventWell. We love this organisation so much we're including it again here — simply put, this is the team dedicated to promoting good mental health and wellbeing for event workers.
And, given the pressure of a normal year, let alone pandemic times, this is something we all need. Sign up for signposting to organisations that can help when things are tough, information on the organisation's annual awards, mental health first aid training opportunities, and much, much more.
Cost: Free to join, donations optional, charges apply for some services and hire
Ignore the mouthful title, this professional Facebook group is a highly effective and efficient, globe-spanning community filled with people you might call 'serious players' in their field. This means access to a wealth of information on the best event practices around the world. As the group self-describes, the idea is to create opportunities, platform, and encourage "small business firms, traders, and related handmade craftsmanship". So, basically, an essential resource to find and network with exhibitors and organisers across the planet.
"We Are Events. We Are Meetings. We Are Incentives". Or so The Meetings Show proudly proclaims on its homepage. Reassuringly, this is more than hyperbole. Held annually in London, for many in our industry, it doesn't come bigger than this ticket where the great and good of the sector are brought together.
Meanwhile, the Twitter profile and website are also a goldmine for information 12 months a year. It's also worth noting that The Meetings Show launched its own sustainability course in 2021, a certification event for planners to improve their environmental credentials and green record.
Cost: Free online resources, prices vary for exhibition stands
Call us biased, but if you're not keeping abreast with the latest tech developments impacting the events sector then alarm bells should be ringing. With almost 24,500 active members, this LinkedIn group is a hotspot where event experts facilitate knowledge exchange and share their experiences of the most revolutionary gadgets, software, and equipment in the industry. To use the group's own terminology, it's "a risk-free place to ask questions, share information, and experiment. It is your personal event technology laboratory!"
Eight seems a bit limited, doesn't it? We never enjoy restricting how much of the good stuff we share, and as such it only seems right to expand on the list above. So, while everything you've just read should already be bookmarked, it's also wise to make sure you're familiar with all that's about to follow. After all, you can never have too many resources, can you?
BizBash is one of the best resources for event-related inspiration. Not only do they point you to the best venues, suppliers, and cutting-edge technologies, they also nurture a highly engaged community you can take notes from.
Skift is a news source and e-learning hub that targets executives across travel industry verticals. With a library of insightful research, newsletters, and case studies put together by a team of award-winning journalists, Skift keeps its promise of driving industry transformation.
Billed as "the show #eventprofs recommend", The BNC Show is an industry must, and Eventprof Networking is the online community built around the annual event. Think polls, surveys, and news, among other vital nuggets of information.
This is where meeting professionals, event experts, and those in the gifting, travel, and hotel-hospitality industries convene and collaborate. Designed specifically for those who help us meet and connect, the Connect Corporate community is a prime spot for skills and business development.
Not just a great name, Meeting Needs is a charitable organisation founded by top UK events experts, which directs professionals and companies towards noble causes they can get involved with. Apply for funding, become a charitable partner, and subscribe to the newsletter.
So that just about wraps it up, thanks for reading this guide to the best events communities and resources for 2023. We hope you found something useful. If you would like to learn more about how Eventcube can help you manage your own events, you can book a demo with us here. We look forward to hearing from you!
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