Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.
The Meetings Show 2019
Flexible format allows event planners to be inspired, be informed and network at their own pace
Finding time to attend a trade show when your diary is already looking full may seem like an impossible challenge, but thanks to The Meeting Show’s streamlined attendance options this year it’s one that can easily be overcome.
The premier event for the UK inbound and outbound meetings and events industry takes place at London Olympia on 26 and 27 June, and among its many highlights is its hosted buyer programme.
Open to planners from government and corporate organisations, charities, AMCs, PCOs, associations, incentive houses, venue finding companies and event management agencies, the programme is designed to inform and inspire attendees while also facilitating meetings with suppliers relevant to them.
The flexible nature of the programme, which gives pre-qualified event planners and buyers access to 600 suppliers, targeted education sessions and networking opportunities over three days, means they can access as little or as much as they want.
Among the exhibitors at this year’s show will be UK hotels and venues, including London’s QEII Centre, Manchester’s Hotel Football, the Elite Hotels Group and the ICC Birmingham; UK destinations and tourist boards such as Marketing Liverpool, Conference Eastbourne and Visit Hull & East Yorkshire; and international destinations including Dubai, Norway and New York City.
Unlike some trade shows, The Meetings Show doesn’t carry out appointment matches for its hosted buyers, so it’s entirely down to the buyer who they meet and when. The only requirement is that hosted buyers attend six 15-minute appointments a day.
The Meetings Show’s programme also allows hosted buyers to attend for one, two, or three days (including exclusive access to the Pre-Show Conference on Tuesday 25 June) with the option of overnight accommodation if needed, so it can fit into their schedule.
If plans change, hosted buyers can also shorten or lengthen their visit without having to forfeit their place. For example, if a buyer originally signed up to three days, but can only attend for one, they can drop the days while it is also possible to add extra days should they find they have more availability nearer the show’s start date.
Della Penfold, hosted buyer programme manager for The Meetings Show, says: “Our new, streamlined programme for hosted buyers debuted at The Meetings Show 2018 and was extremely well-received by the hosted buyers who took part. Unlike with some shows, we don’t make appointment matches, so it’s entirely down to the buyer who they want to meet with, and with the three attendance options it provides more flexibility for those tight on time.”
While meetings with relevant suppliers form the backbone of The Meeting Show’s hosted buyer programme, it also offers buyers access to much more.
The Pre-Show Conference on 25 June includes insightful education sessions from prominent industry figures and an invite to the Hosted Buyer Welcome Reception that evening, enabling attendees to learn more about the industry, pick up tips and network within a select group.
At the show itself, hosted buyers can join the show’s 4,500 attendees at any number of the education sessions, which will be delivered in a variety of creative formats this year, putting inspiration and innovation at the forefront.
The theme for this year’s education programme is ‘the event planning journey’. The programme lets visitors explore the entire journey of planning an event – from The Vision, The Plan, The Nuts and Bolts, and Getting People There to The Follow-Up.
Alongside the education programme, details of which will be released soon, The Meetings Show provides numerous opportunities to network.
The Meetings Show’s networking programme includes a host of official show, partner and exhibitor events so you can meet new people and rediscover old acquaintances.
Hosted buyers also benefit from access to the hosted buyer lounge where they can relax, check emails or carry on conversations with colleagues or other members of the industry away from the show floor.
To register as a hosted buyer at The Meetings Show 2019, click here.
How to get the most out of a one-day visit to The Meetings Show
The Meetings Show recognises how tough it can be to take time out of the office when the work load is already great but meeting relevant contacts face-to-face and attending education sessions at trade shows are proven to help improve business and further careers.
To help you plan attendance effectively, here are our top tips for getting the most out of The Meetings Show when attending as a hosted buyer for one day.
Lean in for learning
Industry knowledge is vital to event planners’ development, whether it’s the core focus of your job or something you only do once a year. That means it’s always worth taking time out to find out about the changes affecting the industry and gain insight from experts to help you stay on top of industry developments and apply others’ insight to your own work, so you can improve your own performance.
Research carried out by The Meetings Show at the start of the year found that learning about the meetings and events industry is one of the most important personal development focuses for event planners over the coming year.
The survey of almost 200 planners found that 18% would be prioritising learning about the industry, while the same percentage would be focusing on development specific to their own organisations.
Learning new skills also emerged as an important area for development, with 16% of respondents citing this as their priority.
With The Meetings Show 2019 focusing on the event planning journey in its education programme, buyers will be able to easily identify the sessions relevant to them and improve their knowledge in specific areas to help them stay on top of their game without having to commit too much time to attendance.
For more details about The Meetings Show 2019’s education programme click here.
Know the value of networking
According to research, 85% of business directors believe that meeting customers in person leads to a longer-term relationship than if simply communicating over email or the telephone.
No matter what sector you work in, face-to-face contact is vital to developing business relationships, but often we fail to equate the importance in our own role as an event planner.
The Meetings Show facilitates networking among industry members through a host of official show, partner and exhibitor events, allowing you to meet relevant contacts – new and old – in a way that works for you.
The Meetings Show’s hosted buyer programme is also designed to help you meet with the right suppliers at times agreeable to both parties. Hosted buyers can choose who they want to meet and when each day, with pre-approved buyers only having to commit to six 15-minute appointments per day, making time out of the office worthwhile and allowing them time to access the show’s many other highlights.
Stay on top of tech
Technology is an integral part of our lives and is playing an increasingly important role in the meeting and events industry. To help keep event planners and buyers updated on the latest technology available to them and give insight on how it can be used to improve all aspects of event planning and organising, The Meetings Show hosts some of the best tech suppliers as well as including the subject within its education programme.
At last year’s show, the education programme included 14 sessions dedicated to technology, including technology tools to boost networking, effective use of technology in digital meetings for healthcare and personalising the delegate journey.
Event planners can also find out about the latest technology products and services available by visiting some of the Show’s dedicated technology suppliers.
Register for The Meetings Show for free here.