Event Industry News Podcast
Podcast: Michael Weiss, from Ai4, explores AI applications

Podcast: Michael Weiss, from Ai4, explores AI applications

July 18, 2019

Joining Event Industry News’ journalist, James Dickson, for this week’s podcast, was Michael Weiss, founder of the Ai4 conferences.

Speaking from across the pond, New Yorker, Michael, founded Ai4 to follow his passion and dedication for artificial intelligence.

Michael uses the Ai4 conferences to assemble business leaders to encourage and facilitate the adoption of AI in various sectors including, finance, healthcare, cybersecurity and retail.

Claiming AI is becoming increasingly integral to businesses and events, Michael compared the technology to that of the Internet: “Any company, big or small, over the next 20 years, if you don’t become an AI company, you’re going to go bankrupt. The same way, as over the last 10 to 20 years, if you didn’t become an internet-first, digital company, you’re out of business now.”

AI has the ability to create synergies between companies from various sectors: creating content showcasing how AI is benefitting one industry can catapult other industries into following suit.

Discussing ROI and “quantifiable experiences”, Michael stated that conferences should offer valuable experiences for everyone involved. He claimed technology is the one entity that can ensure this, provided that the necessary infrastructure is in place.

“I still believe there is a world where you can quantify the learnings that an attendee took away for the company that they are going back to,” Michael stated.

If you would like to feature in one of our upcoming podcasts, please email editor@eventindustrynews.com.



Podcast: Jez Paxman from Live Union on the ‘Anatomy of a Delegate’

Podcast: Jez Paxman from Live Union on the ‘Anatomy of a Delegate’

July 10, 2019

On today’s podcast, Jez Paxman, Live Union’s content director, spoke to Event Industry News about the business of creating live events and his recent report, ‘Anatomy of a Delegate’.

Today, audiences are very experience-rich and therefore “spoilt by live interactions”. This makes building a memorable and effective event increasingly difficult for agencies like Live Union.

Though the team at Live Union mainly deal with B2B events, the difference between B2B and B2C isn’t always that different. No matter what the event is, audiences don’t want to be “bored rigid”. People may be giving up an entire day, if not more, to attend an event, therefore, the organisers must arrange something worthwhile. 

Talking about his report, ‘Anatomy of a Delegate’, Jez touched upon what audience members really value with the aim to help event professionals understand how to create meaningful events.

Jez touched upon five key areas that make an event audience-friendly:

  • “Brain-friendly” – healthy environments and compelling event agendas that engage their brains
  • “Entertaining” – events that surprise, excite and entertain
  • “Personalisation” – allow audiences to tailor the experience to themselves
  • “Shareable” – allow content to be easily shared to the audience to extend the value of the experience beyond the event itself
  • “Connections” – attendees want to make valuable connections so make networking a priority

Jez advised organisers to look at their events from the perspective of their audiences. All too often, event planners start with the logistical, financial or production aspects of their event. “Start with the audience – I think that’s the right thing to go about things,” Jez concluded.

If you would like to feature on one of our weekly podcasts, get in touch at editor@eventindustrynews.com

Podcast: Dan Mason & Andy Sexton from 2LK discuss experiential marketing

Podcast: Dan Mason & Andy Sexton from 2LK discuss experiential marketing

July 2, 2019

Dan Mason, managing director, and Andy Sexton, creative director from 2LK, joined Event Industry News for this week’s podcast to discuss the company’s 25-year history.

First and foremost a brand experiential agency, 2LK creates memorable live events for trade shows, brand activations, launches and conferences, and boasts a client pool that includes Canon, HSBC, Wiko, Dell and the Royal Bank of Canada.

Currently celebrating its 25thyear of “independence”, as described on the website, 2LK focuses on creating memorable live events to increase clients’ engagement, revenue and reach.

Touching on the history of marketing, Dan and Andy took us back to the economic crash of 2008 during which traditional marketing strategies such as print journalism took a substantial hit. Not only affected by the dipping marketing budgets, print also suffered from the development of certain technologies.

The two colleagues agreed that “print went from being themethod of communication to just being a method,” alluding to the rise of the Internet, social media platforms, blogs and online influencers.

Brands and organisations need to think outside the box to get their messages heard. Live events have the power to create meaningful impressions on potential clients and encourage more business from existing ones.

Andy commented that, though live events are short-lived, they have the potential to create lasting influences after the event has finished. “There is a hungry appetite for experiential at the moment,” he claimed, drawing upon his own 12 years’ experience at the company.

Technology even allows the success of these events to be measured somewhat, with factors such as dwell time and audience movement now being quantifiable.

If you would like to feature on one of our weekly podcasts, please email editor@eventindustrynews.com.

Podcast: Mandy Mahil joins us from Mango Pie

Podcast: Mandy Mahil joins us from Mango Pie

June 25, 2019

Mandy Mahil, founding director of Mango Pie, an event planning company, joined James for this week’s podcast to discuss attitudes in the event management sector.

Having worked for event companies that peddle one event after another in a very “mechanical” fashion, Mandy stated she wanted to distance herself from that type of procedure when planning her events.

Reflecting on the “factory wheel” of creating events, Mandy said she prefers to take time nurturing relationships with her clients and building each and every event from the ground up. She believes spending more time on each event gives clients better value for money.

“Events are very expensive,” she said, stressing that clients who spend money on an event deserve something more than the bog-standard party.

Starting her company as a sole-trader, Mandy admitted that she had to learn the technical side very quickly, e.g. the logistics behind setting up the company, the website and the I.T technicalities.

However, clients were eager to follow Mandy in her new venture with some claiming: “We never worked with you because of the company you were in; we worked with you because of you.”

Taking on only 20 events per year on average and only one wedding, Mandy allows herself the time to give 100% to each event, ensuring each one becomes the event her clients want.

Leading onto event sizes, Mandy questioned whether larger events necessarily equalled larger value and stated that some of her clients appreciated the worth of decreasing the size of their events.

James and Mandy agreed that businesses that host events require “meaningful” time with their guests. Smaller, but more frequent, events allow businesses to be more attentive to each guest, increasing the likelihood of engagement and custom retention. 

If you would like to feature on one of our weekly podcasts, please get in touch at editor@eventindustrynews.com.

Podcast: GL events UK & EIGHT PR discuss ‘The Good Event Guide’

Podcast: GL events UK & EIGHT PR discuss ‘The Good Event Guide’

June 19, 2019

To record this week’s podcast, the Event Industry News team was invited down to the home of Origin, by Crucial FX, in London to talk to the founder of EIGHT PR, Alistair Turner, and the commercial director at GL events UK, David Tunnicliffe. Here, they chatted to us about their brainchild – The Good Event Guide.

Giving us a little overview of what this guide is, David described it as a document put together to offer advice and knowledge to others in the events industry on making sustainable decisions. He advised us that being sustainable goes further than making green choices in terms of waste and power, but also means creating a safe and healthy environment for employers.

The word ‘sustainable’ is an ever-growing umbrella to cover lots of topics from carbon footprints to mental health. David and Alistair created the guide to inform organisers and suppliers on how to become more sustainable and mentally healthier.

Using examples such as festivals becoming vegan and events scrapping plastic cups, David claimed that the events industry is a leader in ‘being green’, therefore giving us the opportunity to lead consumers down similar routes.

Talking more about the guide itself, Alistair explained that it is the product of a lot of time, energy and research. Realising the publicity advantages of ‘being green’, our host, James, enquired whether audiences may just perceive these changes as a PR stunt. 

To answer this, Alistair said: “Don’t tell them you’re funny, tell them a joke!” He advised us that sustainability needs to be in the culture and DNA of an event. Due to the freedom of information and journalists, audiences will be able to know who is taking it seriously and who is not.

Geoff Revill on KrowdSafe winning funding to improve event security after 2017 terror attacks

Geoff Revill on KrowdSafe winning funding to improve event security after 2017 terror attacks

June 12, 2019

For this week’s podcast, our host, James Dickson, invited Geoff Revill, co-founder and managing director at Krowdthink Ltd, to discuss his new app, KrowdSafe.

Based in Devon, Krowdthink Ltd is a safety firm that aims to alter the way in which social media platforms deliver value in a mobile age.

In response to the terror attacks that took place in 2017, the Home Office launched the Improving Crowd Resilience competition in order to find solutions to improving security across the private sector. 

The idea for KrowdSafe won the team at Krowdthink almost £250,000 of government funding to develop it to improve security at large events.

Transforming the crowd into a “participatory threat sensor”, Geoff explained that the app allows members of the public to draw security’s attention to possible threats, e.g., an abandoned backpack, a dropped knife, pick-pocketing, etc.

Creating a direct line of communication between the crowd and security, the app allows users to upload images and specific locations of anything they believe may pose a threat.

Stressing that the app is not a replacement for 999 calls, Geoff advised that users engage with the app if they have suspicions about people, activities or objects. This allows officials to intercede before anything dangerous happens, therefore preventing emergencies.

“What we are effectively doing is creating an environment that is much more hostile to the mischievous and the malicious,” Geoff said.

Podcast: Crucial FX’s Mark Rivkin discusses the Origin experience

Podcast: Crucial FX’s Mark Rivkin discusses the Origin experience

June 6, 2019

For the latest edition of the Event Industry News podcast, we welcomed Mark Rivkin, managing director at Crucial FX, to discuss his latest venture: Origin

Crucial FX is an experience company that utilises technology such as projection mapping, lasers and sound to create stunning live events. Product launches, dinner shows, and seasonal celebrations are just a few examples of where Crucial FX are commissioned with creating memorable experiences that later become a talking point.

Mark explained that describing to customers what Crucial FX can do proved difficult at times because of the range of services they can offer. Origin was therefore created as a means of demonstrating just what the company can achieve. It is described on the Crucial FX website as an “interactive playground”.

Describing Origin as a “bombardment” of the senses, Mark explained that Origin uses vibrations, smells, sounds and visuals to really showcase what Crucial FX deliver. Origin was also a reason to attain a London base and, therefore, become closer to key clients.

Because of social media and the Internet, people can experience projection mapping and experiential events without even leaving their homes. This creates challenges for companies such as Crucial FX and their clients to create original and fresh events that will leave a mark on the audience.

In terms of creating Origin itself, Mark stated that they came up with the idea first and then battled the implications. He explained: “We wanted to create a technical experience like no other, to showcase the creative capabilities and to start conversations with new potential partners.”

“We push innovation,” Mark commented, explaining that is what keeps their products exciting. Creativity also plays a major role in keeping the company (and therefore the brands with which it works) “fresh, challenging and engaging.”

If you would like to feature on one of our weekly podcasts, email us at editor@eventindustrynews.com

Ravi Chalaka from Jifflenow on ROI

Ravi Chalaka from Jifflenow on ROI

May 30, 2019

Joining James for this week’s podcast was Ravi Chalaka. Ravi is a marketing and business development expert and is currently the chief marketing officer for Jifflenow, a meeting automation platform.

Ravi has spent the last 25 years working in the events industry, 15 of which he spent as a vice president. This has allowed him to participate in events as a marketer, attendee and sponsor for more than two decades.

Drawing upon his vast experience, Ravi discussed ROI when exhibiting at live events and how it can possibly be measured and turned into value for companies.

Gone are the days where company bosses are satisfied with event feedback in the form of statistics on attendees. Exhibitors are now expected to produce information on how well an event panned out in relation to how much revenue it generated. 

However, meetings, business connections and new contacts that are generated as a result of exhibiting cannot be defined straight away in terms of pounds and pence: they may lead to revenue later down the line or otherwise result in new contacts that then lead to revenue. This makes the ROI difficult to monitor.

Meetings are a crucial element of creating these new business contacts – people are habitually more inclined to conduct business if they are within a formal meetings area. Appreciating this, more and more organisers now dedicate specific areas within their events for such meetings.

Traditionally, businesses would continue their meetings elsewhere after an event. However, this is time-consuming and costly and excludes businesses with smaller budgets. Dedicated areas within the actual event venue allow meetings to take place there and then and without businesses breaking their budgets.

“Customers who use a meeting automation platform at events are able to increase the number of face-to-face meetings by 40%-100%,” Ravi stated.

Founded 10 years ago, Jifflenow was created through a collaboration with event professionals to ensure major event concerns can be solved.

If you would like to partake in one of our weekly podcasts, get in touch at editor@eventindustrynews.com

GL events UK & Ryder Cup unite to create 42nd golf tournament

GL events UK & Ryder Cup unite to create 42nd golf tournament

May 24, 2019

For the latest edition of our weekly podcast, James Dickson, travelled down to the home of Crucial FX’s Origin experience. Here, he spoke to Edward Kitson, match director at the Ryder Cup and David Tunnicliffe, commercial director at GL events UK.

Throughout the podcast, David and Edward explained the working relationship between the two companies and described the process of planning and building the famous golf tournament.

In 2018, the 42nd Ryder Cup was held in France at Le Golf National. Edward described his role as managing the operation and delivery of the matches, whilst David and his team provided and built the temporary structures.

Edward began working with the French golf federation in 2012 to start plans on improving the golf course. This involved new drainage, new irrigation and small “tinkers” to improve the spectator experience.

David explained the long process involved in planning where to place the structures and how best to erect them. Sightlines, structure integrity, safety, camera angles and the players themselves all had to be considered in the design process.

He continued to describe the “spectacular” atmosphere surrounding the first hole and explained a lot of that was product of the horseshoe-style seating around it.

However, the practical side of the structures must be thought about first: can spectators get in and out safely and comfortably? Do disabled people have appropriate access? Will the guests remain warm/cool while in the structures? Only when the logistical challenges were overcome could the “dressings” be considered.

When questioned on how he decides which suppliers to choose, Edward stated that if he is happy with the work and commitment a supplier demonstrates, he will happily work with them again and will be glad to work with GL events UK for the next tournament.

The Ryder Cup will next be in Europe in 2022 for the 44th edition, with Italy hosting it for the first time.

If you would like to feature on one of our weekly podcasts, please get in touch at editor@eventindustrynews.com.

Lime Venue Portfolio & HBAA’s, Jenner Carter, talks mental health first aid #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

Lime Venue Portfolio & HBAA’s, Jenner Carter, talks mental health first aid #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

May 16, 2019

During his recent trip down to the Crucial FX Origin experience, James took himself off to a quiet corner to speak to Jenner Carter, the head of marketing at Lime Venue Portfolio and the marketing chair for the industry association, HBAA.


Jenner described her passion for improving mental health within the industry and explained what mental health first aid is all about. Offering examples of her own experience with ill mental health, both in her personal and professional life, Jenner informed James that the HBAA first introduced the course to her. 

The mental health first aid course teaches participants how to offer help and support to people experiencing “a crisis”. Describing it as similar to a physical first aid course, Jenner revealed that mental health is different in regard to recognising symptoms: “It’s difficult to spot the signs of [poor mental health] but this course helps you spot the signs then signpost people off to the relevant places to get help.”

Having been on the course, Jenner is now a mental health first aider. Talking about this, Jenner informed James that one of the things she learnt was the ALGEE model:






Touching on the stigma of mental health, Jenner stated there is a definite “misunderstanding’ surrounding the topic. However, thanks to recent media coverage, there is growing support for people who need help.

Relating mental health to the events industry, James asked about the relationship between stress and ill mental health: “People may think they are just suffering from stress and not recognise they are ill.” Agreeing with this, Jenner stated that those who suffer from prolonged symptoms of poor mental health need access to support. 

Everyone is different in terms of their ability to cope with, and release, stress. Making lists, eating chocolate or going for a run are all ways of winding down and releasing the day’s stresses. It is important for our overall mental health that we each find and practise ways to de-stress after each day.

If you are interested in featuring on one of our weekly podcasts, please get in touch at editor@eventindustrynews.com