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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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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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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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New Year resolutions for event managers

John Fisher shows how to save money and keep your cool

It’s the time of year when hope springs eternal and everyone vows to do things better, quicker and more interestingly than in previous years. So here are my New Year’s event resolutions for 2017.

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Where ignorance is not bliss

Poor planning makes perfect events unachievable

Professional organisers like to get all their ducks in a row before they commit themselves to any event. There is nothing worse in event-planning than organising as you go along and hoping for the best. Unfortunately, the perception by internal non-specialists that ‘events are easy’ does not promote clear thinking and good planning.

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How to grow a business

Emma Cartmell, CEO, CHS Group

Emma Cartmell, CEO, CHS Group

Many of us in this sector are business owners and I’m pretty sure that I’ve read that we have far more entrepreneurs than most industries. But whilst starting a business is hard, growing a business is, in my opinion far harder, so I am very keen to learn from others who have done it successfully.

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Thailand in mourning

Corporate groups are still welcome

Thailand has long been a favoured corporate destination, especially for incentives. The death of His Majesty King Bhumipol Adulyadej, though after a long illness, has shocked the nation. The whole country, therefore, is in mourning. His Majesty, aged 88, had ascended the throne at the age of 18 after the sudden death of his older brother. He became the world’s longest serving monarch.

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How do you work the shower?

Sydney Paulden asks if you have ever seen instructions on how to use a hotel bathroom?

There is one thing that always seems to be missing from a hotel room. That is a sheet of simple instructions on how to use the controls of the shower.
Bring up this topic in the company of any frequent traveller and you get immediate recognition of the problem and the examples of start flowing of the problems people have encountered over the years.


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Leeds proves how important MICE can be to regions

Jennifer Young, Head of ConferenceLeeds,

Jennifer Young, Head of ConferenceLeeds, quotes the stats

The UKCAMS report (UK Conference and Meeting Survey 2016) shows that West Yorkshire held an estimated 80,000 business events during 2015, accounting for a direct spend of approximately £595m in venues and the local destination. Venues in Leeds alone generated the majority of this, hosting 58,400 events with an estimated £501m of direct expenditure.

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Venue search is more than the venue

‘Experts’ may not be so expert, after all, says John Fisher

The rapid rise of venue search suppliers comes as no surprise to observers of the Internet. The voracious need for timely information delivered instantly is the basis for all digital businesses around the world - from comparison websites to GPS app users.
Venue search agencies have not been slow to exploit the needs of public and private organisations who require a suitable venue for their next event at the right price…as quickly as possible. It all takes time to do that for yourself and, as we all know, if you have no venue, you have no event.


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The gender issue in meetings management

Why is the event sector different?

Women in positions of power seem to be making the news these days. UK Prime Minister May, Bundeskanzlerin Merkel, Scottish First Minister Sturgeon, US presidential candidate Clinton, MD of the IMF Lagarde…and so it goes on.
But in the events industry, even though there are many more women running events than men, there are not many females running event companies. Why should this be so?


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EU Referendum – what’s best for MICE?

Exit would bring us more, not less, bureaucracy

UK event managers, in or out of Europe?
If you have been in the UK for the past few months or work there permanently you will be aware that the UK is about to vote in a national referendum. The question being asked is a simple one: Should the United Kingdom remain a member or leave the European Union?


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Hotels should be honest about re-bookings . .

. . . otherwise they have to host cardboard boxes!

I’m a great admirer of the way hotels run their businesses. On the surface everyone you meet is as nice as pie and always enthusiastic to show you their latest improvement or upgrade. When it comes to the size of rooms and their current availability, they can be charmingly vague and relaxed. But don’t let this fool you.

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How does terrorism affect destination decisions?

John Fisher reviews the factors to take into account
Terrorist attacks in Paris, Brussels, Istanbul and elsewhere have prompted lots of media comment about ‘safe places’ to take corporate meetings and conference delegates. It makes interesting editorial copy, but it’s closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.


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How to make events less stressful

John Fisher provides a checklist of 7 essentials

A recent survey by Q Hotels in the UK highlighted the fact that more than 70% of event organisers lose at least two hours sleep the night before organising an important event.
More than a quarter reported that they feel anxious before an event. 98% say that they need time for their body to recover after an event due to all the pressures exerted by the constant do-it-now demands of professional event management.
Being concerned that all the planning goes right on the big day is not exclusive to event organisers, of course.


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MICE business needs peace

Destinations can suffer overnight

We have to face the fact that in many countries of the world terrorism is not only disrupting tourism but is actually targeting the tourist industry. One serious incident can ruin tourism business overnight.
Naturally, MICE events are very sensitive to any prospect of danger. Organisers are not going to risk wasting investment in preparation for an event that may have to be cancelled. Companies, of course, are not going to choose a risky destination as a venue for hosting the cream of their workforce or clients. ‘Safety’ is now a box that has to be ticked whenever a destination is being considered.


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Allow enough time to prepare . .

. . to ensure a happy audience

It’s easy to criticise an event for spelling mistakes on the screen or for an inaccurate delegate badge, but when your event is under way no-one stops to think about all the trials and tribulations endured to avoid those errors.
Sometimes the professional organiser gets a bigger kick out of rescuing an event from disaster than from the perfect execution of a well-trodden, regular event with no surprises. But how long should you spend putting an event together and is there such a thing as having too much or too little event preparation time?


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Give your event a theme

John Fisher shows how to attract more delegates

Imagine a world where people have no names. It would be very confusing for everyone. It also suggests that individuals are not very important. But as we know, individuals do have their own personality with a unique contribution to make. Being different can change groups of people and even nations by the sheer force of that difference. Personal charisma can even change history.

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