Wrapping up 2016 and getting ready for 2017 couldn’t be more exciting. This year was very important for me and the blog and all what I have done over the past five years finally materialised.
I started the blog in 2011 as a hobby. Over the past years I did an event management degree, volunteered at events, did internships and was employed. When I started the blog my aim was to network with the global events community and share my experiences. Over the years it evolved, and by recognising gaps in the market in event education, my goal became to create educational content for event professionals. This I achieved with #EventPlannersTalk Twitter chat and Live Events.
I started #EventPlannersTalk Twitter chat in 2014 and now it takes place weekly every Monday from 9-10pm UK Time. Recognising the need to connect the online and offline communities, in 2015 the first #EventPlannersTalk Live Event took place. I started small and held only three events in the first year with the support of Late Night London.
To kick off this year, I decided to work on the blog full time. That was the right decision in the right time. I was eager to implement several ideas I had in mind and knew it will require full commitment.
My major focus was #EventPlannersTalk Live Events, and in 2016 I partnered with Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau, EEF Venue Broadway House , Atout France and Etihad Airways to deliver four successful #EventPlannersTalk Live Events.
This, and many other moments made this year awesome. Here is my year in overview.
Four #EventPlannersTalk Live events
Throughout the year four #EventPlannersTalk Live Events took place.
First event was in partnership with Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau (SCIB) and was about the buyer and supplier relationship and the decision making process. It took place at SCIB London Offices in Covent Garden and welcomed corporate, agency and association planners.
We discussed the role of national Convention Bureau, the need for bespoke packages and increasing customer expectations, what influences the choice of destination and other aspects. Read the full story here.
Second event took place at the stunning Broadway House (Part of EEF Venues) and was about pitching and what clients are looking for. We spoke about how destinations bid for international events and shared best tips to help planners prepare and win pitches. Read event write up here.
Third event was in partnership with Atout France and the topic was the changing landscape of corporate networking. The event took place in the offices of Atout France in London near Holborn. The discussion was about how to facilitate networking opportunities for different delegate personalities, different formats and organiser’s role in facilitating networking opportunities. This and more you can read here.
Finally, forth event was with Etihad Airways about the role of airlines, added value and the decision making process in MICE travel. The event took place in the Presidential Suite of the London Marriott Hotel County Hall. We discussed what options are available for event agencies who don’t book flights themselves or aren’t IATA members, how small and medium-sized (SMEs) event agencies can benefit from working with an airline like Etihad Airways, what guides bookers’ decision making process and challenges. You can view event photos here.
I will continue with hosting #EventPlannersTalk Twitter chats and Live events. I can’t reveal it yet, but I have one confirmed already for next year. The focus next year will be on expanding internationally and hosting them at multiple locations.
Four fam trips
This year we travelled to Munich, Copenhagen, Prague, Bern and Interlaken. This was also the first year that someone else represented The MICE Blog abroad, in Copenhagen and Prague.
Next year I would like to increase the number of fam-trip and showcase more destinations on the blog.
Launch of The MICE Blog YouTube channel
Something that I wanted to do for over a year now finally materialised this year. It took me long time to get my head around video but this year I said no more excuses. I need more time to learn how to edit, but the most important step – to get started – is behind.
In addition, I partnered with experienced videographer, Melissa Van der Haak. She edited my filming from #EventPlannersTalk Live event with Atout France, filmed and edited #EventPlannersTalk Live event with Etihad Airways and made the destination spotlight Prague. She is very talented and we’ll continue this collaboration to bring you more video content next year.
Next year I will increase my time spent working on video content. Each major event or conference which I or someone from my team will attend we will produce video content or live stream the session.
Please subscribe to The MICE Blog YouTube channel and keep in touch.
My move to Germany
Major personal event this year was that I moved to Heidelberg, Germany. Reason for the move was my partner’s job and since I can work from anywhere we took this step. I feel grateful that I had the opportunity to live, study and work in London for five years and build my blog. London is an amazing city, so international, dynamic, creative and fast pace. There is no other place in the world that can offer #eventprofs such an ecosystems of knowledge, networking, inspiration and ideas.
I feel so grateful to have met many inspiring, talented and hardworking people most of whom I can now call friends. See you soon!
With the growing blog audience I decided that now it’s time for a change. I was limited with what I can do with the old template and was looking for one that offers the functionality I need.
Furthermore, with the new template I wanted to put focus on #EventPlannersTalk Live events. I liked that the new template has a “featured post” feature, so I can keep the write-ups from past events on top of the page. Additionally, this feature will allow me to showcase sponsored posts.
This was also about time to make order with the categories. When I first created the different categories I tried to be everything for everyone (but still keeping is corporate of course).
As a result of studying my analytics and audience I decided to group all the categories into five: #EventPlannersTalk, education, MICE destinations, sustainability, team building and venues.
International speaking engagement
This year I spoke at multiple universities across the UK, and was especially honoured to have one international opportunity to speak to Diploma in Leisure & Events Management students from Temasek Polytechnic Singapore. They invited me to speak about blogging and social media during their study trip in London. You can catch up on out Q & A session here.
Blog post every day in November
As part of last year’s resolutions, I committed to blog every day during one month. I always found it difficult to blog every day because I go to many events, and sometimes twice a day and fam-trips with tight schedules. This is in addition to daily admin work. Hence, it felt almost impossible to blog daily. As a result of making my resolutions public in a post I sticked to it and made it. It was definitely a challenge but something I would like to repeat next year. You can read about my experience here.
Lastly, I want to say big thank you to everyone who supported the blog this year. Thank you for being such an engaged community on the blog, social media and attending events. See you in 2017!!
Happy New Year!!