More than 140 delegates – 35% suppliers and 65% buyers – gathered for the conference, which took place at the ACC Liverpool.
Following a keynote speech from David Parrish, business consultant and author, delegates attended sessions on the psychology behind events, immersive experiences, the science of branding, communications and storytelling. Speakers included Abigail Wood, vice president, personal and corporate banking affairs, Barclays, Vicky Bullen, CEO of Coley Porter Bell, as well as representatives from Leeds Beckett University and Creative Culture.
"From a content perspective it was great to have input from sectors we wouldn’t usually hear from," said Luke Flett, head of global marketing at Ashfield Meetings & Events. "Things like the psychology of events and employee engagement aren’t what we’d usually hear about. The diverse membership and range of speakers means we can take ideas from other sectors and apply them to our own industry."
For Clare Murrell, account manager at Bluehat Group, the event highlighted existing ideas from a fresh angle. "As a teambuilding organisation, we want our clients to be 100% engaged. The session on immersion was really useful for me because that gives me ideas on how to do that. There’s been lots of focus on happiness at work and engaging with all employees across an organisation." She added that a happy workforce reflected positively on clients, particularly in such a relationship-based industry. "The employee engagement sessions were interesting.
From a corporate perspective, Barclays’ Abigail Wood said the event provided the opportunity to get down to the nitty gritty of the latest event themes. "It covered lots of things we’re all broadly aware of," she explained. "But there was lots of new information to take away and apply - for example the psychology of events. I’ve come away with lots of new ideas of how to engage staff, and test how engaged employees are." She added that one of her favourite ideas was sending two event invites, to see which gets a better response. "It’s been great to hear so many different perspectives from different sectors."
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