What We Learned from International Confex 2019

International Confex (London Olympia, February 26-27, 2019) was an amazing expo for event professionals seeking suppliers, ideas, products, and services, but not so great for those seeking UK or International Venues and Destinations.  Having said that, World of DMCs was located in the International Pavilion, and as one of the few International Destination Suppliers, had exclusive access to those visiting event and meeting professionals looking for new partners.  We came away with over 25 strong connections with firm groups in the next 12-24 months!

We also talked to an awful lot of ‘event industry’ students who didn’t have a clue what a DMC was. (that is Destination Management Company for those who don’t know the abbreviation!).  So we helped to educate some of these impressionable young minds, and hopefully guide them towards working with DMCs when they join the workforce.

Behind our stand was a small presentation area, so we were also able to listen in to some of the speakers throughout the show (something we can rarely do when managing the stand at an exhibition).  One of these presentations was on Millennials and their attitude to Incentives.

Millennials are those born between (approx) 1977 and 2000.

The following points are key when talking about travel incentives to this market:
  • Almost 50% of millennials would be more inclined to make a purchase if their purchase supports a cause. This applies to travel too. Activities that involve ‘giving back’ or ’causes’ are very popular.
  • 69% of Millennials crave adventure
  • they want Experience not things; the incentive travel experience must be something they could not find when travelling with family or friends.  It must be unique. it does not have to be expensive.
  • Destinations that would not be ‘first choice’ or even affordable if travelling alone/with friends are preferred
  • Images depicting experiences and activity attract the most attention, not landscapes or buildings
  • millennials take their own photos for social media, and can spot ‘Shutterstock’ type images = brand becomes less attractive if the images are not authentic and unique.

We would thank the person making this presentation, if only we could remember who it was, but thank you anyway!

Food for thought when considering your sales pitch, proposal, and images for your website and social media.  And yes, we are now working on incorporating more ‘action’ into our own website and social media images.

Next stop, IMEX Frankfurt.  See you there!