Finally, an empty seat in the press centre, maybe my fellow hacks have simply given up trying to work with the useless WiFi, or maybe they’re in the press conference I’m fairly sure I’m in the process of missing…
It has been a busy day at ibtm world which began at the Monaco stand. The Principality is being very vocal in showing us that there is more to the tiny state than the annual F1 Grand Prix and James Bond chasing mysteriously wealthy villains. I’ll run the stats by you another day but, while Monaco is a luxury destination, it is not as expensive as its reputation often suggests. There’s still plenty to learn.
My next stop was the Mash Media base where I was scheduled to meet Ciaran Delaney, founder of meetingsbooker.com. It’s always interesting to meet people from the less obvious parts of this industry and Ciaran was no exception. It turns out we both visit the same chip shop in Dublin and he is only around the corner from my parents-in-law. Another person to share a Christmas pint with, perhaps?
After not enjoying an espresso I didn’t even order I headed for home, well, the VisitEngland stand. It’s strange how I speak to hundreds of people over email but never know what they look like. That’s what happened when I said hi to the teams of the NEC, ACC Liverpool and Conference Leeds.
It was a blizzard of uncertain “are… are you, ers” and “it’s, er… Marty… Conference News?” as if I wasn’t sure where I worked myself. I finally matched the faces to the email signatures and that, for VisitEngland, was job done.
A quick hop across the figurative Irish Sea and I was seated with Sandra Fahy from the Dublin Convention Bureau. She introduced me to Emily Dodd from Meet In Ireland who is ensuring that business events are taking advantage of the country’s achingly beautiful countryside. It’s worth keeping an eye on what’s happening in Ireland as it is set to be the biggest – and only – English-speaking country left in the European Union after the UK says cheerio. It certainly sounds like there’s some exciting projects taking place in Cork.
After this I entered the Lion’s Den, a thought leadership space, where BrandFuel’s top man David Ball hosted a discussion about attracting and retaining young talent, and how Millennials and their work practices really are a different kettle of fish to that of the Baby Boomers. It was insightful and you’ll be reading more about it in the near future. If you’re an aspiring #eventprof (or, indeed, an event professional of the hashtagless variety) you’ll be interested to hear what David has to say.
A brief stop at Eventmobi preceded a scheduled meeting with David Chalmers, Cvent’s marketing director. Cvent have a rather avant-garde set-up on their stand. Set up like a game show, three competitors go head-to-head-(to head) to build a mock digital platform for an event, to demonstrate how simple it is. I think the leading time was in the region of just eight minutes. Even a dinosaur could do it.
Now, as I’ve been sitting here, blogging (although I’m mainly here for the sitting), I’ve been asked which party I’m attending tonight. Ah. I knew I forgot to arrange something. It seems people want to read my blog tomorrow morning to find out what I got – or will get – up to.
So let’s give them something good. “Sat in a hotel bar drinking alone flicking through yesterday’s paper” won’t make for thrilling reading.
Does anyone know what’s going on tonight? Someone invite me to something!