Recently one of the industry social media groups I subscribe to hosted a conversation about industry trends. While I have little to offer on the subject of technology, I am eyewitness to a broad array of business trends. The following was my contribution to that thread:
1. I am seeing a normalization of capital expenditures. This means fewer companies playing “catch-up” and fewer companies forgoing spending to preserve cash. I still see too much debt to fund capital purchases (as opposed to paying as you go), but as profits creep back up, I think this will continue to subside. It has taken a decade, but the Live Events community is looking as healthy as ever.
2. The discussion about buyers only wanting to talk about price is increasingly limited to the sellers with little or no apparent value proposition. When buyers do choose to “shop around” they are more inclined to engage in meaningful discussions about needs and value. This is another indicator of a strong economy and encouragement to those companies that are worth more to act like it.
3. There is an uptick in quality, last-minute events – as opposed to bottom-feeder gristle. Live Event suppliers with decent marketing and business development efforts are attracting savvy buyers. Last-minute buyers in a good economy are an indicator that the market has confidence in the supply chain. (In a down economy, it is just another way to limit purchasing spend and leverage a supply chain with too much capacity). Embrace last-minute!
4. There is an increased presence of businesses that were spawned by the Recession and are now coming into maturity. Old-guard companies that are just now getting back to pre-Recession levels should be aware that the playing field has expanded – not contracted. The former employee that started a company 5-10 years ago is no longer a start-up. They made it by capturing disenfranchised buyers, and now they see your market share as their next goal.
5. Isolationist rhetoric from some politicos is not shared by most of the business community I encounter. Last month I keynoted at a conference attended by AV companies from 40+ countries around the world. This past week I was at ISE in Amsterdam teaching an international audience. Add to this that I advise as many as thirty companies a year in the US (and interact with many more). The trend I see is that healthy companies seem to embrace global (or expansionist) opportunities and are not threatened by competition. They compete. Struggling companies want government (or their trade association) to protect their interests. Today, I see far more of the former than the latter.
All of this is to say, if you are not enjoying the benefits of globalization then you might want to look in the mirror to figure out what to fix.
Tom Stimson MBA, CTS helps owners and management teams rediscover the fun and profit that comes from making better decisions about smarter goals. He is an expert on project-based selling and a thought leader for innovative business processes. Since 2006, Tom has successfully advised over two hundred companies and organizations on business strategy, process, marketing, and sales. Learn More at TRSTIMSON.COM