Last Friday, I opened my LinkedIn page and saw a post from Andy Hammond, Director at Elite Event Connections and founder of the Events Industry Elite group on Facebook (currently with 260 members), concerning what happened at IBTM in Barcelona this year. Since the show, which took place from 27–29 November 2018, several event professionals who attended have been reporting about their negative experience and stories of the rife crime this year at key event locations: FIRA Barcelona (event venue), Opium Club (where the evening networking took place) and hotels, where a traveller was robbed while checking-in. IBTM is organised by Reed Travel Exhibitions.
The Events Industry Elite group on Facebook, which Andy founded and moderates, was the first media outlet that picked up on this event, and group members were sharing their stories and cautioning other members to be careful, to leave valuables at the hotel and be vigilant. It was not a case of only one theft but seemed rather to be an organised group of criminals targeting IBTM participants.
Denis Jacquet is a French tech pioneer and entrepreneur. Over 15 years ago, he initiated an online education business, and the company he created in 2000—EduFactory
—is now one of the most experienced e-learning companies in Europe, offering tailor-made innovative learning solutions by combining cutting edge technologies with pedagogical expertise. Being in the tech ecosystem throughout his professional career, he became the moving force behind important initiatives in France and worldwide. One of them is a non-profit organisation called L’Observatoire de l’Ubérisation
, which focuses on how the digital economy will impact the future of our day-to-day lives. The regular think tank debate hosted by this organisation, united business people and politicians to discuss important issues concerning the future of economic, financial, regulatory (law), social and technological aspects.
Following the success of this think tank, Denis was approached by a publisher to write a book, which was published in 2016, Ubérisation: Un ennemi qui vous veut du bien? (Available in French only). The book focuses on the service economy, exploring the transition of consumers from being passive to engaged actors in the new economy. The book’s success led to Denis speaking at over 300 business conferences since its launch and fostered further discussion and interest globally. As a result of his speaking engagements, he realised that many people are not completely aware of what is happening on the government level globally, and that there is a gap between what companies do and what the government does, with both ‘not speaking to each other’. While the US and China are at the forefront of supporting regulations that allow conducting business easily, Europe is behind on this front, with excessive regulations which make it difficult for businesses to grow rapidly and compete globally. Despite regulatory challenges, there are companies that succeed at being agile and able to do more than governments with respect to issues such as implementing sustainable practices, corporate social responsibility and digital transformation. At the same time, other large companies struggle to keep pace and adapt quickly to the new economy. What is the solution?
On Halloween day, 31 October 2018, we hosted the Event Planners Talk and Future in 15 collaborative event with the tongue-in-cheek title ‘Is the DMC dead?’. The title created a lively debate on social media, and we also received important feedback on our anonymous online Slido poll, the results of which are published in this article leading up to the event.
The very final result of the survey question ‘Is the DMC dead?’ concluded with 49 people responding, out of which 20% voted yes and 80% no. At the live event, which took place at Allianz Park in north London, we invited four panellists to shed further light on the issue and respond to challenging questions regarding the future of DMCs.
Our panellists were Martin Ellis, Managing Director at Team Umbrella Limited, Pauline Kwasniak, Founder and CEO at TurnedSee (who joined via a conference call from Derry), James Dowson, Managing Partner at The DMC Advantage and David Lovett-Hume, CEO at Asemblr. Event moderator and host of the Future in 15 Show Caleb Parker began the discussion by providing several examples of how technology is disrupting other industries, before placing our focus on DMCs.
To maintain an easy flow of this text, I decided not to quote any of the individual panellists and comments from the audience but instead present their ideas because it was a smooth conversation, with everyone complementing and adding to each other’s comments. Big thanks go to our knowledgeable panel and audience for the constructive discussion!
I met Melissa Critchley while working for the Event Marketing Association (EMA) in 2015 in London. At this time, she worked as an in-house event manager at one of the leading global law firms in London. Later on, I also had the pleasure of welcoming Melissa as a speaker at the Event Planners Talk event in 2016 about ‘buyer and supplier relationship — the decision-making process’. Since then, Melissa and I have stayed in a good relationship and follow each other’s career journeys around the world. When I moved to Heidelberg, and Melissa to New York almost two year ago, both of our careers took a new turn.
Looking back at my own career, I aspired to work as an in-house event planner in the financial or legal sector. But if you are new to the events industry, as I was back then, with little experience and no network, it’s very hard to set foot into the corporate event planning world because these jobs are rarely advertised, and a lot of it goes by word of mouth. After unsuccessful attempts to find such a job in the corporate event planning sector I just gave up, and by the time I figured out who’s who in the events industry, I decided to continue to work on this blog. That’s why I want to share this interview with you today about the exciting world of corporate event planning. That if you are reading this, and no matter what stage of your career you are in right now, it will be a useful guide and hopefully provide you with hints and tips about where to start. And if you already have this dream job, it will inspire you with new ideas, based on Melissa’s over 12 years’ experience in the corporate event world.
Melissa’s experience is international and she knows how to network like a pro. Since moving from the UK back to the US, she transitioned from in-house to the agency side, so I also asked her what the main differences are between these two geographic markets and between the in-house and agency roles. Melissa’s journey is very exciting, and she’s very active and knowledgeable at quickly adapting to new situations and progressing her career. I’m very excited to share this interview with you because it contains valuable information about career progression, trends and good business advice.
I’m sure that many of you have met Pauline Kwasniak, the Founder and CEO of TurnedSee, at one of the industry events, and if not face to face, then online. She is the queen of video on Facebook, and a true leader for encouraging the use of technology in the events industry. Hence, it is not a surprise that I first started chatting with Pauline on Twitter; we then met at IMEX Frankfurt this year, and keep in touch on social media to exchange knowledge and ideas. Her company TurnedSee connects corporate buyers with suppliers on the digital platform that she is currently developing, to help make the event planning process smoother. She is also a digital industry influencer who works with hotels and destinations and helps them connect with their target audience.
Previously, Pauline worked on the agency side, and as a millennial, she understood that there’s a gap in the market for a better venue sourcing experience. Being a target market herself back then, she felt that the current process is not good enough, and not sufficiently fast. She therefore realised that she needs to develop a platform that will fix this.
Pauline is also one of our speakers for next week’s collaborative Event Planners Talk and Future in 15 event at Allianz Park ‘Is the DMC dead’, joining us remotely via a conference call from Derry. Her mindset for innovation in technology, international experience and entrepreneurial spirit are contagious, and despite not being able to physically attend the live event, she has a very strong online presence that will make for a very interesting interactive video conference during the panel discussion.