Review: International Confex 2021

Hospitality and Events North Magazine had a great couple of days at International Confex 2021, held at London’s ExCeL Centre earlier this week!

The first industry event following the Pandemic, it was great to be back amongst fellow professionals and out in the real world again following a difficult year and a half of event closures and uncertainty. The event was not as well attended as in previous years by #eventprofs, perhaps understandable as we work towards building confidence in attending events again, but this afforded us excellent opportunities to network with our fellow professionals and attend the various programmed events during the two days.

An excellent panel of experts discussed how, over the last 15 months, associations have had to maintain their diverse event programmes and explore how new ways of working have been adopted. There were several forums exploring equality and diversity including experts from Diversity Ally, JCK Consulting, BVEP, ABPCO, Event Industry Alliance and The Women’s Equality Party to name but a few.

The theme of the event was focused upon the impact of the pandemic including how digital technologies have grown and continue to provide opportunities for revenue growth, recovery and growth in the post-lockdown climate and how to build and grow back stronger. Takeaways from the event included hearing from various organisations about how they have adapted their practices to survive with some truly inspirational and innovative stories, how far the recruitment crisis across the UK is impacting upon the Hospitality and Events Industry Post Brexit and lockdown area, and how technology is transforming the landscape with the emergence of hybrid events and new technologies to future proof the events industry.

Most importantly just being together at a place and chatting, discussing and occasionally drinking was the stand out. Hospitality and Events North now looks forward The Meetings Show, CHS and other live events as we rebuild and focus upon a positive outlook for the industry, and Confex reminded us how important face to face events are for everyone.