With over 700 attendees, EventLAB 2017 brought together the very best of the events industry, for two days of keynote talks, panel discussions, workshops, masterclasses and networking sessions, alongside a showcase of the top venues and suppliers in the industry.
CodeNode, renowned for its focus on technology and education, provided the ideal setting for EventLAB 2017.
The Conference Stage: Tackling Event Industry Challenges
On EventLAB’s Conference Stage, our speakers examined the challenges faced by the events industry, looked at what the future might hold and discussed how the industry could be improved for event professionals.
Over the two days our speakers created high quality discussion, and thanks to Glisser’s audience engagement tool, delegates were able to easily engage with our speakers and panellists, posing questions and participating in polls.
Tackling the everyday challenges facing the events industry today was an important theme of EventLAB.
Security at events was a popular topic, particularly with the numerous threats and risks that have to be considered when hosting large events at public venues. Our panel provided advice and some enlightening discussion on what can be done to find the right balance between safety and maintaining the integrity of an event. As our panel suggested,
“Security should enhance an event, not constrict it.”
Alongside external challenges faced by the industry, it was important to address the internal challenges faced by professionals within the industry and what could be done to improve their working lives.
Our panel on wellbeing in the events industry ['How can we implement better wellbeing for events professionals] highlighted this need for change thanks to EventWell co-founders Helen Moon and Samme Allen leading the conversation.
“There’s huge danger that wellbeing is treated as a tick box...It’s important to understand where the change has to come from. Talk to each other, support each other and care for each other. Create the change you’re looking for.”
Colin Bullen, Habits at Work
Our experts also delved into the topic of women in leadership and how we, as an industry, can nurture and develop talent.
'Women in Leadership: What can we do to nurture industry talent and encourage career progression for women in events?' brought together a panel of experts to discuss what could be done to ensure everyone is given equal opportunity to excel and develop their talent. As Jenni Smallshaw, our panel moderator said:
“It’s not about being a woman it’s about having the right skills for the job”
Jenni Smallshaw, MD at Gil Dove & Associates
Excitingly, EventLAB was also an opportunity to look at the future of the industry and explore where events are headed. Alongside the significant implications of new and disruptive tech, it’s important to look at how our culture is changing and how this affects event expectations.
Virtual Reality has significant potential for both previewing venues while in the comfort of the office and as London Filmed highlighted on the day, providing unique entertainment to guests at events.
Alongside advances in hardware, the growth of AI is revolutionising the way in which events are organised. The disruptive potential for the way in which information can be smartly gathered and delivered to clients is huge.
“The Artificial Intelligence revolution is well under way. Data science teams are growing, technology is getting cheaper and importantly consumers expect everything on demand.”
Edward Poland, Co-Founder of Hire Space
Guests expectations at events are also shifting. Victoria Archbold highlighted that it is increasingly important to provide guests with experiences; millennial audiences, for example, are more receptive to brands that make a personal connection.
"We're in an age of escapism - £419.5 Million is spent on experiences every month"
"Think about how you can involve people in events - get people joining in, not looking in"
Victoria Archbold, Director - Events and Sponsorship, Hearst Live
EventLAB, was also an opportunity to share skills and knowledge between events professionals and facilitate connections. The workshops provided informative opportunities to develop skills and learn best practice approaches to different areas of the industry. From Andy Bagnall’s popular workshop on what Brexit would mean for the events industry to 'How to Position Your Brand in a Busy Market Place' led by Hire Space’s own Edward Poland and Marcus Stanway-Williams.
The interactive networking sessions, hosted by EventLAB partners, were a unique offering at the event. Their relaxed atmosphere allowed for enjoyable networking opportunities while having some fun, be it sushi making, learning sleight of hand magic or discovering VR games.
Excitement buzzed, throughout CodeNode, as our wonderful exhibitors met venue bookers. From Lick Me I’m Delicious’s marvellous Nitro Ice Cream and Edible Bubble stands, to glamorous venues and luxury events suppliers, delegates were entertained throughout the day by our partners and sponsors.
The aim of EventLAB was to bring together the very best of the events industry for two days of learning and discover. With a focus on content, the event provided delegates with actionable take-aways, opportunities for skills enhancement and a platform for engaging and provocative discussion.
The first EventLAB marks the very beginning of our journey delivering high quality content for events professionals, designed to help drive our industry into a new era and we couldn’t be more excited. We’ve already started planning EventLAB 2018 and can’t wait to see what the future holds.
“Hugely enjoyed the conference, unexpectedly valuable and I will definitely be along next year.”
Global Head of Partnerships, HER
“The team were fantastic to work with and it was such a well organised event. I met some good contacts across the exhibitors and the delegates over the two days.”
Director, Ta Dah Furniture [sponsor]
“I really enjoyed EventLab…I was able to speak with each exhibitor and really understand what is out there in the world of events. Would definitely attend again!”
Events and Sponsorship Manager, Trade Association Forum
“I thoroughly enjoyed the event thank you. My workshop was fantastic and very well put together and presented”
Event Marketing Executive, Association of Business Recovery Professionals
If you'd like to get involved in EventLAB 2018 you can register your interest here.