The meetings and events industry is undergoing the most profound change it has seen in the past 15 years. There’s been an explosion of technology options for meeting professionals, speakers, and exhibitors, and with virtual meetings, mobile devices, and social media, the audience for meetings has grown exponentially. Corporations are recognizing that tapping into these technologies can dramatically enhance the business value of their events—and that it’s essential to align their meeting and event strategies with business objectives.

Enter the Chief Events Officer, or CVO. The way I envision this role, the CVO has revenue responsibility, just like other C-level executives. He or she understands that delivering events on time and within budget contributes directly to top-line revenue and profits—and to the success of the company.

A CVO is quick to recognize that corporate profits, market share, and market position depend on successful sales and marketing promotion. After all, events and meetings are all about selling something, be it a product, message, service, or knowledge.

Therefore, the CVO will use the latest software to maximize selling opportunities at events. He or she will also extend the company’s influence via social media long after the event. In fact, virtual discussions and events that extend the life of live ones will be a key part of the CVO’s strategy; they’re the best way to stay tapped into attendees year-round and to understand their changing interests and challenges.

This newly evolving CVO will also recognize the importance of aggregating event-related data across the entire organization. Consistent technology deployment and data capture will be an imperative part of the CVO’s role. Key demographic, economic, and behavioral attendee data, along with preferences, will be become pivotal drivers for future events.

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