Launched last year, Spelfie is an out of this world marketing opportunity for live events. Hand in hand with Airbus’ technology, bookable weeks, months, even years ahead, the app synchronises with a satellite in position. An event-goer takes a selfie from an outside location which is married to the shot from space, a digital mark highlighting the individual’s position and their environment.  

With a BBC contract confirmed and several other big sponsorship names in the frame for 2021, in this episode Spelfie CEO, Chris Newlands, details the design and development behind the tech, how it works and what an effective, cost-efficient space shot means for micro-influencers.  

Ten years ago, Jelmer van Ast took his experience as a playwright/actor/producer and festival organiser across the tracks to found technology company Conference Compass,

In this episode Jelmer discusses the Covid tipping point for his business, how it invested its way around the crisis, developing solutions to help customers, new and existing, with their pivots into the virtual world.

The focus here though is the greater Conference Compass vision for a ‘one community’ platform. How using its tech, or similar, to connect people globally and bring them together regularly is, or should be, the game changing thing for this sector. And how the notion of delivering an event once a year then disappearing on them for 11 months is not sustainable in the face of hybrid and virtual shows delivering real value – and community – around the clock, across the calendar.  

November 9, 2020

Live Group resets events

Bruce Rose has been at Live Group for more than 11 years, finding his way from business development to head of content and learning all the way.

Established back in 1975, Live Group has been focusing on digital events and streaming for almost as long as Bruce has been with the business.

Expect really interesting content in this episode then and great delivery, focused on Events 2.0 – Live Group’s timely solution to traditional thinking – and all the benefits of that reset: inclusivity, accessibility, content and connecting people.

Lou Kiwanuka is founder and MD of training specialist The Shaper Group, vice chair, about to be chair, at ESSA and part of EventWellPledge - a social enterprise set up to support industry people in need.

In this episode we discuss the DCMS exhibition pilot Lou attended ahead of the proposed restart in October and the learnings she took from that as a visitor. How reduced numbers and social distancing, coupled with masks, can suck the noise from a show floor, how more catering spaces rather than less might help foster interaction in the new order and how, in six months’ time, the event industry will be under considerable pressure to meet expectation.

Lou also talks about her upcoming role as chair of ESSA, the importance of associations as a flag for represented elements of the industry and, crucially, as a means to lobby government.


October 22, 2020

Keeping on top of stress

With more than 20-years’ experience working in live events, at Incisive Media and Ocean Media, London, before moving to the Middle East for DMG in 2012, Ashley Roberts took on the General Manager role at Omanexpo nearly 18 months ago.


On the back of World Mental Health Day, the focus for this episode is stress and mental wellbeing. Famously, event organisation/delivery turns the dial right up – a recent Stress Matters report highlights how 28 per cent of respondents had taken some time off attributed to being overworked or stressed and Covid-19 has further impacted the industry.


Working from home can make it harder for people to share or network with their work family and Ashley discusses some of the initiatives he has introduced to keep his team’s moral up.


These include one to ones, ‘town halls’ where people can anonymously ask questions in a public forum and by being open and honest about where the business is financially and in its projections.


Ashley also highlights the benefits of an initiative like employee of the month, a simple, well received way to give some invaluable recognition.

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October 15, 2020

A sense of touch

With more than 20-years’ experience in and around live events, Mike Ford, director at UK/US based full-service engagement agency Touch Associates, has been involved in delivering and developing hybrid and virtual solutions since 2015.

In this episode, Mike talks about the reasons clients wanted to switch away from physical show in those early days, highlighting how budget constraints took one company from hybrid and on to fully virtual within about three years, but kept all the plates spinning.

Among a number of topics, we discuss the formats that get great events going online, their learnings, how tech has a whole lot of answers if you know who to ask. The ‘always on’ of virtual events and the potential for year-round partnerships with agencies. 

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Anna Abdelnoor, a freelance corporate event producer, is co-founder of the not for profit group Isla, which launched in September, focused on supporting and encouraging the event industry’s transition to sustainable working practices.

In this episode, Anna discusses the huge appetite for solutions she discovered in putting the organisation together last year, how she has worked with agencies in the thick of the industry, her founding partners, to take the competition out of the sustainability question and how there should be basic, minimum standards that everyone works to.  

We talk about the collective want for an independent, representative body that inspired Isla, the organisation’s training manifest, how to manage sustainability, setting KPIs, approaches to event design, the budget question and much more besides. 

October 1, 2020

Love at First Sight

MD Richard Belcher joined First Sight Media in 2006 when the company was primarily focused on producing DVDs and VHS tapes of graduation ceremonies. Richard helped spearhead First Sight’s subsequent step into the corporate sector; conferences, exhibitions – not least Event Tech Live - and general video production, which in turn led to streaming live events, FSM’s “niche” as Richard puts it. Tellingly, the last shoot before lockdown was for a hybrid event.


In this episode, hear how First Sight has adapted its experience to fit the new environment since March 2020, fitting with the speed people/clients want to work in delivering their virtual and hybrid pivots.


As well as discussing some of the common misconceptions, Richard highlights how investment in terms of production value of the content is vital if you want to present a brand properly – especially if you’re charging people to watch.


On the flipside of that, he mentions the monetisation around ‘eyeball’ marketing via an example of an event that attracted 36,000 visitors on Facebook and its value to a sponsor that just wants to be in front of an audience.

September 24, 2020

Beyond the blue sky thinking

Founding director of independent promoter/festival organiser From the Fields, think Kendal Calling, bluedot, Inner City Electronic, Off the Record and Bournemouth’s Arts by the Sea, Ben Robinson is never short of ideas.

Touching on Kendal Calling and the company mantra, in this episode Ben focuses on music, science and culture fest buedot, typically at Jodrell Bank University, and transforming the event for a virtual audience in 2020, which, with a lot of the content educational, wasn’t a straight swap.

Hear how turning the bluedot dates into A Weekend in Outer Space gave the team behind it a new impetus during lockdown, keeping them creative, how the new-look is driving funding to Jodrell Bank and a whole lot more.

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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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