Industry events

Pitching: Social media is the best sales and marketing tool for small event agencies – Interview with Sabrina Meyers, founder of Orchid Lily Events

Large and small agencies approach the pitching process differently. While the large, well-established agencies can employ vast resources when it comes to labour and capital, smaller agencies have limited resources with which to pitch, therefore constantly thinking outside the box to be creative on a small budget.

Our next event, ‘Pitching for success: pitfall and opportunities’ takes place on 21 February at Allianz Park in London in collaboration with the Future in 15 Show. In the lead-up, we are gathering feedback from event planners across the industry that will inform suitable discussion and appropriate questions about the challenges faced by event managers around the world when it comes to pitching. 

After an insightful interview with Kevin Jackson, the founder of The Experience is the Marketing, I wanted to explore the approach to pitching by very small agencies, that is, usually an agency where the owner is the main employee and the ‘face’ of the business. For this topic, I interviewed Sabrina Meyers, the founder of Orchid Lily Events. Based in Cologne, Germany, she is most probably known for her YouTube channel and social media presence as Hot Hospitality Exchange. It is no surprise that we also met via Twitter less than a year ago.

Sabrina and I both have small businesses, so we hosted an Instagram Live chat, sharing our experience and discussing what pitching means for business such as ours. 

‘Tomorrow starts today’ – attending the first edition of Day One event in Monaco, 28–30 November 2018

From 28–30 November 2018, I was in Monaco to attend Day One, a new annual event that had its debut at the Grimaldi Forum. This was my last business trip of the year, and one that I was highly looking forward, having worked with the Monaco Convention Bureau this year and attending several of their events in Germany, including joining them at IMEX Frankfurt, and a networking event in Cologne. It has been a very insightful experience to learn about their latest campaigns, venue openings, renovations and future plans.

One piece of news which particularly stood out for me was the new focus on digital transformation. At the press conference at IMEX Frankfurt, Sandrine Camia, Director of the Monaco Convention Bureau, informed the international press about the opening of a new incubator and accelerator for start-ups, the Monacotech. With the current strength of Monaco with respect to health, finance and sustainable development, this incubator will also help to breach out to other sectors, while at the same time supporting existent sectors and broadening economic diversity. 

Another important example of how Monaco fosters innovation and gains a competitive edge in technology and digital transformation is by attracting events such as Day One. This event brought together decision-makers to create a vision and action plan for the new economy. The most talented, ambitious and disruptive businesses came to Monaco for two days and made things happen. 

The idea to create and bring the Day One event to Monaco came less than two years ago from the French tech pioneer and entrepreneur Denis Jacquet. After I interviewed Denis and learnt about the story behind his vision for Day One, it was fascinating and a big honour to be there in person.

The many reasons why agencies should not pitch and how to build relationships in B2B – interview with Kevin Jackson, Founder of The Experience is The Marketing

Pitching has been a hot topic in the events industry since I can remember. It can be a costly process, and therefore must be approached wisely. The beginning of the year is when we aim to acquire new clients and grow our businesses. Therefore, we have decided to host the next Event Planners Talk x Future in 15 event on 21 February at Allianz Park in London. The event concerns pitching, more specifically, ‘Pitching for success: pitfalls and opportunities’. As you will soon read in this interview article, for a reputable agency, the cost of pitching is between 15,000–20,000 GBP, but the good news is, if you can recognise a toxic pitch, you will be in a position to say more often ‘no’ to pitching then ‘yes’, and that approach will improve your success rates. 

Let me introduce you to Kevin Jackson. He is a pitching veteran and the founder of The Experience is The Marketing. Kevin will give a Q & A keynote at the event. His agency specialises in growth, and thanks to his impressive resume of clients across various industries and disciplines around the world, he brings a fresh and forward-looking perspective that helps customers stay ahead of the game and win new business. 

I interviewed Kevin on Instagram Live ahead of his keynote and here share with you the takeaway points from our discussion. 

Attendee safety must be paramount — online community of event planners addresses multiple theft incidents at IBTM Barcelona 2018

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.

Day One Event in Monaco: a movement that will bring decision-makers to create a vision and action plan for the new economy – Interview with founder Denis Jacquet

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?