Around 50 delegates attended the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) UK and Ireland half-day Economic Insights conference on 18 January at 30 Euston Square, London. An array of speakers looked at prospects for the UK’s economic development throughout 2016 and how this might affect the events sector.
Delegates and MPI members enjoyed a ‘traditional English’ networking lunch before the presentations got underway.
Jacqui Mulligan, vice-president of education for MPI UK and Ireland, gave a brief introduction and Richard Parker, the UK association’s president gave the official welcome.
· Keynote speaker Jack Kennedy, senior economist from Markit, gave an economic overview of 2015 and predictions for 2016
· Panellists: Jacqui Kavanagh from Trinity Event Solutions, Andrew Moore from Ashfield Meetings and Events, James Morgan from EventTech Labs, and Richard Parker (with his American Express Meetings and Events hat on). All gave their predictions
· Fiona Pellham from MPI Global presented the MPI Global vision for 2016
· Ines Lebaek from Visit Denmark spoke of the EMEC 2016 in Copenhagen in February
· David Goodger from Oxford Economics presented an overview of major economic trends
· Rebecca Duncan from Virgin Atlantic looked at sustainability and air travel trends for 2016
Overall economic predictions for 2016 seemed to agree that there would be steady but slow economic growth. However, factors such as oil, China’s economy and the EU referendum were flagged as potential risks to the UK events economy.
The conference gave opportunities for delegates to network, with a ‘networking break’ in the middle followed by ‘networking drinks’ at the end of the day.