Jelmer van Ast, founder and CEO at Conference Compass, a company – based in the Hague – which is behind customisable event engagement platforms, comes back to the podcast some 12 months after last time.

In this episode, Jelmer talks event adaptability with host James Dickson, the science of technology and increasing engagement.

He goes on to discuss investing in product development and, crucially, why organisers have to build in an ongoing level of malleability post-pandemic. Despite the inherent fear of dramatic change, it’s ‘adapt or die’!

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Louise Findlay-Wilson is founder/managing director of award-winning agency Energy PR and an investor in green energy.


In this episode, under the umbrella ‘Consumers’ attitudes to events’, Louise talks about shows’ sustainability initiatives pre-pandemic having to catch up with the public’s invigorated passion for the subject, how quickly negative, and positive, communications can spill out from an event, how crucial it is to get the message right from the start of a campaign and how the collective social consciousness has sharpened up, and become more particular, over the last couple of years.


Louise uses Energy PR clients to detail her thoughts, telling host James Dickson about the Packaging Innovation Show’s zero landfill policy and how the green room at Plant Based World is truly green – everything in there being plant based.


Louise and James also discuss making use of venue ‘downtime’, where possible, for community projects, how shows have stepped up, incorporating tech to make takeaways digital rather than paper – for exhibitors and visitors, putting social media to work and much more.  


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Ex-pat American Dax Callner, strategy director at creative agency Smyle and president of the Experiential Marketing Measurement Coalition, returns to the EIN podcast 18 months after his last appearance.

In this episode, which has more answers than questions, Dax’s primary focus is a job Smyle did for the National Grid and how that relationship started during lockdown.

Dax looks at best means of telling the story that helps brands connect with their audiences and how Smyle’s creative/stratgic expertise solutions helped National Grid  to revinvent its capital markets day.

Dax Callner tells host James Dickson about the power, the potential, in dumb questions,

how National Grid is ‘super cool’ in its initatives, picking key stories and ‘rock starring’ them, updating antiquated systems, finding key high emotion moments in the room and online, creating a sense of intimacy via video and much more.

Founded in 1991, Sledge is an award-winning event, content and creative agency.

In this episode, Ben Heaysman, film and content creator at Sledge, discusses the company’s experience with the hybrid model pre-pandemic and bringing it to bear for clients caught out by lockdown; framing shots, lighting, sound quality et al.

Among much more, Ben tells host James Dickson about crafting content to keep a virtual audience engaged, gamification, indoor v outdoor shoots, studio time, audio-only presentations and changing technology.

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A digital/tech mind working in the event industry since 2014, Ryan Kenny launched Seatlab at the end of last year, raising capital to revolutionise ticketing with blockchain technology. 

In this episode, Ryan, who thinks and talks quickly, explains the premise for Seatlab, how its NFT (non-fungible token) or ‘smart contract’ solution amplifies and secures proof of ownership, beating touts, bots and fraud in the process.

Ryan tells host James Dickson about bridging the gap between traditional tickets and NFTs, how simple the system is to use, the control it gives, royalty splits and the benefit to artists in the resale market, educating people in the ideas, getting the world to listen and more. Much more.

Denzil Rankine, author and thought leader in the global events and exhibitions industry, founded AMR in 1991 as a specialist in due diligence before developing the business into a strategy consultancy.

In this episode, after doing the background on AMR, Denzil talks about writing Reinventing Live – The Always on Future of Events with Marco Giberti through lockdown, before digging into the company’s new Exhibition 3.0 framework.  


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Simon Howard, a professional host and compere with more than 200 virtual and 100s of live events in his portfolio over the course of some seven years, came to the job after a considerable tenure as an event manager in both hemispheres.

In this episode, Simon discusses ‘Why the right event host is more important than ever’, looking at the pandemic impact on his role in the short-term and its legacy as the world started to open up again.

He talks about tailoring his practice in engagement to lockdown events, getting people involved physically, leftfield thinking, being unpredictable, the difference between a good storyteller and a good host, relating to an audience and, of course, much more.

March 3, 2022

All the way to Remo

Hong Kong-based Hoyin Cheung founded interactive virtual event platform Remo in 2018, to ‘humanise the online event experience, and bring people together worldwide’.

Triggered by his background in social media and years spent managing remote teams across eight years in marketing, Remo rings the changes.

In this episode, Hoyin talks connectivity, what’s stopping us from cultivating online relationships every bit as deep, meaningful and enriching as those that develop in person, developing the idea for Remo, the time spent in testing and market research, Covid-19’s ‘accelerator’ impact, changing the business post rather than pre-pandemic, how it works and much more.

Founder/CEO of customer acquisition agency MCM, John McMahon, added to his lockdown To-Do list researching and writing The Power of Leading With Empathy, which was published in January to much acclaim.

A product of interviews with business leaders and fellow agency owners coupled with John’s own considerable experience - empathy is a cornerstone to his leadership style at MCM – this episode looks at the motivation behind the book and its ambitions.

Aimed at anyone running a small team, in any sector, John McMahon discusses being described as a ‘soft leader’, the limits of the workplace, the benefits of working from home on the back of all the pandemic lessons, the power of trust and much more.

Nicola Underhill is general manager at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole – a venue built in step with the NEC, where it sits. The biggest UK hotel outside London.

Nicola came to the job from six plus years in a similar role at the Hilton St George’s Park - home to all 24 England football teams and a centre for coach education.

In this episode, host James Dickson asks Nicola Underhill about the Hilton Birmingham Metropole’s multi-million-pound refurbishment; due to complete in April it includes all the hotel’s event spaces along with a new bar, a new restaurant and a new executive lounge.

Nicola talks digital technology too, staying competitive – with a spotlight on the Hilton Metropole’s event relations managers – as well as looking back on her career to date.

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