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The Meetings Show

The Meetings Show 2016 – my diary

Last month I attended The Meeting Show, one of the important shows in Europe for the MICE sector. The event always takes place in Olympia London and has very similar format to the IMEX (Frankfurt) and IBTM (Barcelona). The show runs for three days but I only attended it on Wednesday, the second day, this year. I attended as trade visitor and not Hosted Buyer, therefore I thought the second day will be the best choice. On first day exhibitors and Hosted Buyers are very busy with pre scheduled appointments so if you want to talk to any of the exhibitors it will be challenging! Third day of the exhibition, on the other hand, is when everyone is tired, exhausted and wants to go home, so I try to avoid having important appointments on the last day of trade shows.

Even though very short this year, I think my visit was very successful and I was happy to see industry friends and colleagues. I saw colleagues from oversees and regardless how often we chat on social media and email, seeing people face-to-face is very important to discuss future projects. It also establishes trust and strengthens relationships.

I usually don’t attend exhibitions as Hosted Buyer, which means I’m very flexible to schedule my own appointments and attend as many education sessions as I want to. But visiting any exhibition, especially international ones, requires some planning. Here I share with you some tips I follow when I attend them.

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First of all, I establish contact with exhibitors or other delegates pre-event. Some contacts you might know from existing business so then you can just stop by and catch up on latest news. Others you might know from social media, by having previous conversations, participating in Twitter chats or finding out via event hashtag who’s there to say hello or take a selfie.

Another effective way to establish contact is by being introduced. When you are being introduced, the person making the introduction believes that you both might have a business opportunity so it’s an ice breaker for both parties. Sometimes it works but sometimes it doesn’t, so you should approach it with an open mind.

Social media can increase your networking opportunities. I highly recommend networking with individuals and companies, and when I say network, don’t just “like” of “retweet” on social media, but engage in a conversation, comment on what they are saying and bring value.

Secondly, have you elevator pitch ready. There is no time for small talk and exhibitors have very little time until next appointment so be respectful of exhibitors’ time. In 1 – 2 minutes’ pitch you should say who you are, what’s the nature of your business, what do you want and how you can both work together.

I wish I could stay longer but this time it wasn’t possible. I can’t wait until next time I’ll attend an international show, that will be probably IMEX Frankfurt next year!

The Meetings Show 2014: Impressions From the Exhibition Floor

This year was the second time The Meetings Show took place at the Olympia Conference Centre and the first one I attended. With discussions and predictions that shows are getting smaller, planned more short-term and becoming more regional, I questioned if a third major show in Europe, after EIBTM and IMEX Frankfurt is really necessary. When I arrived at the show I wasn’t surprised to find out that some of the major European destinations, such as Switzerland and Germany didn’t present this year. But anyway I wasn’t there for that and if I need information about a destination I have my contacts ready. My two aims at the show were networking and education seminars. I attended the show on the first two days and here are some of the impressions:

Seminars/ Panel Discussions

Some of the sessions were very good, in particular the panel discussing on the topic “How to Manage Agencies ‘Friend or Foe’?” and “Breaking Through – Women, Leadership and the Glass Ceiling”. At the first one, two corporate planners shared how they manage the relationship and communication with their agencies. If I can share with you one takeaway from the talk, that was mentioned by Elisabeth Kaufman De Tone from Institutional Investors, she said that she “won’t google her suppliers and relies on word of mouth”. Maybe SEO is not everything!

The second panel was around the topic of #womeninevents campaign. If you read the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, you’ll be familiar with some of the topics we discussed such as family vs. career, finding a mentor and leadership. Another good panel was “Accreditation & Certification – A waste of time or a must have?” and Caitlin from I’m a Damn Student, What do I Know? wrote about it on her blog.

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© The MICE Blog


Above all I enjoyed the networking at the show. Not only I met old colleagues from the industry but was also introduced to new eventprofs, some of which I knew from twitter and finally met in person. On the first night, Caitlin and I also attended a Caribbean party organised by Sandals Resorts at the Jamaican High Commission in South Kensington. On the second day I finally met Becki from Events Northern Ltd and event blogger  after e-meeting her on twitter last year and we had lots to talk about.

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© The MICE Blog

Industry News

The industry newcomer is the online platform MICEBOOK which was introduced for the first time at the show. The platform provides events planners with an online destination, venue and supplier research and enquiry tool. The innovative aspect is that in comparison to other venue finders or search portals, this tool allows data and knowledge retention, in the way that planners can share notes on the website which other users can also see.  Some people have asked me if MICEBOOK is related to my blog, and the answer is no. We’re two independent organisations.

To conclude, the best part of the event was networking, both with colleagues and exhibitors. I wish The Meetings Show will have a stronger seminar program next year, maybe also with key note speakers, so I will decide to come on all three days.

Did you attend The Meetings Show? When you attend a trade show, what are your aims and objectives?

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