Conference News April 2018 - Page 5

5 Editor’s Letter It’s the content, stupid o paraphrase, above, James Carville’s 1992 campaign phrase for Bill Clinton, recent trade shows and industry forums continue to underline the importance of content. Conference and event organisers are now co-creators, innovators and ambassadors helping to drive their local economies like never before. This effect is no longer to be likened to the might of the invisible part of an iceberg, but out there in full view. This content is being delivered via a myriad of methods, utilising new technology and apps, as well as some older techniques, albeit with a modern makeover (storytelling – and see Simon Maier’s take on that in our Think Tank section p.41). Many companies now think of themselves as publishers and are engaging with their clients and sectoral communities directly as never before. It doesn’t mean they all have publishing or journalistic skills, of course, and here comes the element of responsibility and ability to put hand in hand with new opportunities in order to create effective engagement. All can craft content, but all cannot craft great content. There are also many influencers and social media masters in the market to lend a helping hand to polish, target and repurpose your content. Nothing beats face-to-face, however, and it was a real privilege to host on the CN Pavilion at International Confex last month a range of speakers and panellists to talk engagingly about topics from changing the hosted buyer model, to securing your event, and also wellness for eventprofs. Some of that content we reflect in our pages this month and, on some issues, like impending GDPR legislation, there are conflicting views. But that’s the beauty of debate and meetings, which stress test all ideas, so that we may draw informed conclusions for making our businesses better. Content really is king. Paul Colston Managing editor, Conference Portfolio Mash Media Group