Simon Burton, media owner, entrepreneur, event organiser, and ‘industry advocate’, is part of the team, a co-founder, behind the launch of the Virtual Events Institute.

In this episode Simon, who has a great deal to say, sets out the Institute’s stall; how it’s been designed to provide a platform across the coronavirus pandemic, an opportunity for people to access courses on, and certification for, delivering online and virtual events.

We discuss the challenges in setting up the enterprise, from terminology to support to the requisite skill levels, and how the Virtual Events Institute will provide support in the longer term. What the future might hold…

 

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COVID-19 has hit suppliers along the event industry supply chain particularly hard and Downing Street’s ‘one sticking plaster for all’ solution hasn’t helped much.

Essex-based Showcase AVi had business halt for several months due to the pandemic’s effect and founder/managing director, Ben Collings, mounts a passionate defence for the greater industry in this podcast

We talk hybrid and virtual events first, how Showcase AVi shifted its focus over lockdown to provide a platform for filming, live streaming and green screen technology as well as looking after speakers – the human kind – in the virtual world.

Borrowing from football parlance, the final third of our chat sees Ben highlighting the flaws in the Chancellor’s provision for the event industry, how his strategy should be better educated and more productively focused.

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September 3, 2020

Powering up a personal brand

Alongside her role as senior events manager at specialist information provider Chemical Watch, Juliet Tripp is her own brand; a professional speaker, host, blogger and more besides with an inspiring take on the global event industry picture.

In this episode we talk about the transition from physical to virtual events, the value of having that alternative in the shadow of a pandemic, creating effective content and delivering it, in both domains, social engagement and more besides.

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Ratnesh Singh, head of global business at Buzznation Event Technologies, and author/keynote speaker/futurist/strategic technical advisor Bernard Marr are prime examples of tech supply and demand.

 

As an influencer, Bernard works with companies including Microsoft, Cisco and IBM to help them “amplify their voice” while ‘Nes’ has seen extraordinary demand for solutions to support the global switch to online business interaction.

 

In this episode we discuss what virtual events look like, how tech is supporting an industry that can’t meet, and the role they will play as a marketing strategy going forward. How COVID-19 has triggered new ways of thinking, how Marr pivoted to find fertile new pastures live streaming content on LinkedIn and YouTube, to the tune of 20,000-strong audiences. Still greater reach for his ideas, his brand, and no airports, no hotels and no time away from home.

 

As Nes explains, people did their education through lockdown. Now they’re asking more technical questions, using tech to keep their businesses afloat through the pandemic,

because, like Bernard, they’re ready for the virtual world order.

 

And how hybrid events, online reach coupled to a physical event, will be the new/better than normal.

Spawned from the UK’s first guerrilla marketing agency Buddha’s experience with/onus on projections, disruption and PR stunts and his military background, Mark Evans launched Kommando Experiential Marketing in 2000.

Committed to pushing against the traditional advertising/marketing tide, Kommando moved into the digital space and saw the tide change with social media.

The group of companies that sit under its umbrella, including Nomadix Media, research and develop tech for brand development and for rethinking/adapting the experiential space.

In this episode Mark talks about setting the company up, his Buddha background and beyond, going on to highlight Halo, a new product incorporating facial detection, which can be added to any screen/camera set up to provide public or personalised messaging to key locations in a venue or event.

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August 13, 2020

Perfect Conversion

Ed Tranter, Managing Director at 73 Media/industry spokesperson, had to wholly rethink a launch event, the grassroots’ focused Rugby Show, in the eye of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this episode, Ed takes on an odds-defying journey - from the theory of Ricoh Arena, Coventry, where the show floor would have featured half a rugby pitch, to the reality of the virtual world.

Back to the drawing board, Ed and team focused on the nascent Rugby Show’s strengths: mission, brand, reach, influencers et al.

With 95 per cent of the content delivered live, realising 73 Media’s strengths and working with Silverstream TV to produce/deliver the live streams, 100 per cent to time and high quality, was a crucial element in the event’s success.

While it has a weight of backing from the British and Irish game, stepping across to the virtual world brought speakers to the podium a physical Rugby Show never dreamed of.

73 Media is an event organiser and agency hybrid. Delivering consumer, B2B and corporate events, company highlights include The One Earth Show as well as The Rugby Show.

With management roles at Miller Freeman, Centaur, Informa and Mark Allen Group on his CV Ed Tranter is also a member of the AEO board.

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Ashanti Bentil-Dhue, who heads up virtual production company EventMind, founded  Diversity Ally with Gabrielle Austen – Browne to help foster diversity and inclusion in companies, from recruitment to the boardroom.

 

In this episode Ashanti talks about how the events model should stop simply talking about diversity and start implementing changes, highlighting issues that can creep in as early as the interview process to prevent a business from being diverse.

 

Ashanti also discusses the challenges facing the industry and the myths 

that need demystifying… 

 

Diversity Ally provides a platform of discussion, a safe place for individuals to discuss diversity without prejudice and a framework that organisations can follow in order to create change. 

 

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July 30, 2020

Agency for change

George P. Johnson started as a flag maker/sail repair business in Detroit, providing for automotive events in the city. One hundred and eighty-six years on, GPJ is synonymous with brand experiences all around the world. 

 

In this episode, Jason Megson, managing director at George P. Johnson Experience Marketing, discusses the company’s reach, its mission, client objectives and more besides.

 

We talk about the pandemic challenges too of course, the growth in hybrid/virtual events, technologies, platforms and solutions.  

 

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July 23, 2020

The future is here

With offices across the world, SpotMe provides enterprise solutions to more than 250 global brands via the web, iOS and Android, as well as a no-code building platform and full support services.

 

Pierre Metrailler started with SpotMe as a software engineer. Eighteen years later he’s the company’s CEO.

 

We talk about that journey in this edition, how SpotMe arguably created the first event ‘app’ in the shape of a hardware tool, going on to discuss the burgeoning hybrid market and how the industry is crying out for investment in digital skills.

 

Looking at the coronavirus effect that continues to shake the boundaries of human interaction, Pierre highlights the pre-COVID 19 virtual events numbers - just 7 per cent of SpotMe’s turnover - and how the pandemic has spun the wheel on that statistic.

 

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Founder and CEO at Washington-based Hubb, the virtual/hybrid/physical event platform, Allie Maygar launched her first company, Impulse Productions, age 21. Stepping across to event technology five years ago, that sprit of ingenuity, entrepreneurism, burns just as fiercely.

 

In this episode Allie discusses how the event industry Stateside, and Hubb in particular, has changed, or adapted, under the COVID-19 shadow, new partnerships, what the rest of 2020 looks like and more besides.

 

We also talk about Allie’s virtual conference, Untethered, ‘created by and for the event industry’ early in lockdown with all proceeds, some $17,500 and counting, going to the Meeting Industry Fund.

 

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