Our look back at this year’s International Confex highlights.
Looking back at this year’s International Confex there were some standout speakers, exhibitions, and stalls showcasing this year’s theme Diversity and Inclusion.
This year’s keynote speaker was David Meade, with a talk titled Give a Hand – Life Changing Programme. The BBC presenter spoke about how we can use challenging and rewarding team building activities to make a difference to the lives of those less fortunate. The event involved breaking up into groups to construct a clinical, prosthetic hand which was then sent to be fitted to an amputee in the developing world. Representing Lightbulb Teams, Meade spoke about breaking the mould of conventional training experiences and using your time in your future team building activities to create a lasting impact on the lives of others and a life-long memory for those who took part.
Highlight talks from this year’s theme, involved No More Diversity ‘Hushing’, How Do We Translate D&I Strategy Into Truly Accessible Events?, and topically, relating to the industry’s on-going recruitment crisis – How Best to Attract, Invest In and Retain the Next Gen. Speakers Dale Paramenter, CEO of DRPG, Hannah Eakins,
CEO of Production Futures, Lorne Armstrong from Event Academy, Richard Waddington from The Event Apprenticeship Scheme, and Simon Hughes from The Power Of Events discussed ways to appeal to university graduates or those swapping professions. Discussions highlighted that nurturing the younger generation and appealing to a new audience, early, is a worthwhile use of the industry’s time.
The Event Tech category this year was dominated by talk of the metaverse and its possible effect on the event industry’s future. Most notably, Unpicking the
Metaverse and Metaverse – Ready or Not? dedicated their session to delving into the possibilities which could be provided to the industry. Josh King, Vice President of Growth at emc3, addressed the metaverse in his session by reflecting upon the impact of brands in the gaming industry. King divulged into how brands such as Nike, Coca-Cola, and Samsung are displaying its products in Roblox, Minecraft, and Fortnite, all of which have massive online followings. He invited listeners to get ahead of the curve and to get ready for this new wave of tech in the industry.
Sustainability was also a rich category for speakers this year with Confex putting themselves under the microscope in a talk between Matt Grey, Founder of event:decision and Chris Thompson, CEO of You. Smart. Thing. titled Understanding the Footprint of International Confex 2023. The session broke down the responsibilities of such a large event and the example it must set for the event industry in this time, while advising the audience on how to plan and deliver more sustainable future events. Speakers Luke Bilton, Chief Growth Officer from ExpoPlatform and Jack Newey from International Confex and Conference News also added their input to this conversation noting where the key drivers of sustainability really are in the industry.
Heading popular exhibitors this year was experimental food company, Lick Me I’m Delicious. The Willy Wonka- inspired event inventions company took Confex-goers to a whole new level of excitement and curiosity. Guests sampled edible balloons, bubbles, and zero-calorie mist alongside watching the Instant Logopop Maker create branded chocolate lollies before their eyes. Others included ACC Liverpool, this year’s host of The Eurovision Song Contest, award winning Manchester Central, and Translateable, a service which provides translation, interpreting, subtitling, and transcription for events people.
We look forward to 2024!