44 PCMA CONVENE JULY 2017 PCMACONVENE.ORG
Christopher Durso and Sarah Beauchamp
During a keynote presentation at he UFI European Conference in Cologne, Germany, in May, Denzil Rankine asked for a show of hands:
How many in the audience — about
200 exhibition organizers and venue
managers from across Europe — had a
comprehensive analytics strategy?
“Not a single hand went up,” said
Rankine, executive chairman of AMR
International. “I had expected to see
10 or 15 percent of hands go up. It gives
us a sense of where we’re at, which is
very few organizations actually have
a coherent data and digital strategy. A
lot of people have been able to put this
off or take a partial approach and that’s
worked, but I think the realization is
now coming through [that] we have to
grapple with this, because being smart
around data analytics is going to allow
us to continue to be successful.”
Rankine is acting on that conviction.
In December, AMR held the inaugural
Data and Digital Events Strategy Symposium in London. And this month, AMR
is partnering with Lippman Connects
on Transform USA in Washington, D.C.
The launch event, at the Washington
Marriott at Metro Center on July 20,
will address “the data, analytics, and
digital-strategy revolution of the exhibition industry,” according to its website.
Convene recently talked separately with
Rankine and Sam Lippman, president
of Lippman Connects, about what they
want to accomplish with Transform USA.
HOW TRANSFORM USA CAME ABOU T
Sam Lippman In the United States, I
produce events for convention and
exhibition executives. Nine times a
year, I’m facilitating a full-day discussion with convention and exhibition
executives, and at every one of those
meetings, the topic of data, technology,
and “How do I make all this work?”
While I was helping people get their
arms around that to the best of my ability, over in England, AMR International
was having their annual meeting with
their clients, and the clients were saying that they need help in the area of
data and analytics and how to use those
to make sure their face-to-face events
continue to be relevant and profitable.
Denzil’s clients persuaded him to pull
together a bunch of experts and put an
entire-day program together in December in London on the [topic].
After it was well received so quickly
in the U.K., in late December [Rankine]
called me because he realized that I had
a good feel on the same issues as they
were being manifested in the United
States. So over a series of conversations
and meetings, we decided that for the
first time ever, AMR International
and Lippman Connects would start a
partnership, because we each provide
something the other doesn’t have, and
we realized together we could put on
the very first Transform USA.
Denzil Rankine The exhibitions
industry ... fundamentally remains
a very attractive industry to operate
in — it continues to be profitable, and it
continues to have strong growth — but
there are some emerging headwinds.
The industry used to grow at two times
GDP and now it still grows above GDP,
but it is on a converging course with
‘How Do I Make All This Work?’
A new conference for the exhibitions industry debuting this
month came from the realization that not many organizations
have a data and digital strategy for their events.
Coming to America Transform
USA is building on the success
of the Data and Digital Events
Strategy Symposium, which
debuted in London in December.