Episode 52: 2024 State of the Industry Featuring Tom Stimson

Tom Stimson joins us to discuss the events industry's current state post-report, covering challenges, opportunities, labor outsourcing, freelancer rates, budgeting, planning, & future prospects.

About the Episode

Angela Alea and Tom Stimson discuss the current state of the events industry after our recent report, including the challenges and opportunities it faces. The conversation covers areas such as labor outsourcing, freelancer pay rates, budgeting, planning, and future industry prospects.

Meet Your Speakers

- Angela Alea: Podcast Host, CRO & President of LASSO

- Tom Stimson: Business advisor, author, coach, and speaker in the events industry







Takeaway 1: The events industry needs to improve its selling strategies

The conversation highlighted the need for the events industry to enhance the way they sell their services. Many businesses in the sector focus on selling their equipment or products without adequately communicating the value of their services. The panelists emphasized that companies need to reconsider how they present their proposals and quotes to clients, focusing on the benefits the clients will receive rather than what the company is providing. 

In the episode, Tom Stimson stated, "We need to sell the what, not the how. And so we see proposals... built around how we're going to get this done. And you don't see enough of the language about what this is going to do for this buyer." He further added, "The biggest opportunity we have is to change the selling conversation. I think this is the most critical thing. We sold from fear for so many years. Rental speak is still pervasive in our industry. We still think we're a rental industry and not a service industry."

Angela agreed, noting, "I think our industry is hungry for some guidance around that, because you're right, I do think people sell the stuff and not the experience or the outcome and the value that these companies bring to the table versus just the gear they bring to the table."

Takeaway 2: The industry needs to streamline its processes

The episode pointed out that many companies in the events industry rely on too many platforms and processes, which can lead to inefficiencies and misunderstandings. Streamlining processes and reducing the number of platforms used can lead to more efficient operations and reduced overhead costs.

Tom Stimson advocated for simplification, saying, "We're seeing a reduction in the number of platforms that we're using to get the work done, which is great. That means that we're thinking more efficiently about what it is we're trying to do. We're not creating processes or adding people to fulfill processes as much. We're critically looking at what our processes are."

He further added, "If you don't understand your cost, you're going to sell it incorrectly and you're going to back yourself into a corner and try and fulfill it incorrectly."

Takeaway 3: Optimism is high for the future of the events industry

Optimism is high in the events industry, with 74% of survey respondents expressing high optimism for the year 2024. Angela and Tom both attribute this positivity to the industry's ability to adapt to changing circumstances and the opportunities presented by advancements in technology and new business models.

Tom remarked, "74% sounds right to me because I think people are seeing the opportunities. The question is, are they capitalizing on the right opportunities? Are they getting the right results?" He also noted, "There's a lot of room for people who are willing to work on their business to have a much better year, 24 and beyond. Right. The path to success has never been more clear."

Insights surfaced:

- Fear and insecurity are creeping back into the industry due to uncertainty about the future.

- There's an increasing demand for freelancers as the industry grows, but many companies are still hiring full-time employees instead of outsourcing.

- Companies are increasing their freelancer pay rates and their bill rates.

- Companies need to improve their purchasing processes, especially when it comes to understanding their costs.

- Many companies are planning to purchase more gear in the future due to advancements in technology and equipment wear and tear.

- Many companies are not collecting deposits, which could negatively impact their cash flow.

- There's high optimism for the future of the industry, with many companies planning for growth in 2024! 



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