Outlook From the C-Suite: Industry Leaders Share Their Biggest Business Concerns
Geopolitics and political uncertainty now pose the greatest risk to business growth, according to a recent survey of more than 1,300 CEOs of the world’s largest businesses. The persistent flux in global politics, trade dynamics and international relations has required a new level of resilience from business leaders, who have been tasked with re-assessing their strategic priorities, focusing on the rise of generative AI, talent management and elevated stakeholder expectations in addressing environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.
Derived from the KPMG 2023 CEO Outlook — the annual survey conducted by KPMG International that provides unique insights into the mindset, strategies and planning tactics of CEOs — these results also show that while confidence in the global economic outlook over the next three years remains broadly unchanged since the 2022 survey (73% compared to 71% last year), there has been a significant shift across CEOs’ views on what constitutes a risk to their business.
The greatest risks these CEOs cited in 2023 include:
1. Geopolitics and political uncertainty
2. Operational issues
3. Emerging/disruptive technology
4. Supply chain
5. Regulatory concerns
6. Environmental/climate change
7. Interest rates
8. Cyber security
9. Reputational risk
So how do these risks resonate with events industry CEOs? Corporate Event News asked several event industry leaders what their top business concerns are now and moving into 2024, and how they and their organization are addressing them. In part one of a series, here’s what leaders from two destination marketing organizations (DMOs) shared. In coming weeks, we will share perspectives from C-level executives that represent contractors, experiential marketing agencies and venues.
Claude Molinari, CEO, Visit Detroit
Biggest concern: Talent
This year has been a fantastic one for conventions and events in Detroit. The vitality of Southeast Michigan is unmistakable, and that is why Visit Detroit is focused on how we can solve critical challenges to keep our positive momentum going. Our industry’s most significant immediate challenge is attracting and retaining talent, which is also a shared goal for the State of Michigan. Visit Detroit is helping to address the challenge in three ways:
1. Helping to build a long-term pool of talent by engaging with high school, community college and university students to introduce them to the incredible professional opportunities in our industry.
2. Working with key partners like the State of Michigan’s new Chief Growth Officer, Hilary Doe, to retain and attract more people to the state. The meetings, conventions, events and tourism industries create communities where people want to live, work, invest and visit. Working with partners across the state will help encourage more people to make Michigan their home and our industry their career.
3. Working with government leaders to ensure our industry has the support it needs to compete in a competitive marketplace for more events to help even more people find consistent and meaningful employment opportunities.
Visit Detroit believes that by bringing more people into our industry, we can help solve some of the other long-term challenges that we face through the power of human ingenuity.
Kaitlin Eskelson, President & CEO, Visit Salt Lake
Biggest concern: Talent
The global pandemic brought with it seismic shifts in meetings and tourism trends. Now, more than ever, destination management organizations (DMOs) need to reassess their strategic priorities, focusing on talent management and thought leadership for staffing issues affecting our industry. Salt Lake is on the rise as an “up and coming” city, and locally we have an urgent need to prepare our visitor economy partners as the need for trained workforce rises.
Nationally, most convention centers shuttered or transitioned to community health resource centers while many DMOs furloughed or shed their sales staff nationally. After closing the Salt Palace in 2020, Visit Salt Lake repurposed and re-energized our sales teams and pivoted with innovative virtual destination experience tastings and events. Our team remained relevant, engaged and kept Salt Lake top-of-mind for destination meeting planners. The result? When meetings started back up in 2021, we were well positioned competitively, leading to record bookings in 2023.
Visit Salt Lake sought creative ways to help keep our many world-class offerings in business. Everyone needed trained staff to be able to operate at full service levels. We launched a robust job portal and formed an awards program to help “make working in hospitality cool again.” The Salt Awards celebrated hospitality workers who exemplified service, accomplishment, leadership and tenacity (SALT), and the program received raves from hoteliers, restaurants and service providers, and garnered extensive media coverage.