Archive for December 2009

5 tips for surviving tough times

December 14, 2009

Here are five tips we are giving to everyone:

1. Heads up – keep your eyes on the world around you and have a ‘radar screen’ to help you watch for early warning signals that tell you what’s changing and which way things are headed. This could include  trusted people, people who seem spot things early, bellwether sectors / organizations and journalists who seem to be ahead of the curve. For me cab drivers are a good sign of when things are picking up and heavy goods equipment firms tend to provide an early sign of falling confidence eroding – also when their sector picks up – you pretty much know real confidence is back in their customer markets.

2. Ditch the cold or lukewarm prospects who haven’t bought in the good times – they definitely won’t in the tough times – focus all your energies on existing customers and the hottest prospects, use the time saved on the former to really add value to the customers and prospects who will be vital to you.

3. Secure long term deals wherever you can – discount if you have to – provide yourselves with a cushion of guaranteed income.

4. Ask yourselves – are we magnetic – how much of our business comes through our efforts and how much comes in unsolicited because people have heard about us and want to do business with us. How can we increase magnetism – focus on serving current customers better, provide helpful comments and inputs to social network and online discussions and write useful added value articles in whatever media outlets are relevant for your sector.

5. Motivate. Your people need to be inspired to outperform in tough times – energy is infectious. Training and motivation can be done at low or no cost by inviting aspiring trainers to speak for free and use you as a test bed, ask customers and suppliers to come and talk about what’s going on for them and encourage staff to do volunteering work – all of which helps stimulate, provide new ideas and keep energy levels high.


Requesting Your 2010-2012 Business & Economy Predictions & Forecasts

December 14, 2009


I am writing to request your input on business and the economy in 2010-2012. I would like you to share your predictions, forecasts, expectations and wildcards to be included in our forthcoming book “FUTUREtweet — Bite Sized Insights to Help you Survive and Thrive in Turbulent Times.”

Everyone who contributes will receive a free electronic copy of the book.

This book is part of the new THINKtweet series which is comprised of 140 tweets. It should be fun to consume these predictions in this format, which makes it an impactful, concise and very easy read. I will be co-authoring the book with Rich Goldman, VP, Corporate Marketing & Strategic Alliances, Synopsys, Inc. and CEO, Synopsys Armenia and myself, CEO and Mitchell Levy Author of a series of annual forecasts over the last few years.

Feel free to share 1-3 predictions, forecasts, expectations and wildcards (low probability, high impact events) as either single sentences or short paragraphs (less than 140 characters). We are looking for a total of 140 tweets. Please e-mail, or hit reply to respond by Dec 18th. When you send your response, please give the attribution you’d like us to give you in the book (e.g. Name, Title, Company Name). If you are interested, we’ll also include your photo and two-line bio on our Web page featuring the book.

Here’s a little background:
Since 1998, Mitchell Levy has been making predictions about next year’s business and economic environment. Books in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 were published with these predictions. You can read more about “Happy About Knowing What to Expect in 2009” at or at Amazon. We’ll share an eBook with all contributors. If you’d like to see last year’s book, please let me know and we will e-mail a copy to you.

Thanks in advance for your contribution. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to e-mail or call me.

ICCA and IMEX Announce Meetings and Conventions 2020 Study

December 14, 2009

27th November  2009

ICCA, IMEX and Fast Future Announce Launch of Ground Breaking Global Study on the Future of Meetings, Venues and Meeting Destinations

Futures research methods to be adopted to create a wake-up call, challenge old assumptions and drive new thinking across the industry

ICCA – The International Congress and Convention Association, the IMEX Group and Fast Future Research today announced the formal launch of Convention 2020 – a groundbreaking research study looking at the future of live events, venues and meeting destinations. All three organisations have become founder sponsors of the study. Discussions are underway with a number of other potential sponsors.

The study is being conducted by Fast Future Research and will explore the underlying trends and drivers that could shape the industry over the next decade. The aim is to develop a range of models and scenarios for how live meetings might evolve over that time period. The study will centre on understanding the ‘meeting experience’ and the changing needs of live event attendees. These insights will help drive new thinking on event design, facilitate innovation in business models and highlight the strategic implications for venues, destinations and industry suppliers.

Martin Sirk, CEO of ICCA and Ray Bloom chairman of the IMEX Group – the founding sponsors of the study – explained that “We agreed to support Fast Future’s study because of their track record in doing high quality futures work, the innovative and comprehensive nature of the proposed study and their willingness to contribute their own funds to support a study for the benefit of the entire industry.”    Sirk went to say that  “the research programme is designed to answer very practical questions such as what will attendees want from live events, how will they maximise their learning and how can they ensure a worthwhile return on their investment of time and energy.  For event owners, venues and suppliers it will help them consider how events could be funded and the implications for the design, services, technology platforms and business models required for successful meetings and venues.  Finally it will help meeting destinations think through the strategic implications for developing and promoting themselves in a fast changing world.”

The study is also designed to ensure that the industry’s responds to the current downturn and future shocks in a strategic manner that ensures long term success.  Bloom explained that “The economic downturn has highlighted the importance of thinking ahead and preparing for an uncertain future. We all believe in the importance of live meetings – but belief is not a strategy. We need to challenge our assumptions, develop real insight into what the future may hold, and rethink our event designs and business models to help all members of the meetings industry prepare for the decade ahead and ensure they stay competitive.”

The study concepts were tested on attendees at the ICCA Congress in Florence on November 9th and 10th 2009. “The Response was phenomenal”, said Rohit Talwar– CEO of Fast Future Research – co-sponsors and research leaders of the project.  Talwar went on to add that “The interest in becoming a sponsor was overwhelming. Meetings companies, venues, destinations and industry suppliers from around the world all recognised the strategic value of the insights the study would provide. They could also see the benefits to their brand from being associated with such a comprehensive and forward-looking piece of work that would receive global distribution and widespread coverage.”

Sirk explained that “We are at a crucial turning point for the meetings industry. The sector faces major challenges and opportunities arising from changing political attitudes to the meetings sector, technological advances, economic power shifts, environmental pressures, a deepening understanding of how we learn and evolving social attitudes. The research is designed to kick start new thinking across the meetings industry and engage people at every level in coming up with strateiges, ideas and solutions that will work in their local markets.”   The study will have three main deliverables – a report on a global survey on the future of meetings to be published in February 2010, a report on the ‘Future Meeting Experience’ to be launched at IMEX in Frankfurt in May 2010 and a final report on ‘Tomorrow’s Convention Centre’ to be launched at the ICCA Congress in Hyderabad India in October 2010.

The study will provide a number of web-based mechanisms to encourage participation and a number of workshops and seminars will be held around the world to provide input. Expert input is also a critical component of the study design. Bloom explained “A key feature of the study is the involvement of a large number of the industry’s leading experts in helping to shape the study and ensure the outputs stretch the boundaries of our thinking. We felt it was critical that we combined ‘outside-in’ thinking with real engagement from professionals and the leading thinkers across the sector. We are delighted that those on the cutting edge of industry thinking in areas such as event design, learning, business models, technology, event strategy and sustainability have all given their full support and commitment to participate.”

The intention is to create a ‘living and growing’ online body of knowledge, case studies and ideas which will continue to expand and develop even after the study completes in October 2010. Talwar added that “The aim is to go beyond traditional forecasting and use a range of highly participative futures methods to engage both event attendees and those in the industry to think imaginatively about the future of the sector in a fast changing world. We will make full use of both traditional futures methods such as trend scanning, scenario planning and expert interviews along with new tools such as social media dialogues and crowdsourcing to generate ideas and stimulate new thinking. ”

Full details on the study and sponsorship opportunity are available from The survey on the future of meetings can be found at .


Notes for Editors

Fast Future Research is a global research and consulting firm that specialises in studying the future of meetings, travel and the leisure industries.  ICCA is one of the world’s leading trade associations for the meetings industry, with 900 member companies and organisations in over 80 countries worldwide and covering all supplier sectors.  IMEX is the worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events and is an award winning tradeshow which takes place annually in Messe Frankfurt, Germany. Organisers, the IMEX Group, also run the new IMEX America – America’s worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events – which will be launched in Las Vegas, USA in October 2011.

IMEX 2010 takes place 25 – 27 May:

IMEX America take place 11 – 13 October 2011:

For further details please contact

Rohit Talwar


Fast Future Research

Phone +44 20 8830 0766

Mobile +44 7973 405145

Fax +44 20 8830 4777


Martin Sirk


ICCA – International Congress and Convention Association

Phone: +31 20 398 1919
Fax: +31 20 699 0781

Carina Bauer


IMEX Group

Phone +44 1273 227311

Fax +44 1273 227312