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The Event Industry News podcast, the leading portal for event organisers


<b>The latest episode of the Event Industry News podcast welcomed General Manager for Protec </b><b><i>Richard </i></b><b><i>Bellia</i></b><b>. Joining the podcast from his base in Dubai via video link, Richard highlighted some of the challenges faced by the company when delivering events in one of the world’s richest and most demanding regions.</b>

Despite the frequent assumption that there are bottomless budgets available for events in Dubai, Richard identifies some of the simple burdens placed on production companies. These include the toll taken on equipment due to the extreme climate and the reality of still having to exceed expectation regardless of the size of budget involved.

During the podcast, he also explains the different approaches that must be taken in order execute events in some of the world’s most luxurious buildings, whilst giving insight to the improved standards of safety that are now enforced throughout the region.

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Event Director Judith Wilson joined the Event Industry News podcast to talk about the forthcoming EVENTIT Scottish Events Expo in Glasgow. Having relocated to the recently re-branded Scottish Events Campus (SEC), the second year of the event features significantly more exhibitors and an expanded conference programme.

During the podcast, Judith explained how and why the first event was created, and what to expect from this year’s show.

“Until last year there wasn’t an opportunity for the events and festival supply chain in Scotland to showcase themselves to the event and festival buyers, so we decided to fill that gap. A lot of people were looking in to see how we performed, but it obviously hit all the right markers as it’s really taken off for year two. Last year we had just over 1,000 people register and two learning strands, which received huge interest. I think that possibly this was because there isn’t as much opportunity in Scotland for event professionals to be able to get some training outside of their actual job. Thus, that particular element has doubled for the 2017 show.”

EVENTIT, The Scottish Events Expo, takes place on Thursday 9th March. Further details about the event are available by listening to or watching the full podcast episode.

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Alistair Turner - president of the UK chapter of the International Live Events Association – joined the Event Industry News podcast this week to discuss the forthcoming UK Events Week.

Centred around International CONFEX and the Event Production Show at London Olympia, UK Events Week will bring together events from many different sectors in order to further raise the profile of the UK events industry.

During the podcast, host James Dickson also welcomed brand and experiential marketing expert Melissa Noakes, who previewed the conference session she is due to moderate during International CONFEX. The session – titled ‘The Brand View: Facing the future – how have brands adapted to the changing landscape?’ – aims to highlight the competitive marketplace of brand-staged events, and the value that live events can bring to brands.

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The latest episode of the Event Industry News podcast focusses on the forthcoming ‘mock’ trial that has been organised by the A.C.T. (National) Ltd. The staged prosecution of an events company will be based on a real case and will utilise the actual documentation that would be required in a real trial.

Speaking as a guest on the podcast, A.C.T. (National) Ltd’s group director Chris Woodford explained that the event could only go ahead due to the quality of the personnel that have agreed to participate.

“The IOSH Sports Grounds & Events Group and Magdalen Chambers have been instrumental in assisting us with the set-up of this event. Our aim was always to make it as realistic as possible, so having the chambers involved means we’ve got real barristers going about the process in the same way they would in a real trial. As an industry, the UK should be extremely proud of the safety record that its event professionals have. However, we spend a lot of time telling people that they could face prosecution if they don’t adhere to safe practice procedures, and virtually no time showing them exactly what that would actual entail.”

Further information about the date and venue for the mock trial is available by listening to the podcast, along with information on how to register as an attendee.

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In this episode of Talking Events we welcomed backed Co-founder & CEO of Grip, Tim Groot to discuss the subject of beacons and whether it could be a short-lived technology. 

Beacons have received an increasing level of hype and coverage in the last couple of years for the way in which they can help to push information to users, with the added ability to create indoor navigation by using multiple beacons within a given area. 

However, podcast host James Dickson asked Tim whether beacon technology could face a similar fate to the MiniDisc format, that was superseded relatively quickly by the rise of digital audio files and digital audio players like the iPod. 

Giving a unique and insightful opinion on how he sees things progressing, Tim explains his concerns about their longevity.

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The latest episode of the Talking Events podcast welcomed co-founder and CEO of Grip, Tim Groot.  

The company launched in April 2015 and built the first artificial intelligence (AI) powered event matchmaking system, and has subsequently worked with some of the world’s leading meeting, exhibition, and conference organisers to help connect their attendees in a more effective way. 

The Grip service is available via dedicated apps, but Tim explained to the podcast that the provider has recently introduced its own API, giving third-party events apps the ability to integrate Grip’s engine and deliver smart, intelligent matchmaking to their audience. 

During an in-depth quizzing about how AI can be deployed within events, Tim firstly explained the basic principles of the Grip system.

“Artificial intelligence is about the component of reasoning. It takes data as an input and is able to reason and form actions based on that reasoning. In our case, we take people’s networking behaviour within the app and their social profile and based on that, our system then reasons what it thinks is going to be the users networking intent and what it wants to achieve at an event […] That’s what we use to recommend the right people.”

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The Talking Events podcast was recently given the unique opportunity to set up its studio in the President’s Suite at the Victory Services Club in London. This tri-service all-ranks members club is a hidden gem in the heart of London’s bustling West End, with several unique event spaces available to organisers. 

Operations Director Mark Field joined the podcast to discuss member organisations and their place with the meetings and event sector.  

Joining Mark was Deputy Director for Meetings and Events at the Royal College of Physicians David Parker, another member organisation that features high-quality event space in the heart of London. 

The two guests talked about the importance of attracting events to their premises to help sustain the primary focus of serving their members.  

“Many people now want a bespoke experience”, said Mark. “The nature of our club, combined with the spaces we’ve got, means that we’ve got to be open minded. Sometimes the requests come from left-field, so you’ve got to both accommodate but also manage expectations and find something that works for them.”

During the episode, David Parker also spoke about continuing A/V investment at the Royal College of Physicians. 

“Because of the nature of what we do and the fact we’re operating for 300 days a year, pretty much all of our A/V is in house. We’ve got a rolling investment of between £250,000 - £300,000 per year on audiovisual equipment to keep that equipment at the best level.”

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A new book designed to offer insight and expertise from a range of different event professionals has been launched.  

The Event Professional's Handbook is available as a free downloadable e-book from the major digital outlets and has been created to give readers a chance to quickly absorb and digest bite-sized pieces of information relevant to their jobs. 

The book was discussed in detail during the latest episode of the Talking Events podcast. The creator of the book Simon Burton was joined by fellow contributors Kevin Jackson and Jason Allan-Scott to discuss the content chapters, why they decided to source different contributors for each chapter, and what they hope readers will learn from their own unique experiences within the events industry.  

“Sometimes the event industry can be the same people saying the same things”, said Simon. “Kevin and I were determined that the book’s aspirations and its audience were wider, which is very much why we sought to get content from lots of different contributors.”   

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The Event Supplier and Services Association will open the doors to its 2016 conference this week as it welcomes members and delegates back to the Coventry’s Ricoh Arena. ESSA Director Andrew Harrison spoke to the Talking Events podcast about The Conference of Things and what is in store this year.

“Sometimes conferences can be quite restrictive if they are billed as a ‘sales’ conference or a ‘marketing’ conference”, said Andrew. “Our membership and our industry is a very broad church, so in many ways, we wanted to create a conference that would attract all people from all levels within the supplier community, and also the venue and organiser community.”

With such a clear drive to attract people from the full extent of the events industry, Andrew also explained what has to be considered when taking that approach.

“Our biggest worry was that we would not dilute the content in order to make it applicable to the broad audience that is due to attend. Historically at conferences, there’s a lot of peaks and troughs when it comes to the quality of the sessions. For us, we’ve sourced the very best from beginning to end. When it comes to the technical delivery, we’re also planning to do some special things with the lighting and the creative elements as it plays a really big part in how people engage with the content.”

Registration for the conference is still available via the ESSA website. The full interview with Andrew Harrison can be listened to in the latest episode of the Talking Events podcast.

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In part three of a special series looking at rigging and lifting, the Talking Events podcast returns to the home of Blackout to discuss a newly launched apprenticeship scheme specifically for riggers.

The development of the Trailblazer apprenticeship in Live Events Rigging has been facilitated by the National Rigging Advisory Group and some of the leading rigging companies within the industry. The apprenticeship will provide the best information, experience, advice and guidance, allowing candidates to first gain and then demonstrate their competence. 

Joining the podcast to discuss the topic were Plasa’s NRC Manager Paul Riddiford, Technical Director of Unusual Rigging Robin Elias, and Blackout’s Human Resources Manager Adelaide Johannsen.

This episode follows on from ‘Up in the air parts 1 & 2’, which have discussed the National Rigging Certificate, the new National Event Lifting Certificate, and also the National Rigging Conference.


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