This year I made a decision: to attend events that are not just for event professionals, and search for inspiration beyond the industry. Since the inception of my blog in 2011, I have focused heavily on industry events, with very few exceptions. Now, however, I find myself often criticising our own ways of organising events and conducting business. That sounds rather unusual, given that we are expected to be the leaders; the movers and shakers. Is that not the case?
I remember the early days, when I immersed myself in the industry, and every article, publication, event, and familiarisation trip offered a revelation about this wonderful industry. Few things have changed since 2011, and I have now reached a point where I wish to progress my personal development, and explore other, broader business fields that boost the global MICE industry and local economies.
I got to know Valerie from the time when I lived in London. She is always out and about and you can’t miss her big smile and contagious energy. Since 2013 she is the Managing Director at C – Wise, a UK based event agency and DMC and the driving force behind its global growth. Under her management, C – Wise has expanded into European, American, Asian and CIS markets, and that’s just the beginning as they have more plans to grow and diversify their products and services. It was a great pleasure hosting Valerie as a speaker at a recent Event Planners Talk session at the International Confex this year, and I was very impressed with her deep industry knowledge and understanding, as well as the ability to prioritise and identify business opportunities for her company. I was also impressed to know that she participated in the latest cohort of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme, a highly competitive and selective programme that supports entrepreneurs and small business owners with education and business support services. This programme is carefully designed to help entrepreneurs create jobs and drive economic growth within their communities. Here I’m delighted to share with you more about her journey and business advice.
Amsterdam came to my close attention after seeing that two event planners from my close network hosted events there in the past six months. I closely follow trends in destination selection and I was interested what is it in Amsterdam that it was selected. I’ve been to Amsterdam two times in the past on leisure, and therefore knew very little about it for MICE. When I was invited by Amsterdam Marketing to join a media trip organised in collaboration with Hilton and KLM from 22-23 July 2018, I gladly accepted, as I knew that it will bring extra value to you my readers. It seems that this city is currently on the pitch list!
On the 5th of July I attended an evening event organised by the Monaco Convention Bureau in Cologne. The event took place at The View Cologne, a prime location overlooking the landmark Cologne Cathedral. It was a small and intimate evening with about 35 guests to recreate what it’s like to actually host an event in Monaco. The theme, Unexpected Monaco, was consistent throughout the evening, from typical decoration to food, drinks and entertainment, with the Vice-World Champion of Mental Magic Lucca Key giving an engaging performance. After spending the busy IMEX Frankfurt with the Monaco Convention Bureau to report about all their latest news, this evening was laid back to soak in the Monégasque hospitality. I’m delighted to share with you the photos that I took on the night and let them to tell the story!
Diversity and women in events are two topics high on our agenda this year. It came to my attention early this year when I attended the Best of Events International in Dortmund and listed to Kerstin Wünsch, editor-in-chief at the German trade publication tw tagungswirtschaft and the co-founder of She Means Business conference that had its debut at IMEX Frankfurt this year.
In Dortmund Kerstin presented the results of a study conducted by tw tagungswirtschaft, m+a report and IMEX Group in 2017 called “Women in the events industry – on eye level with men?” and it was a packed session, clearly showing the interest to address the challenges women are facing across areas including salary, responsibility, freedom of action, career opportunities, training and trust.
After learning about this event, I attended She Means Business in May and it lived up to its expectations. Close to 400 participants attended the conference, out of which 10 percent were men. Kerstin is very involved in the events industry in Germany, where she is based, and when you meet her in person you will be also amazed how passionate, committed and engaged she is and a true leader advocating for more equality for women in the events industry.