One of the many benefits of an NYU education is the caliber of professors that we have at the school. Particularly I suppose for my curriculum — as I studied Hospitality with a concentration in Event Management, probably one of the most professionally niche of undergraduate degrees anywhere in the world — NYU enabled me exposure and access to the business world of Manhattan, where many of the best industry organizations became my case studies, and where many of the top industry influencers became my mentors.
I have the priviledge today of being invited to attend the most important convention in the events industry: The BizBash Live Expo. Ask anyone in the events industry and they’ll tell you, BizBash is one of the few if not only organizations in the business that gives the events industry a platform of voice and structure. Its national reach in all the major cities of US and Canada enables BizBash to define contexts and identify trends in the industry like no other company today, and its editorial contents through both the online portal and magazine publications gives BizBash unparalleled influence in shaping the business of events.
So what is BizBash exactly? Well ultimately, it’s an industry media resource for the business of events. Its publications serve as a hub for event professionals to see what’s going on in the industry. If you’re a vendor company, someone who rents out draperies, lighting, acoustics equipments, decors, or whatever and you want event professionals to be a part of your clientele, you go advertise or get yourself some coverage on BizBash. Same if you’re in the event real estate business, you developed or own or operate a venue like a ballroom or a conference center, you go to BizBash. Event service company, same thing, if you’re in the catering business or live entertainment or something like that. BizBash is a representation of all that the events industry has to offer. Event professionals — event managers, producers, planners, organizers — utilize BizBash as both a source for creative inspiration and a resource for finding what they need.
By doing all of this, BizBash has made itself the ultimate hub of the events profession. As the company evolved, it has grown in influence through its editorial contents covering news and trends that are happening in the industry. The convention that I went to, The BizBash Live Expo, is an annual trade show that the company produces in every major city it covers. The New York show was at the Javits Center and included all the thousands of local industry professionals and hundreds of vendors exhibiting on the showroom floor.
I was even surprised myself at the level of product diversity that exhibits for this industry. As an example, you’d find multiple booths of companies specializing in porta potties. I mean we’ve all seen these things; but when was the last time you considered the fact that there’s this entire industry in the world creating innovations in porta potties?!?
Of especial inspiration to me though, I was surprised to find that there’s actually a TON of different tech and app companies exhibiting new ways to utilize digital platforms to engage event attendees. It’s not just simply a matter of facebook invites and live tweets anymore. Companies are creating apps for producers to consolidate event logistics, management softwares that can help facilitate everything from attendee flights to hotels to event passes, and even tools for people to aggregate live tag-based media feeds on any screen interface.
And that to me reaffirms everything I believe in about the business of events. Like I always say, the events business is the business of creating value out of human gatherings. To me it’s not a function of hospitality, it’s a function of human interactions beyond the virtual world. How the enduring human element of interactions in this digital age can still and can always influence the world is the ultimate soul searching question of our industry. As today’s event tech companies have shown, it’s not a matter of backlashing against the time we spend staring at social media screens. Rather, it’s a matter of integrating the digital process into the live human experience; to facilitate our human interactions rather than to replace them. Social media is not going away — not in this world, not in our lives — but I do believe that it needs to be put in its place. Our generation first got exposed to the likes of facebook and twitter in our teens. Like any teenage phase, I feel like we’re starting to mature out of this obsession collectively as a society. Virtual interactions will always have a place in our lives and the world’s future. But to me, the lens of event management is literally the counterpart consideration that balances the skew in our humanity that this web 2.0 obsession has created over the past decade.
See you at the next exploration!