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Lex Butler, founder of Wolf & White and chair of HBAA

UKickstart Event 2020 expands programme

UKickstart Event 2020, the first UK-wide live and virtual gathering of event professionals post-lockdown, has announced that it has extended its event programme to include an agency panel discussion on kickstarting the meetings and events industry.

The line-up for the panel includes Rick Stainton, founder and group executive director of Smyle; David Watt, CEO of CI Group; and Lex Butler, founder of Wolf & White and chair of HBAA. The session will be moderated by Martin Fullard, editor of Conference News.

The panel will be discussing various issues including what agencies have been doing to remain in business and retain talent during the Covid-19 pandemic, business predictions and solutions for the future, the new crowdfunded initiative ‘One Industry, One Voice’ and how to bring back full audiences to conferences and events including the role that technology might play.

The announcement follows the recent news that Nick de Bois, chair of the VisitEngland Advisory Board and former chair of the UK Government’s Events Industry Board (EIB), will be joining a panel session to discuss the safe return of the UK events industry alongside Nigel Huddleston MP, the minister responsible for events; Tracy Halliwell MBE, director of tourism, conventions and major events at London and Partners; and Simon Hughes, chairman of BVEP.

Participants will be able to attend in-person at one of many UK venues located in major cities and towns such as London, Birmingham, Manchester, Farnborough and Liverpool. Up to 30 socially distanced delegates will be able to attend in person at each venue, in accordance with current government guidelines. Both panel sessions will also be streamed online for event professionals who cannot participate in person.

Adam Simpson, leader of UKickstart and director of Marketing for etc.venues, said: “The interest and support for UKickstart has been phenomenal, which is why we have extended the event programme to introduce a dedicated discussion for agencies. When we first opened registrations, hundreds of event professionals immediately signed up to attend, most preferring the LIVE locations, even before our communications campaign started. This really demonstrated a united industry-wide desire to get back to meeting in-person. This event has the power to act as a catalyst for kickstarting the meetings and events industry.”

Lex Butler (pictured), founder of Wolf & White and chair of HBAA, added: “UKickstart comes at an opportune moment. It has never been more important to shine a light on agencies in our industry and for their voices to be heard loud and clear. The event will also propel forward the BVEP-led campaign, ‘One Industry, One Voice’, which the HBAA fully supports.”

UKickstart Event 2020 will take place on 8 September from 1pm-5.30pm. To register for the event, click here.