Yesterday, myself and the rest of the Ashfield Meetings & Events’ sales support team attended the BNC Global Event Show in London.
After downloading the app (via Guidebook), perusing the exhibitors and earmarking the most pertinent seminars, the team descended on The Brewery. We were all set for a day of networking, aimed at improving product knowledge and staying abreast of all the latest innovations and developments across the industry, with a view to passing this expertise on to enhance clients’ events and meetings.
The event promised a rich array of networking opportunities with over 900 qualified event planners and 180 of the best suppliers from around the world. Keynote speakers and experts from the meetings and events industry hosted short seminars and discussions on the year’s hottest event topics, including creativity, engagement and the all-important ROI (with a side order of ROO and ROE).
The pre-event app on Guidebook was as slick as you’d expect and allowed me to set real-time reminders for seminars and an actionable checklist of stands to visit. Additional functionality allowed me to connect with other attendees and browse a bespoke Twitter feed.
I started my day by weaving my way between the Savoy, Corinthia, Visit Scotland, Zoological Society Of London and Manchester Central stands – all of whom can offer something completely different to our clients.
Meanwhile, Olivia Bostock (Sales Executive) was finding our long-standing partners at SpotMe full of useful ideas: “With an interest in the ways we efficiently measure the impact of our events I was looking forward to my meeting with Robert and Pierre at SpotMe. The dynamic duo walked me through the front-end and back office system showcasing a mountain of functionality to help increase engagement, interaction and networking at an event whist still incorporating qualitative and quantitative reporting capabilities. Interactive components such as the real-time word clouds, attendee-editable live presentations and Q&A augmented reality, create fun, engaging and barrier-free conversations between attendees and presenters. The constant development of functionality, often in collaboration with their clients’ third party operating systems, in my opinion made the app stand out from the crowd.”
Over at the tech talk on engagement through gaming, Craig Fletcher discussed how brands are utilising video game content as an engagement tool.
Rebecca Shipley (Sales Executive) waxed lyrical about the event’s programming: “One of the best parts of attending a trade show is when you receive all of your pre-event information and eagerly hunt through the list of exhibitors and seminars, circling all those of interest with the same enthusiasm that’s normally only reserved for the Radio Times at Christmas. Richard Alford’s seminar – Creativity Uncovered – immediately screamed out at me and I figured that if anyone was going to be able to help me discover some untapped creativity it was going to be the Managing Director of M&C Saatchi. Half-an-hour is a short amount of time to be able to ensure that you connect with all your attendees and provide excellent content but Alford had made the most of his slot with a presentation that was slick, simple and concise. Before attending the session if you had told me that Kim Kardashian’s rear end, Jean Claude Van Damme’s groin or Jeremy Corbyn could help to make my communications great I would have looked at you sceptically, but thanks to Alford’s charming and inspiring session, I came out fully engaged and ready to turn up the dials and be bold, unexpected and relevant.”
Julie Duffey (Project Manager), who was visiting from the U.S., said: “Being once removed from the UK market, my personal goal was to familiarise myself with unique concepts for off-site dinners, innovative event concepts and one-of-a-kind venues. I met representatives from Ideas Box with their incredible themed tricycles and innovative food concepts, I spoke with someone who rented the childhood home of Anne Boleyn for events and – as an American in London – the concept of double-moated Scottish castles from long ago was unreal to me.”
Janina Monaghan (Global Sales Support Manager) summarised the value of the event to the team, and ultimately our end clients: “The BNC Global Event Show ticked all the boxes by providing buyers with an opportunity to connect with quality suppliers, listen to insightful presentations and network with industry colleagues. But it is the way in which all of this was packaged and the attention to detail that made this a superior show. From the easel invitation and the eye-catching show guidebook to the choice of venue and lanyard design, these elements added to the overall experience and importantly, reaffirmed that going the extra mile will usually generate a positive outcome.”
Ewan Jamieson is Senior Sales Support at Ashfield Meetings & Events.