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The new kid on the block

Is Blockchain a solution in search of a problem?
As a concept, Blockchain is actually quite interesting and is known as ‘distributed ledger’ technology. Pretty much everything we do online creates data and Blockchain is a new way of storing and moving that data. Data has to be held somewhere and usually gets stored in clumps in one place – whether that is on a company’s server, your own PC or in the cloud. With Blockchain the data is split into tiny pieces and spread out over thousands of places via a network and then held together with clever cryptography.


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Hidden Gem Venues - Amber Lakes, Bombay Sapphire Distillery and Oxford Mini

Kat Allso, Venue Consultant at venuepot shares some hidden gem venues
At venuepot we always want to be kept up to date about those “think outside of the box” venues, and those unusual event spaces you wouldn’t normally choose – ‘hidden gems’ as we like to call them. We are constantly inundated with requests from clients who want to have first dibs on the out of the ordinary venues to help create an unforgettable experience and event.


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To ROI, add ROE

John Fisher measures events emotionally
Event managers all over the world will be painfully familiar nowadays with the need for ROI (Return On Investment) on events. This has been supplanted by ROO (Return On Objectives) in recent years. No doubt there will be other acronyms to come as funders look for ever more sophisticated ways to prove that events work. I can imagine ROMS (Return On Marketing Spend) and even ROT (Return On Technology) where finance directors will link the cost of event tech spend to customer sales.


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GDPR will make data misuse very obvious

Simon Clayton stresses that data about other people belongs to them not to you
It’s occurred to me that GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) isn’t wildly different from the Data Protection Act that it replaces – except in one major and hugely ground-breaking way.
The overarching goal of GDPR (enforceable in Europe from May 25 2018) is one of transparency and fairness. Its main mission is to encourage companies to be transparent in the way they are storing and using people’s personal data and that they are fair in the decisions they take regarding that data.


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Elimination of sexual harassment is an organiser’s responsibility

Should attendees sign good behaviour contracts?
The reports of how guests at the Presidents Club Charity Dinner in The Dorchester Hotel early in January treated the female waitresses like sex playthings have reverberated around the world. In the immediate aftermath, that annual event has been cancelled and there have been countless arguments aired as to who was really responsible.


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Confusion over new EU data protection law

Simon Clayton says fines are unlikely and offers a free Reftech guide
GDPR: by now, you will know that it is General Data Protection Regulation and when it will be enforceable May 25), but do you actually know exactly what you have to do? You are not alone - there are thousands of companies and millions of people who still don’t know exactly what they need to do either, and there’s good reason for that.


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Hosted buyers…who needs ‘em?

John Fisher questions their value
New Year? New fiscal? New opportunities? And what better opportunities could there be for new sales growth than attending an industry exhibition in 2018!
But there are rumblings amongst professional attendees that the ‘hosted-buyer model’ may be creaking a little. At a recent industry gathering, actual buyers - not exhibitors - were asked if they were happy with the exhibition format, where they have to commit to 8-10 ‘meetings’ per day in return for free travel and accommodation.


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FerrariLand Bake-off satisfied every taste

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Hotel Republic steered an effective and fun event
Kai Schomann likes to throw a party and he always makes sure his guests have good food and good company, with a high level of entertainment. He also knows that an unusual venue adds to the fun. And last, but certainly not least, he never loses sight of the fact that he is serving a client, so the planning and the effort have to achieve the event’s objective. It focuses attention on what his client has to offer to the MICE sector.


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Barcodes outperform facial recognition

Simon Clayton tells how even Apple’s demo failed
The Apple iPhone X launch has brought facial recognition into the news and so, of course, we need to look at its impact on the events industry. ‘Facial recognition is going to take the events world by storm and the humble barcode will soon be relegated to the past’. At least, that’s what the people selling it are claiming.


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Theresa May speech remembered for the wrong reasons

Four things John Fisher would have done differently
What a disaster! This month’s UK Tory Party conference was an excellent example of how NOT to manage the client’s brand effectively with an event. All clients whinge about the costs of an excellent conference producer and back-up team. Many do not even have one…’someone from marketing can do it’. But when it goes wrong, it can go spectacularly wrong.


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Augmented Reality brings no benefits

AR doesn’t pass the ‘cost v. usefulness’ test, says Simon Clayton
Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR and VR) are the latest shiny tech innovations to hit the events press, so, as usual, I thought I should dispel the myths and fallacies.
I've grouped AR and VR together because they will soon be referred to as one entity; Augmented Reality (the layering of information or images over the real world) and Virtual Reality (completely fabricated worlds) will merge to be one technique.


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Technology should simplify things

But Simon Clayton finds it often makes things more difficultWe like tech, we like gadgets and we have come to expect that as technology marches on, our everyday items will include more tech features, have more functionality and be able to do even more whizzy things for us that will make our lives easier.

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Brexit casts its shadow over UK event planning

John Fisher sees many disadvantages with no benefits
Brexit, UK’s exit from the EU, will have significant impact on the budgets of the remaining 27. In broad terms, they will now have to find on average 4% more in contributions to make the books balance, because the UK is a net contributor.
Bureaucrats in Brussels are making light of the current discussions, saying they have much more pressing issues, such as the security of the Southern Mediterranean borders, sluggish economic growth and widespread youth unemployment.


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Delegate Data breaches can cripple a company

Simon Clayton says they prove how valuable the data can be
How often do you hear people say: “If it seems too good to be true, then it most probably is…”?
This saying came to mind when we found out that some companies are purporting to sell delegate information from specific events. Emails from a third party company are issued to exhibitors and non-exhibitors alike and claim that they are selling delegate or visitor data from XYZ event.


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Planners – be architects!!

Learning, networking and motivation are your materials, says John Fisher
Have you ever come across the term ‘meeting architecture’? Experienced conference producers will say they have been doing it for years - constructing the content of meetings in such a way as to get the best audience impact.


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Is some high-tech solving problems that are not there?

Or will its use soon become very valuable?
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas prompted a whole range of reactions from the press – ranging from the ‘wow’ to the fairly sarcastic. One article highlighted the array of technology created ‘to solve a problem that just isn’t there’.


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The world where meetings and travel collide

David Chapple portfolio director of the Business Travel Show

In recent years, the convergence between meetings and travel has been somewhat of a hot topic with reports that an increasing proportion of business travel buyers are now responsible for meetings spend and vice versa.
Since 2010, the Business Travel Show has surveyed business travel buyers to monitor, among other things, this specific trend. In 2010, the number of travel buyers also responsible for group travel and meetings was roughly 50/50. Last year, however, this number shot up to 63 per cent.


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US judges’ decision will prolong the agony

Dire results for the US MICE sector

Trump"s latest bull-in-a-china shop approach to 'fixing things' demonstrates perfectly the law of unintended consequences. Restricting access into the USA of all non-visa’d nationals from specific countries is a bit daft to say the least. All Scotsmen do not eat porridge. All Italian men do not send their washing home to Mama. All Muslims are not terrorists.

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President Trump has given organisers an extra headache

Sydney Paulden says more clarity is required about entry into the USA

A few years ago I led a group of UK delegates to an event at the Amfora Hotel on the beautiful Croatian island of Hvar. When we had cleared immigration at Split Airport I found that we were one delegate short. I found that she was being held by immigration because, unknown to me, she was travelling on a Belarus passport and so required a special visa

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May 25th is a key date in data handling

Simon Clayton explains its importance to event organisers

The EU’s new data protection regime - the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) - will come into force in May 2018, when it will make EU data protection rules a lot stricter.
While the future of data protection law after the UK fully leaves the EU is as yet unknown, the fact remains that the exit is still many years away. In the meantime, the UK’s Information Commissioner has confirmed that the UK will go ahead with implementing GDPR into our own national regulations regardless of the Brexit vote.


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