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.
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.
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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