And so we’re already in December and it’s time to write my “year in review” post. I do this each year to reflect on all the business activities and thank to all the partners and event attendees. It’s been a phenomenal year, fast paced and exciting. It brought new networking opportunities, innovative ideas and few last minute projects that turned out to be very successful.
We hosted three #EventPlannersTalk events, worked on two social media campaigns, travelled internationally and attended industry events, and the year is not over yet! Let’s look closer at each activity.
#EventPlannersTalk live events
This year the event series was in its third year, and we held three events in total. First one took place in May in partnership with Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau. The innovative format saw two events taking place simultaneously – one in Frankfurt and one in London about values in the events industry. The discussion looked at how the various stakeholders: customers, employees, suppliers and competitors can work better together to achieve win-win results.
The second event took place in September at the Caledonian Club about fam trips and hosted buyers programmes and whether they need to change. Following an attendee “black list” that circulated among industry professionals it was time to question whether we are getting the right people to attend our events. As the live discussion developed the audience wanted to focus on fam trips so we hope to do a follow up event with focus on hosted buyer programmes.
The third event took place this month at Bold London, a design led creative meeting room to inspire creativity and collaboration among event participants. It was just about right to have the event there about creative and innovative venue design. A small group of event planners met at the venue and the rest joined online and both audiences answered the questions simultaneously. It was fast paced but also very interesting and exciting to test this innovative format. We should definitely repeat it soon.
This year I was honoured to lead the #BizinFrance campaign for Atout France and the different activities attached to it, including content development, management of social media channels and influencer engagement. We achieved phenomenal results being the first MICE destination to strategically engage influencers. The highlight was during IMEX where we ran two educational session, first about “how start-ups can improve the MICE experience” and second about “future architecture projects in France and automotive events”.
The first session looked into the opportunities (and risks) for established MICE companies working with star-ups. VizEat for example, or best described as the Airbnb of dining experience is one of the most prominent examples of how start-ups can bring innovation into the corporate event space. With them attendees can have local and authentic experience dining at locals’ homes. Second session looked at how venues can support event planners with car launch events. France offers many historic venues, and many more to open in the next years with architectural significance. As event planners we always look for the next big thing, so how is it best to work with such venues? Kevin Jackson, CEO of Experience is The Marketing, interviewed Christian Seidenstücker, CEO at JOKE Event AG and discussed many different aspects. If to pick one takeaway from this session I would say that’s the last question about what the future holds for venues and automotive events? They brought the topic of connectivity that goes beyond just getting the people in the room but including livestreaming, social sharing, endorsements etc. The investment in events is very big and therefore it’s not enough to say that we reached just the people in the room.
The campaign was featured in Skift, the leading business travel publication.
To successfully conclude the campaign we also held an event in London about corporate hospitality in France.
Second campaign later in the year was #EverythingIsCloser with Visit Denmark. I discovered my love for video and was very excited to read the brief that required producing a video. This included a short trip to Copenhagen to document the 24 hours experience. Last time I was in Copenhagen was in 2014, and it was exciting to be back and see some of the newest developments and venues. Me and my audience on social media agreed that the Krane was the highlight. The Krane is an old coal container turned meeting space and luxury hotel.
But I also loved to see other venues I haven’t come across anywhere else, such as the Østergro, the urban garden, and Kulturtårnet, a former bridge tower turned small and creative meeting space. Most memorable room was the “feel the nature” room, where they actually had real leaves and warm autumn colours to stimulate all the senses.
SITE event in Munich & ITB in Berlin
I live 1.5 years in Germany now, and Germany is the second biggest market in Europe after the UK with key industries and companies that are driving innovation in the event space. This year I started travelling a bit around the country to expand my network and keep up to date with recent trends. Two highlights this year were the SITE event in Munich and the ITB Berlin. In Munich we visited the Jochen Schweizer Arena. Jochen Schweizer is a well-known German entrepreneur and just recently opened his own venue. The venue was a highlight, but even more highlight was to meet Jochen Schweizer in person and take a selfie.
Second event I attended was the ITB Berlin. I think that a very interesting trend is happening now in our industry, and that is that MICE and leisure trade shows start to merge. Famous for being the major B2B leisure travel show, this year there was very strong MICE presence there, with a SITE event and the MICE Day. Next year the MICE Day is going to be even bigger and add a MICE Night for more networking opportunities. I was surprised to bump into my MICE colleagues, as none of us thought that we’ll see each other there. It was a great show, but I was shocked (even though I booked last minute) how difficult and expensive it was to book accommodation in such a big city as Berlin. I feel lucky to say that in the end I found a central hostel for 135 Euros for both nights. So if you plan your trip there and want a bit more comfort, book early in advance.
This year was my first year vlogging and I actually like it. My vlogging series is called The MICE Blog Diaries and I’ll mainly report from events. This year I released three so far and can’t wait to do more next year. Make sure to subscribe to my channels not to miss an episode.
Meeting Trophy in Switzerland
This year I participated in the annual flagship fam trip organised by Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau to the eastern part of Switzerland, the Meeting Trophy. We visited the famous Schaffhausen, St. Gallen, Flims and Zurich. Eight international teams and around 80 participants competed for the trophy but team France won in the end. What did I like the most? I was impressed by the variety of all the transport means we used throughout the trip, and most of them public. Another highlight was the Swiss evening in the mountains in Flims with traditional food, music and the beautiful mountain view and Apline air. If your delegates are from the big city this sort of activity and location is a must.
With this I wrap up this year, but I don’t put an out of office email 🙂 Already now I’m working on few exciting projects to reveal in the New Year. To give you a little teaser, some of the activities will include:
- To buy a new camera and do more event video and photography.
- Host more #EventPlannersTalk events. I will focus less on the number of events but will aim to make them more innovative and try to “reach the people outside the room” as mention above.
Industry events I plan to attend in 2018:
- Best of Events International in Dortmund, January
- MICE day at ITB Berlin, March
- IMEX Frankfurt, May
If you’re attending any of these get in touch.
I’d like to say huge thank you to all who attended one of the Event Planners Talk events or invited me to their events, chatted with me on Twitter, liked or shared my Instagram or Facebook posts or left comments and read my blog. It was a great pleasure working with you this year and I look forward to seeing you and working with you in the New Year! Keep in touch 🙂
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! !
Header photo: Meeting Trophy, Mattias Nutt