Impact Publications : MICEBTN-71
MICEBTN - August-September • Page 9 Communication channels are increasingly vulnerable to social media coverage MOTIVATING people to attend a conference isn’t always easy, but it can be the cornerstone of a successful event . It calls for creativity, determination and increasingly, the ability to face up to fake news and external criticism. MICE delegates attending an event or others travelling for business are as susceptible to both good vibes and negative rumours as the occasional leisure traveller contemplating a holiday. In times past, an event organiser could go about packaging all this, fairly confident that satisfaction would be delivered to the client and to those others taking part. There has always been an element of social responsibility – if an event program is too ostentatious it might legitimately attract criti- cism. But growing social media cut-through into all aspects of daily lives has opened up events, even those with tight participation eligibil- ity and an expectation of privacy. With a plethora of social media channels available to introduce an event and then build motivation, it is inevitable that details will be shared beyond the target audience. An Australasian local health board, for instance, found itself under public fire when details leaked of a health forum to be held on the Gold Coast. It was part of a series, expensive but apparently effective. Media did not put much effort into assessing the deliverables but simply picked up on social media communications to suggested it was primarily a costly junket. In this case there were grounds for criticism, because the agency arranging the event had not obtained the necessary sign-off from its parent board. The event was cancelled, leading to legal jousting over compensation. Other events also have been targeted with little recourse to fact or fairness, sometimes turning the event’s own communications into a line of attack. Media channels can be serviced to build event participation posi- tively. An interesting global trend seems to be circulating lists of those already booked to attend an event, aiming to trigger a ‘we’d better be there too’ response. This raises questions of privacy but as long as permission has been granted it seems a low-cost and effective device. And then there’s the growing bugbear of fake news. We’ve seen it lately in the Lombok earthquake tragedy where news media alluded to Bali travel arrangements in a way that the casual reader, viewer or listener might believe Bali had been hit. This sort of fake news isn’t necessarily malicious. It can be simple error on the part of media personnel. But for Bali - and other destina- tions which find themselves in similar situations – it can mean can- celled bookings and a lingering negative image. That’s neither fair nor professional. - Kelvin King comment where attendees will be encouraged to think global and communicate beyond local or regional borders. A session titled ‘Association Insomnia: What Keeps Association Executives Up at Night?’, is a workshop aimed at identifying workable solutions to overcome current challenges, all in the midst of preparing an authentic Emirati lunch. The agenda also includes a session on ‘Youth Integration’ as associations are increasingly looking at ways to become more appealing to the next generation. Attendees will also witness a panel discussion on ‘Work- ing Together to Advance Humanity’ which will be led by the Dubai Future Foundation following a tour of the Dubai Future Academy. The closing session, titled ‘Going Back to Basics: Going Back in Time’, is centred around understanding how Bedouins survived in the past , travelling across the desert with the stars being their sole guide. The launch of the Association Leaders Getaway comes following the surge in associations building a presence within the city. As of July this year, the Dubai Association Cen- tre had a total of 58 licensed associa- tions, with 16 registrations received in the first half of 2018, reflecting growth of 38 per cent. Continued from previous page ‘Youth integration’ included in agenda New US airline Moxy claims it will customise passenger experience AIRLINE entrepreneur and JetBlue founder David Neeleman says his new US startup - code named Moxy - will customise its passenger offers in the areas of legroom, price and more to create a technological- ly-advanced carrier flying a mix of short and longer direct routes using Airbus A220-300s. The orders for the A220 aircraft will be finalised in “a matter of weeks,” Neeleman said and flights could begin mid 2019.