CMW Guest Author

Olympic opportunities for other UK cities

As the events industry continues to grow throughout 2011, major cities around the UK are fast becoming the preferred location of choice for event organisers. Cities like Birmingham, which offer excellent routes in and out of the region, can have huge benefits for national or international delegates. And by using alternative destinations to London, particularly during the Olympics, there are good s...

Is the social and economic barometer stuck on ‘change’?

The Central Office of Information has just been closed in the UK, public spending cuts, retailers in administration, agencies announcing losses, high inflation, rising fuel costs, a stagnant economy, a million people on strike, the Middle East and North Africa in turmoil, half of Europe on the verge of bankruptcy. Welcome to the summer of 2011. If I could see a light at the end of the tunnel I&rsq...

You Are Not Your Audience

Dear Conference Organiser, You are not your audience. You are not your customers. Yes, you have your own preferences, your own likes, your own tastes. But you are not planning that event for yourself. And what you like is probably far from what your audience likes. You have to get out of your own mind. You have to get beyond your personal inclinations. You must get beyond your own fondness for thi...

World view

Many of us are used to playing professional roles in major events, but how many of us, I wonder, anticipated some of the major upheavals witnessed around the world in recent times. From natural disasters in Japan, to political earthquakes in the Middle East and Gulf, and of course the heightened tensions related to terror alerts, there is a complex backdrop for all involved in risk assessment and ...

Avoid the most common pitfalls when refurbishing your venue

The old 80/20 rule – learn to think in reverse When carrying out substantial refurbishment or improvement projects to a conference venue, 80 per cent of the time and effort goes into things that no one will ever see. It’s the last 20 per cent, that often ends up being an afterthought, which you, and more importantly your clients, will be living with for years to come. You need to be cl...

Charging for events?

People don’t mind paying £1.79 (US$2.90) for an app. People don’t mind spending five pounds on coffees. People can’t do anything when petrol jumps up to £1.39 a litre. What’s this got to do with events? With all of the above, people believe they’re getting some value…ie a latest game to play, a drink to get them through the morning, travel to go to m...

Virtual and harsh reality

The application from Portugal for up to €70bn in financial underpinning from the European Union is a sharp reminder that the route out of recession will not be smooth. Indeed, only Germany in the Eurozone appears to be posting significant growth in the latest figures for the first quarter of 2011. As public sector cuts work through many of the world’s economies, there is good reason to ...

Why we need to fix the US Visa process

International Trade Information’s Stephanie Selenick looks at how visa affect the US congress industry. If getting visas were easier, the US could drive a staggering US$859bn in new economic output. I could have just as easily titled this post, Why the US sucks at making our business guests before they even get here. Or, Why even though relaxing our visa standards makes sense, it’s not...

Your very good health?

Could the meetings industry improve its health and safety guidelines with greater consultation, asks Andrew Manby, director of conference services provider, Joe Manby. Children forced to put on goggles before they can be exposed to the extreme dangers of conkers, traditional pancake day races cancelled and church clock winders banned from climbing the church tower to carry out their duties: no dou...

Time to change impressions

Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) President Leigh Harry says an improving economy is no time for apathy. With some improvement evident in the global economy, the meetings industry is again demonstrating its resiliency and adaptability. But it may actually be the most dangerous of times for industry advocacy. There is a natural tendency to respond to the first bits of positive news with a sigh...

How do we attract young people to our ageing industry?

Could apprenticeships help inject new blood into the exhibition industry? asks Andrew Manby, director of exhibition and conference services provider, Joe Manby. It’s a challenging time for all of us in the conference industry with slow growth predicted for the next two years at least. As those in charge of the purse strings show no sign of loosening them any time soon, one of the effects has...

The Royal Wedding – Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London

Normally bank holidays are relatively modest affairs but now The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre is back to normal after the most frenetic and exciting public holiday in years.   For some staff, the extra bank holiday and Royal Wedding were bonuses, but our event management team and technical staff worked flat out throughout the weekend to bring one of the largest, most complex exer...