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.
End of last year I e-met on Twitter Pauline Kwasniak, the Ireland based founder of TurnedSee and we naturally started chatting about the industry. Being active in the digital space myself, I immediately felt that Pauline also “gets it”, and perhaps that’s why quickly we found a common language. She is one of the leading industry vloggers, and vlogs weekly on Facebook. The first video that I saw and caught my attention was called “If you are not visible to your potential clients on SOCIAL MEDIA you are ultimately INVISIBLE”. Since then I enjoy following her entrepreneurial journey and delighted to share it also with you here. This boss lady walks the talk and puts out an enormous amount of B2B content, on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and interacts with her community on a daily basis. I want to give her a big applause for her hustle online and offline.
Let’s start from the beginning, how did you get into the events industry?
I have been involved in events, since I was a little girl. Back in Poland, I was involved in various charity and local events. When I moved over to Ireland at 16, I did the same in school and college. After my graduation, I started to work with various events and corporate clients, before launching my own venues sourcing and groups hosting agency hotel4meetings.com. However, having worked with many corporate clients, I found it problematic to research unique venues and quickly match them with the client’s needs. Together with my team I have developed TurnedSee – which using our proprietary software can match the right buyer, to the right venues at the right time.
End of May I attended the Traverse Conference in Rotterdam, an event for bloggers, content creators, influencers and PR professionals. This was my first Traverse event, after attending their blogger sessions at the World Travel Market. This conference was aimed mainly at travel bloggers, and about 400 people attended the week-long event. It started officially on Monday the 21 May with mid-week events and the main conference took place on the weekend of 26 – 27 May. Additionally, there were co-working spaces for those who arrived earlier and wanted to get some work done. I arrived on Wednesday night, and stayed until Monday morning and that was the right time to experience the host destination Rotterdam and make the most out of my time there.
I think that the MICE industry can learn from what travel bloggers are doing as there are many overlaps. Bloggers are not only content creators, they are digital marketers who’ve build strong personal brands and communities. Similarly, event planners travel a lot; post photos from hotel rooms, food, incentives, so why not do it more strategically with the aim to sell their services or build a personal brand?
Therefore, I decided to share this post here with you to help you to showcase your work better online. As the lines between leisure and business travel blur, MICE suppliers should be paying even closer attention to what their leisure counterparts are doing when it comes to influencer marketing. The consumer journey begins early on social media, and the discovery starts. Social media plays an important part in how people will then interact and book their trips (business or leisure) and how they will spend their time at the destination.
But now let’s get to the content part. The content was excellent! It ranged from inspirational and creative tips for improving the blog to practical seminar sessions about how to improve technical aspects such as SEO, Adobe Lightroom, and perhaps the most exciting part for many bloggers, how to make money. There were four education streams simultaneously, and sometimes it was very hard to choose one!