EuBEA Exclusive: Michael Leslie Ahlstrand (Danske Bank Group) discusses event industry’s current issues and talks about EuBEA
Michael Leslie Ahlstrand (image), Head of Events in Danske Bank Group,
today is in charge of a full in-house events department with a staff of
five people. He has been a dedicated member and member of the Board in
MPI Denmark Chapter since 2004, and is one of only three Certified
Meeting Professionals (CMP) in his home country. Along with his position
in Danske Bank Group, Michael also runs a career as an excellent
professional magician. He has even been President of The Magic Circle in
Denmark. He’s one of the jurors of this year’s EuBEA and we interviewed
him to talk about the most recent changes and issues of event industry.
Why is it important to participate to the European Best Event Awards?
For several reasons. If you have a good show case, why not
let the world know? You might gain new customers. But also to help
inspire and develop the industry. Musicians have always been inspired by
each others. So should event planners.
What is the evolution of event industry from the creative and productive point of view in your country?
the last couple of years, we have seen an education project in Denmark
called Meetovation spread like fire in the bush. The promising result is
that most Danish quality venues today have staff who is trained in the
key elements of Meetovation, which are active involvement (of the
participants), responsible thinking, creative setups and local
inspiration. Quite a help when planning your next event.
Which are the current problems of the event sector?
Reduced budgets due to the economical crisis. In my country
it leads to less events. The positive aspect is that some organizers
get even more creative when they have to stretch budgets, and that
everyone must pay close attention to the Return on their Meeting
What do you think has been the most dominant trend within events in the recent years?
technology is always on the menu, don’t you think? Lighting design,
projection power, LED technology, visual effects, sound quality. Right
now LED seems to be King. And Wi-Fi is the new toilet. Guests expects to
have Wi-Fi access everywhere, anytime, at unlimited speed and free of