"More events than ever before"

GCB FutureTalks #5 with Oscar Cerezales


MCI’s Oscar Cerezales, Global Executive Vice President Corporate and COO Asia Pacific, is convinced that the industry will be seeing more events than ever before. In order to get there, however, the industry will need to show courage and revise its business models. For the series GCB Future Talks with Matthias Schultze, issue #5, Oscar Cerezales gives valuable insights into his perception of the crisis as well as some of his ideas for the future.

Matthias Schultze: With which ideas and concepts does MCI react to the current situation?

Oscar Cerezales: One thing has become quite clear: The industry is suffering, and consolidations will happen. The way the crisis is being handled differs greatly, though. Many players are currently talking about strategy. However, what they must realize is that execution is key! This is the most important strategy at this difficult point in time. In addition to the quick fixes during the crisis we must also devote resources to scenario planning for the future. The industry will not return to its full capacity right away and organizations will make more fragmented investments. Therefore, business models must be revised and ready for the Post-Crisis market. Lastly, one scarce yet important resource needed to recover from this crisis is courage.

Matthias Schultze: What do you expect to happen in the event industry in the coming weeks and months?

Oscar Cerezales: Many players are expecting a recovery in the second half of the year. However, I assume that our industry will still feel the crisis’ impact in 2021. This also illustrates the key role of liquidity during this difficult period. In the past we thought that quality was king. It has become clear, though, that the scope for decision-making is very limited without liquidity. Cash is just as important as quality and the industry will depend on subsidies to overcome the crisis.

Furthermore, we will also have to rethink the role of technology. The current situation shows that it can be an enabler and commodity, but not the silver bullet many players expected it to be. Apart from the obvious implications for our industry, I am disappointed by something else though: I would have appreciated one strong voice and more cooperation between the big global associations. Unfortunately, this did not happen.

Matthias Schultze: In your opinion, what is the long-term effect of the current exceptional situation on events and event formats?

Oscar Cerezales: I believe in a bright future for our industry and expect to see more events than ever before. Certainly, the size and formats of the events will change. On the one hand, I assume that we will be seeing smaller events in the future.

On the other hand, experience design, whether online or offline, will become increasingly important. There will also be an increase in digital and mobile marketing spending. I also envision a greater cooperation with other industries.

Aside from these expectations, I would like to see a consolidation of and more collaboration between the large global associations.

You can read the interview in full length on eventcrisis.org.

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