The international meetings industry isn’t innovative or trendy, according to industry veteran Sherrif Karamat.

At Business Events Sydney’s International Industry Forum, which took place last week, members of the newly established International Advisory Board discussed the current challenges of doing business in a digital age and offered insights into the future success of the MICE industry on a global scale.

Among the industry leaders who participated in the panel discussion, chief operating officer of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), Sherrif Karamat, said in a rapidly changing global landscape the meetings industry is constantly playing catch-up.

“Our industry is not a trendsetter.”

“Nothing new happens in the meetings industry… instead we are looking at what other industries are doing and we’re adapting to it and that’s not the best way to run a business,” he said.

Sherrif Karamat also signalled the importance of social media as well as trends in mobile usage and new ways of communicating.

“The way we are communicating has an impact on convention centres and hotels… social media should be used as an effective tool to increase engagement, not just during an event, but pre and post event.”

“Associations used to be hubs of knowledge, but today knowledge is ubiquitous and instantaneous and the way you capture that is critically important… rising about the clutter is critically important.”

Business Events Sydney launched its International Advisory Board last month, bringing together industry trailblazers from Europe, North America and Asia Pacific, in order to strengthen the state’s position as a global hub for business events ahead of the new International Convention Centre.

Look out for an extended article on the International Industry Forum in the Dec/Jan edition of micenet AUSTRALIA.