UFI’s NGL Grant winners took to the stage in Johannesburg to discuss topics including sustainability, leadership and digitalisation.
The panel featured:
Selin Cakici, Vice-Chair of the Board, HKF Trade Fairs Fuarcilik A.S. (Turkey)
Katharina Keupp, Business Developer, Messe München GmbH (Germany)
Neo Mohlatlole, Co-Founder and Business Development Director, Seven Colours Communications (South Africa)
Thomas Revell, Sustainability Manager, GES (UK)
Diana Salman, HR Strategic Change Manager, IFP Expo (Lebanon)
The 2017 NGL grant recipients gave their perspectives on the changing essence of our industry, which has always been about connecting people.
GES’ Revell revealed the differing preferences of Millennials compared to Baby Boomers, with 70 per cent of the former stating that they are prepared to spend more on sustainable goods compared to 50 per cent of the latter group.
Cakici meanwhile stressed that organisations should focus on solving consumer problems as opposed to just conducting research on their likes and dislikes.
She added that catering for Millennials’ ‘urge to connect’ would yield success, and that less passive and more interactive events will be popular in the future.
“Shows should provide workshops and more space to connect and allow consumers to ask questions,” she said.
“The biggest trend in exhibition analytics is that we can now know so much about audiences and people before we meet them.”
Salman discussed HR challenges, highlighting the predicted ‘knowledge drain’ when senior staff leave without upskilling younger staff members.
She added that the problem was confounded by Millennials’ less loyal attitudes towards employers. “42 per cent of Millennials will leave a job if they don’t feel they’re learning fast enough,” she said.
Mohlatlole added that companies should provide more trusting environments for staff with “secure leadership support.”