International Confex, the Event Production Show and PA Show have drawn to a close, after two days of inspiring panel discussions and events industry networking.
The three co-located events were bathed in glorious February sunshine through the glass windows of London Olympia – a stark contrast to last year’s event when the Beast from the East struck.
Day one highlights included former Pop Idol winner and actor Will Young, speaking about the challenges of coming out publicly, and the how the music industry has changed to accommodate different forms of gender and sexuality in the last 18 years.
A quartet of leading figures from the exhibition industry joined EN editor Nicola Macdonald for a panel titled “The acquisition checklist” later on day one. The group discussed past, present and future trends in acquisitions to a packed out crowd at the EN pavilion.
Silverstream provided live streaming coverage of the event (to complement the web coverage of yours truly) across all the Mash Media websites, and huge broadcasting screens in the centre of the show floor kept a buzzing atmosphere going throughout the two days.
Day one ended with social sessions at each of the Mash magazine pavilions, leading into an exhibitor drinks in the main hall of EPSs. This provided the largest gathering of event professionals with a chance to meet, network and make the connections which will drive their businesses forward throughout 2019.
Day two kicked off with a highlight on EPS’ main stage, where music industry stalwart Harvey Goldsmith divulged some tales from a legendary career which has seen him work with Queen, The Rolling Stones and David Bowie.
He told us the story of how he organised Live Aid alongside Bob Geldof, discussed the value of remaining independent, and looked to the future with some thoughts about RFID technology at festivals and gigs.
Politician and journalist Alastair Campbell took to the main stage of Confex shortly after, delivering a ‘state of the nation’ update on Brexit, Donald Trump, and more. He discussed the changing nature of media, and the importance of being politically active: “if you leave politics to someone else, it might not get done the way you want.”
There were plenty of eye-catching exhibitors to be found as you wandered the show floor, too – from colourful ball pits to bubble machines, tribal drums and reflective glass costumes.
Panel discussions about women in events and the future of our industry closed out day two, touching upon some key social issues the events industry is facing.
International Confex, the Event Production Show and PA Show all proved a resounding success this year, providing industry experts and newcomers alike with all the ground-breaking ideas and unique exhibitors needed to deliver incredible events, and push the industry forward.
We hope you made it to London Olympia to visit and say hi to the team at Mash Media. We’re all looking forward to taking a deep breath and relaxing a little in the wake of our triple-show extravaganza – we’ve all been working hard to make sure we can deliver you the best event possible.
If you didn’t make it, you can always catch us next year at our new home, when we move out of Olympia and into ExCeL London for the 2020 editions of Confex, EPS and the PA Show.
We hope to see you there!