This year’s The Meetings Show will have a new Group Event Director. Taking place on 27 and 28 June 2018 at London Olympia, the show will have David Chapple at the helm. He became responsible for its development and delivery in August 2017.
‘As Group Event Director for Centaur,’ he says, ‘I can evaluate our experiences of several related shows and share the best ideas and practice.’
Other major events in David’s Centaur portfolio include Business Travel Show and its associated Travel Technology Europe, visited by thousands of travel professionals. The best way to provide exactly what the visitors require is to base our offer on what we are told by those visitors. We listen to their needs and to what challenges they have to meet in achieving their objectives. We also, of course, pay careful attention to the needs of the exhibitors.’
Matching the two is the skill of the exhibition organiser – and that skill has been developed by David in his 19 years’ experience at Centaur on every aspect of exhibitions.
‘Visitors come to learn about the services and facilities the exhibitors have to offer and the show organisers provide added value in many ways, so that the whole experience is as rewarding as possible’.
The Education Programme
The Meetings Show puts great emphasis on its education programme. ‘This’, says David, ‘is a valuable extra benefit for our visitors.
‘We’ve appointed Erica Keogan as Conference Producer for 2018. She has more than 20 years’ experience in the meetings industry, managing global education programmes for exhibitions in Europe, Africa, India, the Middle East, China and North America.
‘With Erica’s extensive knowledge, we’re focussing on the four core themes of technology, marketing, event design and leadership. As a result, the programme will be even more targeted. Attendees will be able to get up-to-date with the latest trends and challenges as well as exploring what the future might hold. We issued a call for speakers to submit ideas that received a terrific response. In this way The Meetings Show can benefit from the highest calibre of speakers and tap the pool of talent within the industry.’ The Meetings Show is also working with its advisory board, focus groups, partners and exhibitors to refine plans for 2018. There will be changes to the format and to the hosted buyer and education programmes to put more emphasis on valuable networking.
‘This year’, David adds, ‘The Meetings Show is celebrating its sixth edition and there are some basic changes. It now has a new two-day format. Building on our experience from the last five years, we are introducing changes to our hosted buyer programme to make it even more attractive to corporates, associations and agencies. We’ve simplified the options to make it clearer and easier for buyers to join and benefit from the meeting, learning and networking opportunities available.
‘We also have some really exciting plans for the hosted buyer welcome reception and there will be a brand-new pre-show conference, that will make the programme for buyers even more vibrant, with more opportunities for learning, supplier appointments and networking opportunities.
‘For exhibitors, the new format means greater ROI from a focused two-day show, with increased networking in addition to their appointments with hosted buyers.’
The team’s the thing
As the Group Event Director, David Chapple insists on commenting on the importance of the contribution by his whole team. ‘They are all very knowledgeable. They have built long-lasting relationships with clients and partners and have a real passion for the industry they work in. They’re always making time to attend every kind of event in this sector – in fact I hardly see them in the office!’
Hosted buyer registration for The Meetings Show 2018, Olympia
Hosted buyers can register from Monday, 5 February 2018. It is open to planners from event management agencies, venue finding companies, incentive houses, associations, PCOs, AMCs, charities, government and corporate organisations.
Buyers should register online at www.themeetingshow.com. They will be qualified by the hosted buyer team. The criteria can be seen here. After notification that they have been approved, they will receive a link to their hosted buyer diary, where they can view details of the exhibitors and can book appointments.