Experts are urging MICE professionals to stop blaming the economy and “get on with the job” as tight budgets continue to plague the industry.
In a wide reaching interview with The Nibbler yesterday, PCC Events director Caroline Jones singled out softened budgets as the biggest challenge for the meeting and events industry. But as the weak economy continues to make headlines, she claimed negative media reports were proving to be more damaging.
Jones admitted the economy was making life “tough” for small businesses, but said it was becoming increasingly common for some companies to use it as an excuse for their poor performance.
“It’s easy to blame something when you are not performing, and the economy is an easy excuse," she said.
“Sure, purse strings are tighter, but blaming the economy just diverts you from your focus. If you listen to it, you will lose,” Jones added.
Meetings and Events Australia chief executive Linda Gaunt agreed some people were blaming the economy for their inability to find clients, noting that poor attitude was at the heart of the problem. However, she conceded it was "hardly surprising" in the economic climate.
“There is definitely a lot of whinging going on and a lot of people with the wrong attitude, but the reality is that the industry is still doing it tough,” she said. “We are not recovering as quickly as other industries and have more work to do to market Australia as a business events destination.”
Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) executive manager Inge Garofani, however, maintained that the industry was “getting on with the job” in the face of economic uncertainty.
“Yes there are some who are using the economy as an excuse, but the majority are seeing the future as bright and positive,” she said. “The opportunities are incredible if we get it right and many are, and will continue to.”
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