Though society is inching closer to being driven by technology, the exhibition and event industry will be firmly rooted in its founded values for years to come. When it comes to building and dismantling a show, skilled labor is an essential part of the process.
The industry at a glance
Shortly after the economic recession in 2008, the exhibition and event industry picked up where it left off. In fact, according to the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, the sector has been growing moderately since as early as 2009.
As recently as 2015, the installation and dismantle industry has grown steadily at 3 percent. This is due to a number of reasons:
- The growing number of startups and “unicorns” that require showcasing.
- Experiential marketing rising as a viable option to garner millennials’ attendance.
- Expanding opportunities overseas.
The IAEE argued that because the industry is so closely tied to the health of the U.S. and other nations’ GDP, the next few years will be tumultuous both for events companies and clients. Will the health of the economy continue, or will anticipated rising federal interest rates cap it at a certain growth rate? How will changes in the stock market affect the industry?
One aspect of the exhibition and event industry remains static, though. The necessity for event labor will not change, but the need for skilled labor will only increase as events come to require accurate precision and complex decision-making during the I&D process.
What skilled labor can offer
Once an afterthought, skilled labor has risen to the forefront of the industry. With such narrow deadlines and no room for error, companies simply can’t afford to hand out contracts to companies that don’t place a high importance on skilled team members.
Exhibition and event organizations that place a premium on labor by cultivating it internally through training programs and industry-driven universities will have their efforts rewarded as the market grows stronger.
“Skilled labor will become more valuable as the industry changes.”
Lah-Cal, a corporate event management company, recently predicted on LinkedIn that, with the upcoming trend of experiential trade shows and events, as well as the anticipated benefits of virtual and augmented reality, locations for events will change. Normally done in a conference or event venue, future events will require larger, more unique venues that coincide with the theme. This means that the amount of preparation, wiring and execution will ramp up, and only the most skilled teams in the industry will be able to keep up with the change.
A more competitive market for venues will be the norm very soon as well, according to Lah-Cal. As the amount of events grows, hotels and other venues will begin to charge a premium to host because of how booked they are. This directly impacts event organizers, as the I&D team they contract will have to be able to set up and dismantle quicker than past years.
All signs point to the market putting a premium on skilled labor, rather than just finding some people who can put together a few wooden planks. Carefully consider your contracting decisions moving forward, as speed, efficiency and expertise will all play a bigger role than they have in the past.