Representatives from agencies including ATPI, First Event, We Are Events, In2Events and Make Happen were among the 50 event profs who gathered at the uber cool Hotel Brooklyn for micebook’s first Manchester event last week.
The event, hosted in partnership with London Convention Bureau, featured an afternoon of discussion covering around current trends including hybrid versus live, sustainability, and Covid testing, followed by an evening reception and networking.
Our expert industry panel featured:
Richard Murphy, Group Managing Director, First Event
Michael Gwilliam, Director, XSEM
Kathy Bradley, Groups Director, All About Flights
Neil Thompson, Founder & MD, The Delegate Wranglers
Dave Greaves, MD & Founder, Make Happen
The panel kicked off discussing the current challenges around group international travel, with different testing requirements in each destination, and making sure you have all the right paperwork particular issues.
This is where agencies can prove their value in supporting the client and delegates with all the additional admin and logistics requirements. However, the panel did concede that upcoming changes to travel regulations in the UK should ease some challenges.
First Event’s Richard Murphy shared a case study of a guest getting Covid onsite at an international event and the knock-on effect this had on resources on the ground, with one team member taken out of the programme to deal with testing and contacting the relevant authorities, informing the client etc, as that guest was required to isolate.
Murphy, and All About Flights’ Bradley, both stressed the need for crisis management and advised putting in additional resources to manage potential Covid cases. “It’s inevitable that you could end up with someone coming down with Covid, so it makes sense to have that extra pair of hands on-site just in case,” said Bradley.
The discussion also covered the growth of virtual and hybrid versus live and what the future holds, with XSEM’s Michael Gwilliam predicting that in the longer-term, major corporates will opt for more virtual or hybrid solutions because they are taking sustainability seriously. The consensus was that there is a place moving forward for both live and virtual, with right solution offered for each event based on the clients’ objectives.
Our other partners for the event included Singapore Tourism Board and Hotel Brooklyn.