Saturday, October 17, 2020

The Party's Over


That's the great part of capitalism, gales of creative destruction.

— Larry Kudlow

Instead of wringing their hands over the walloping face-to-face has taken, eventpeeps should be celebrating Covid-19 with Larry Kudlow: "creative destruction" has decimated their industry.

And now, after three successive quarters of negative growth, it's time for a sober assessment of where the events industry is heading in 2021 and beyond.

It's heading to oblivion.

Yes, the industry plummeted off a cliff in February, once the organizers of Mobile World Congress called it quits. That event was the first of the big dominoes to topple; the rest of the western world's large confabs quickly followed suit—or wished they had.

But Covid-19 was only a catalyst, accelerating an already-irreversible downward trend. 

As a viable marketing channel, events had peaked before the virus ever left Wuhan, and were inching toward decline. That's for two reasons:
  • Exhibitors are done with them. Events are all the things a CMO shuns when choosing a marketing channel. They're expensive, unproductive, unpredictable, unaccountable, unrepeatable, unmeasurable, unsustainable, wasteful and—sad, but true—too much about the salespeople having fun.

  • Attendees, too. Events are all things an attendee shuns when choosing a means to educate and improve herself. They're all of the above—and noisy, to boot.

But the hard truth is: it won't. It can't. Covid-19 has clobbered it.

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