Each month, I'll have the opportunity to share my thoughts about what's going on in our industry. I was delighted to accept this job from Robrecht Willaert.
My name is Jan Samyn, owner of SEAUTON INTERNATIONAL, a rapidly growing MICE office with its headquarters in Leuven and various entities throughout Europe.
Let me start off with my biggest frustration. I'm constantly annoyed by people who are constantly annoyed. Such as: the meeting industry is in dire straits, the incentives aren't working well any more, the purchasing managers are chasing every euro or every dollar that's floating around somewhere, we have to reduce our margins so much that we can hear an echo.
I'm sorry, it doesn't move me, I'm not interested.
Yes, the market has changed. Yes, the market has become more global, more transparent. Everything is moving more quickly, everything is on the table. However, and this is the core of my argument: the people with whom we work, the participants who attend our conferences, the management teams who figure out their strategies during the meetings we expertly organise and orchestrate, the enthusiastic clients who are drawn in by incentives... these people (and therefore our clients) haven't changed. And as long as human beings, as a species, remain unchanged (and I wouldn't view subcutaneous chip implants as a change), it will be necessary for people to meet up with each other, and there'll be potential business for us. Therefore, once again, don't come complaining or whinging to me. It's wasted energy. The fact we need to be flexible, to continually reinvent ourselves, to keep fighting to sell our added value, to innovate, to invest, to be amicable, to take risks...yes.A rhetorical sentence.
In a couple of weeks, I'll be in Nairobi, where I've been been invited to attend the AMEX conference (African Mice Expo) as a keynote speaker. I'll be speaking about the future of the African MICE industry and my first slide will be a quote of my own.
‘People say the world has changed. Perhaps, but people haven't.’
Until next month.
© Travel Magazine
Newsletter 916 (25 th March 2016)