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July 15, 2008

The Summer Eventia attracts highest ever attendance

A record 250 delegates, speakers, media representatives and sponsors participated in this year’s Summer Eventia programme, which took place recently at the Lowry Hotel in Manchester. This represented a 14% increase over 2007.

The popular meetings and events industry thought leadership and networking conference, organised by Eventia, was once again a bit hit, with universally positive feedback from those who took part. Typical of the comments received was that of Tina Morris, managing partner at events agency AddingValue, who simply said: "What a great conference; really informative, educational and professional.”

MEETINGS:review’s co-founder and content director Neil Jones once again took the role of facilitator at the conference, which covered a wide range of the key issues and trends facing the events sector. This included an overview of the global economic situation, developments in events education university programmes, the latest trends in experiential marketing, corporate spend on events, and pleas for the establishment of a common commercial methodology for pricing event agency services.

The facilitator: Neil Jones leads another Summer Eventia session

There was also a series of parallel workshop sessions covering regulatory issues, corporate social responsibility, health and safety, technology, procurement, client/agency relationships, the provision of destination services, and meeting business objectives through staging effective events.

On a more light-hearted note, a version of the popular TV programme Room 101 was staged, with leading events industry personalities sharing their pet hates with delegates. These included misleading budget airline pricing, email 'trails', fam trip last-minute no shows, over-hyped 'green' credentials and the serving of warm white wine!

Many of the conference participants travelled to Manchester onboard a specially chartered private train, minimising the event's carbon emissions while, at the same time, providing excellent pre and post-conference networking opportunities.

"The Summer Eventia confirmed for me that we have a huge amount of talent in the events sector,” said Patrick Collins of event agency Universal CIT, who took on the mantle of Eventia Chair at the conference. “We must make sure that we deliver fantastic events through the recession facing us over the next two years. I am also really keen to see us move forward in developing a properly structured and agreed pricing model, and I want Eventia to take the lead on this for the benefit of the whole industry."

Meanwhile, Eventia's executive director, Izania Downie was delighted with the feedback from delegates, saying: “We've built on the success of last year's conference and taken the whole programme up a level. I do believe that delegates were energised and inspired by the programme content and by their interaction with other attendees. I'm sure they will have picked up lots of invaluable information and ideas to apply in their own work situations."

Look out for a series of video interviews with key speakers and delegates at this year’s Summer Eventia coming soon to MEETINGS:review.

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