THE INSIGHTS

“Everybody wants to be first to be second”

Reflections from the road

The headline is a quote from Steve Machin (Aventus) at this year’s Futuretix conference, held November 12-14 in Miami! I think it sums up the main themes of the conference.

On one hand, the many new technologies, services and the changing market landscape mean that all organizations have to stay on their toes, try out new things and continue to update their offerings. On the other hand, everybody needs to stay focused on delivering a great product and customer experience. It is a constant balancing act, and only the bravest go out and try the new and untested, but as the quote illustrates: No venues or sports clubs want to be left behind, so as soon as something proves to work, it gets widely adopted.

On the future side of the themes were blockchain, facial recognition, AI, connected data and the merging of marketplaces to a fluid hybrid of primary and secondary selling. All examples are now moving out of the hype phase and are proven to be valuable.

On the other hand, the conference had some strong speakers on how to be customer focused, cater to VIP customers, season card holders and subscribers – subjects that will never be irrelevant, but we might need a firm reminder from time to time.

My personal takeaway: We have so many new and exciting opportunities to choose from, and any organization needs to figure out their strategy. Are we trying new things, allowing ourselves to fail sometimes? Or do we wait for the bold to test things out and then adopt the things that work?

Most organizations will probably choose a mix and my recommendation (inspired by The Shubert Organisation) is: Be very clear about the tools you are no longer using, so employees do not feel like it is just piling up. To the extent of having ceremonial burials of systems and tools that did not work out (I love that!).