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Thousands gathered to be informed and inspired at the co-located industry events, International Confex and Event Production Show at Olympia, London on 18th and 19th February. The shows impressed visitors with a mix of interactive activities, dynamic content and networking opportunities, and visitors showed their appreciation on Twitter.
@MixologyGroup: Great day at @IntlConfex today, met some amazing people and made some great contacts #eventprofs Well worth the visit.
@_RockBox_: What a Great few Days we have had! Thank you to every1 who saw us @EventProdShow this week @_RockBox_ had a great time!!
@uk_AIM: It's been a fantastic 2 days @IntlConfex. We would like to thank everyone who made it such an great experience and visited our AIM Pavilion
The shows featured a strong line-up of speakers, including Clare Balding, Greg Shaw, Gerald Ratner and Wayne Hemingway.
Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for events, Nick de Bois MP, spoke on day one of International Confex about the need for the Olympics and rugby world cup to be a catalyst for the growth of international events in Britain. In an interview with Alistair Turner, Davies Tanner PR director, he also urged the industry to fund the British Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) so that it could become a voice for the industry to lobby for change in government on issues affecting the sector.
Leading television sports presenter, Clare Balding, who replaced Kelly Hoppen MBE as a keynote speaker, shared her experiences of working on some of the UK’s major sporting events and spoke about Britain’s talent for delivering world class events. Her speech was met with a large and appreciative audience:
@IntlConfex: Keynote speaker @clarebalding standing room only #DestinationConfex #eventprofs
Technology was massively on the agenda at both shows. The Technology Theatre at Confex was expanded this year due to popular demand and featured educational sessions on new and emerging technologies such as iBeacons, wearable technologies, holographics and projection mapping. At the Event Production Show the focus on technology increased phenomenally to reflect the increased use of technology in events and a number of sessions were dedicated to technology in the Line Out Theatre such as the use of technology to enhance visitor experience and engagement.
The Technovation Station gave visitors the chance to get hands-on experience of new event technologies and Tech tables offered visitors the opportunity to ask the experts for advice and guidance covering a wide variety of event technologies.
New event tech was introduced to the market at the shows, with mobile event app specialist DoubleDutch releasing its ‘Event Performance’ real time analytics platform, designed to get organisers closer to their audience to improve event outcomes. Glisser demonstrated how presentations can become more interactive and engaging by letting the audience voice opinions with slide-by-slide ‘like’ voting, live audience questions, comments and Tweets, as well as polling slides integrated seamlessly within the original deck. Confex showcased Microsoft’s Bing Pulse, a self-service audience engagement tool that enables live voting; using it during the Association Events Forum and some of the sessions in the keynote theatre to gauge audience feedback in real-time.
Organisers, Mash Media, were delighted with the response from the industry, with Event director Liz Agostini commenting: “It’s been another successful show for our exhibitors and another demonstration of the value this industry puts in having a forum that brings the industry together under one roof.
“When visitor figures are finalised and fully collated, we are likely to see a double-digit percentage increase in visitor attendance, with crossover strong between the three shows. It’s been a great result for the future of this show.”