The Power of Meditation

Alex Beiner, TBA Plc

Alex has written this post for ILEA UK as part of our #EventWell17 blog series

As event professionals, we have the enviable task of taking concepts and bringing them to life in the real world. We create things you can see and touch; things you experience through the body, not just passively experience on TV or online.

As a mindfulness meditation teacher and an event professional, I’ve always thought this creates an interesting intersection with mindfulness. Mindfulness is hugely effective in not just relieving stress in the moment, but changing how we react to future stressors. The reason it links so closely with the kind of work we do is that we become mindful by coming into the body; we use non-judgemental awareness to come into the present moment, which is experienced through the senses.

But in the fast-paced world of events, with deadlines and fires to put out all the time, how can you help your team be more mindful, and by extension, less stressed and more effective?


1. Understand what stress is

To support your team, you need to know a bit about the science of stress. Your body has an autonomic nervous system responsible for involuntary activities like heart rate and respiration. It includes two interrelated ‘strands’: the PNS (Parasympathetic Nervous System) and the SNS (Sympathetic Nervous System). The SNS is responsible for your ‘fight or flight’ response. When activated, your body secretes hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, diverts blood to the limbs, dilates the pupils and increases the heart rate.

We have evolved this response to survive, and it served our ancestors well when they encountered a hungry tiger in the jungle. However, the SNS isn’t picky. It will activate just as readily to a difficult client, or a supplier sending the wrong piece of kit. We call this initial stressor the ‘first dart’. The second dart comes when we replay the first dart in our heads, thereby releasing the same chemicals all over again and creating a cycle of reaction and stress. This cycle builds on itself until the body can’t handle any more and we burn out


2. Create opportunities to break the stress cycle

If you don’t give your team a way to release their stress hormones, they will build until they get sick, disengaged or too stressed to think effectively..

Mindfulness meditation breaks the stress cycle by creating distance between the stressor and our reaction to it – moving from autopilot into conscious decision. Have a professional teach your team some simple mindfulness techniques they can use on-site and in the office. The PNS can be activated in as little as 3 minutes, and there’s always an opportunity to come into the body and focus on the breath no matter how busy we are. As Zen philosopher Alan Watts said – “If you can’t meditate in a boiler room, you can’t meditate.” Teaching your team practical mindfulness skills allows them to take personal responsibility for their own well-being.


3. Create a mindful culture

This is perhaps the most important element of all. The culture of your agency or company needs to be one that recognises and promotes well-being. If people are working in an environment that encourages reflection, introspection and vulnerability, people won’t feel they need to mull over their stressors without any support. Nothing is quite as effective in relieving stress as a combination of mindful awareness and sharing your concerns and ideas in a free and open environment. Human beings thrive in communities – so make your workplace a supportive community that gives people the time to connect with themselves and one another.


In summary, helping your team feel more focused and relaxed is about much more than giving them some downtime. It’s achieved through understanding the biology of stress and relaxation, giving them opportunities to break the stress cycle, and most importantly, creating a culture built around well-being. These cultures are more productive, more creative and enjoy higher staff retention – and it’s as simple as giving your team space to breathe.

Senior Leaders to Gather at Inaugural Business of Events Forum

Leaders in the business events sector will come together to discuss future market opportunities and challenges at a conference, supported by the Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) and VisitBritain.

The Business of Events, held on the 3 November 2017 in London, will engage, inform and inspire senior leaders from across the industry. They will hear from government and industry representatives about future plans to support the sector, and learn more about VisitBritain’s strategy to attract more international business events. Delegates will also be given the opportunity to discuss ways in which future market challenges can be overcome, and opportunities for growth maximised.

Michael Hirst OBE, Chair of the BVEP said: “Through an industry engagement group. the Business Visits and Events Partnership is delighted to support this important gathering of industry leaders and those who can influence policies that will enhance the success of the business events sector. There has never been a more important time than now for the industry to demonstrate it can showcase Britain’s trading opportunities through attracting world-class conferences and exhibitions”.

VisitBritain Director Robin Johnson said: “We welcome this opportunity to engage with leaders of the UK’s business events sector and key stakeholders on how we can position Britain as the most desirable business events destination, and maintain our international competitiveness. “This sector plays a crucial role in the UK economy and we are continually working to grow the industry’s value to Britain.”

In addition to the conference, a parliamentary reception and dinner will take place on 2 November, attended by industry leaders, senior members of parliament and government officials. The conference will be held at QE2 Conference Centre in Westminster. VisitScotland, London & Partners, ibtm events and Cvent are also supporting the event.

Find Others in the ILEA Community at IMEX

ILEA UK Members, Giant iTab, will be on full display at IMEX Frankfurt this week. The team will be in good company as well with fellow ILEA members and board members once again filling up the educational and thought leadership programme throughout the international exhibition.

You’ll be able to find ILEA, both UK and international, at IMEX through Giant iTab’s awesome wayfinding service. The exhibition’s Event App will be displayed on Giant iTabs throughout the halls of the show and at the new, purpose built, Information Zone at the entrance to Hall 9, underlining just why the company continue to trail blaze globally in the meetings and live events industry.

So, if you’re lost, or just want to know more about event tech and how it can help us secure more engagement and interaction at events; look out for the folk at Giant iTab.

In the meantime, check out the IMEX educational programme and play your own game of ‘spot the ILEA member’ …

A Head Space™ to Host First Event at Rosewood Hotel

A Head Space™ invite us all to take time out of the day-to-day whirlwind to share ideas and network with like minded sales folk. The first forum is being held on Friday 17th of Feb, 8.30am-11am, at Scarfes Bar at the Rosewood Hotel in Holborn.

As we know, the art and science of great selling doesn’t just come from training or books. It comes from innovative, like-minded people sharing ideas on how best to approach a customer or prospect. A Head Space™ was created to give people the opportunity to learn and share with sales people from different walks of life in a relaxed atmosphere with no other agenda.

A Head Space™ is free to attend and is designed with you in mind. It is your time out of the office to develop your sales technique by learning, discussing and sharing with senior sales folk from different industries and walks of life. However – it isn’t a place for selling – it’s simply a place for meeting like minded people and building networks.

All you need to bring with you is plenty of business cards and an open mind. Places are limited so register to attend now and avoid disappointment.

ILEA UK to Help Fuel International Confex 2017

We are delighted to announce that we have partnered with International Confex to create a series of educational sessions that form part of the exhibition’s comprehensive seminar programme.

Our speakers will cover topics ranging from event technology trends, entrepreneurship, social media and content curation and include speakers from across the live experience industry. Emma Brunjes, creator of the Alice Underground immersive theatre production, as well as the Sherlock exhibitions will be one of the key sessions in the marketing theatre. In addition, Jason Allan Scott, presenter of the internationally acclaimed ‘The GuestList Podcast’ will be presenting in the keynote theatre on ’in-trepreneurship’.

Within the Associations Theatre, TFI Group and The Personal Finance Society will present the meetings and events industry launch of the ‘Festival of Finance’. This Q&A session will feature an interview with The Personal Finance Society on its approach to national meetings and events, and how this led to the creation of the first Festival of Finance, set to take place 7th – 8th November 2017.

Meanwhile, Gavin Williams of Quander, will be sharing his views on the future of event technology as he talks about tech bin-dipping. Elena Clowes, Operations Manager of ILEA UK will be joining Jason Allan Scott again in the #EventTech Theatre for a session presenting 20 social media hacks for event professionals.

ILEA UK will also be exhibiting at the event alongside YaHire and Giant iTab to bring the seminars back onto the exhibition floor through Facebook Live.

Don’t forget to register for your place HERE. We look forward to seeing you there!

ILEA Member Exclusive: 50% off Tickets to The Spirit Show

The ultimate premium spirits tasting event is coming to the Business Design Centre in Islington, London on the 9th and 10th December. The Spirit Show will be the UK’s first premium spirits tasting event, covering everything from artisan vodka, craft gin, small batch rum & rare whiskies to lesser known premium spirits such as cachaça, armagnac, mezcal & many more!

What better way to start the festivities than a chance to indulge yourself in the wonderful world of spirits, while gathering ideas for your upcoming events at the same time. Tickets start from just £20 for ILEA UK members and include unlimited tastings, a delicious meal from the Street Food Village, a limited edition Glencairn tasting glass and a free download of the show app with tasting notes.

To activate this exclusive discount please quote ILEA50.

Further information about what’s on at the show can be found here:

Link to book tickets:

#EventProfs and LGBTQ+ Inclusion

Alex Ingram, Rendezvous Events Ltd
Alex has written this post for ILEA UK as part of our #EventWell17 blog series

Each year that I attend London Pride it means more and more to me, the importance stretches way beyond an excuse to wear short-shorts and drink in the street (as much fun as that is)!

For the LGBTQ+ community it’s about creating cultural and political change on an international level, whilst on a personal level it’s about empowering people to eliminate any shame around their sexuality or gender and most of all it’s about celebrating Love whoever it may be for.  

As an event producer, two things struck me this year at London Pride. The first was what an amazing logistical feat it is, with around one million attendees and 26,000 people taking part in the parade, it’s one of London’s largest events. All of this is carefully produced without losing its sense of purpose, acceptance, equality and of course spreading a message of love and pride.

The other thing that struck me this year as I watched the floats go past, was this: I saw floats go past for LGBTQ+ networks for many industries, but not the events industry. They had LGBT+ networks for finance, media, medicine, London transport, emergency services, the list goes on.

I realised that as an LGBTQ+ event professional I wasn’t being represented specifically and also I didn’t have this amazing industry community to turn to for support, or simply to meet like-minded professionals. As I’m sure some readers are aware, many event professionals are freelance or can work in isolation of colleagues, so perhaps the need for such a network is greater in our industry than others. For all the glitz and glamour of events, like any industry, there is also homophobia and transphobia in the workplace and that’s something I’d love to see disappear from our industry.

With all this in mind, I’m currently interested in setting up a group for our industry, where anyone that recognises themselves as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Questioning, Intersex or an ally to any of the above, is welcome to come.  In fact, a place for anyone to meet others, to have fun, to give support and to push to create the most inclusive events industry that doesn’t just “tolerate” but “celebrates” the diversity of its event professionals.

In light of Eventwell week, I’ve been thinking about why LGBT+ inclusivity is important to the well-being of our event professionals. Firstly our industry shouldn’t exclude anyone and as professionals, we not only have a moral obligation for LGBTQ+ inclusivity we also have a legal one. Also, battling homophobia, transphobia and gender stereotypes isn’t just an LGBTQ+ issue, it affects all of us. The biggest receiver of homophobic abuse in this country is… wait for it… heterosexual men. How many times will a guy be told not to do something because it’s “gay” or less “male”. The biggest killer of men under 50 in the UK is suicide and I put so much of that down to the expression of feelings being seen as “unmanly” as well as huge numbers of men struggling with meeting society’s ideal of “masculinity”.

We need to create an industry where everyone feels safe to work, where they can be themselves without fear of prejudice or discrimination. The live events industry is stressful enough for our professionals, without them having to worry about homophobia, transphobia and gender stereotyping. I really believe the responsibility of creating these safe working spaces isn’t just on employers but it’s on all of us, to be mindful of others differences, to use inclusive language, to stand up for others and sometimes to be out and proud about your own difference, so that others around you who may be struggling with their own differences feel empowered too.

GL Events Partnered with The R&A for The Open

The R&A is among of GL events UK’s most prestigious global golfing clients, alongside the Ryder Cup and European Tour; while The Open is its among its largest tiered seating and spectator grandstand clients, with specially manufactured, bespoke kit retained and used exclusively across The R&A’s events.

Throughout the years, there have been many opportunities to innovate, and GL events has been pleased and proud to rise to the challenge! Partnership milestones have included:

  • Incorporation of the R&A’s claret jug logo into temporary tiered seating grandstands
  • Support of the R&A’s rebrand in 2015, replacing green products with new infrastructure, manufactured in the R&A’s new royal blue
  • Horse-shoe ‘wraparound’ layout introduced at Royal Liverpool Hoylake, and encircling the 1st and 18th greens
  • Under-grandstand facilities including toilets
  • A first in the history of the Open – erection of steel structure to create a grandstand above and around the club shop at St Andrews
  • Players bridges, bringing spectators closer to players
  • Integrated accessable viewing platforms and standing spectator platforms, use which platforms has quadrupled for this year’s event
  • Integration of WiFi beacons to boost media interactivity for spectators
  • Improved sight-lines and higher seating grandstands

For The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale, GL events installed a total of 24 individual spectator grandstands. These consisted of a combination of 12,000 tiered seats, standing viewing platforms for more than 2,000 spectators, and accessible platforms, complete with ramps, for wheelchair users. These tailor-made grandstands were designed in a range of innovative and bespoke configurations, delivering greater comfort, increased space and improved sight-lines for spectators; while creating arenas and individual grandstands to compliment and integrate into the landscape and contours of the course.

The project included GL events UK’s creation of a 1,000-seat wraparound amphitheatre at the par 3 14th hole; as well as the 18th grandstand arena, where thousands of fans will watch the drama unfold on the closing hole, while seated under the iconic yellow leader-boards. Around the course, three towering players’ bridges will allow fans greater access to competitors.

Following The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale, GL events will support The Open Championship’s historic returns to Carnoustie, Royal Portrush, and Royal St George’s.

BVEP Launches Survey to Support Industrial Strategy Response

The Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) is seeking the event industry’s views on the development of a Visitor Economy Sector Deal, as part of its ongoing response to the Government’s post-Brexit Industrial Green Paper.

BVEP is supporting the development of “sector deals” across a number of different Government-identified areas that directly impact on the growth and development of the UK events industry as a whole. The Visitor Economy Sector Deal is one such programme. In order to gauge where the key focus needs to be for businesses working in the events industry, the BVEP has issued a survey to give everyone the chance to review questions and key issues from their own business perspective.

The results will form part of an on-going consultation process which is due to report back at the end of August.

BVEP Vice Chair Simon Hughes said:

“In the absence of a sector deal specifically for the events industry, it has always been clear that we should lend our voice and support to other deals that are being developed. This was clearly what our partners wanted, so we are using this survey to capture input from across the event sector that will feed into the relevant channels and themes. For example, event design and delivery of all types are closely linked to the success of the visitor economy generally and the business visitor sector in particular. Reducing uncertainty is the common theme that unites many of our members so we hope to provide robust evidence to the Government about where it should focus its Industrial Strategy.”

The BVEP Industrial Strategy survey is available here.


Verve the Live Agency appoint new Commercial Director, Garry Ryan

Garry Ryan is to join Verve the Live Agency as Commercial Director.  Garry has sixteen year’s client and agency experience across the Alcohol, FMCG, Telecommunications, Media, Sports Management and Aviation sectors partnering with diverse organisations and iconic brands including Diageo, Digicel, Communicorp, Horizon Sports, Topaz and most recently, Aer Lingus.  These roles involved management of significant assets and personalities across multiple brands, channels and territories including The Ryder Cup, GAA Hurling Championship and Official Airline to the Irish Rugby Team.

Garry’s experience ranges from strategy development, contract negotiations, media planning, digital and social, brand experiential and sponsorship activation to revenue generation, while managing and motivating multiple stakeholders and teams to deliver best in class brand and commercial properties.

Announcing the appointment Verve Founder Ronan Traynor said “Garry has proven ability, experience and insight to bring a concept to market across multiple channels, while incorporating accountable evaluation and measurement metrics.

Garry is passionate about developing brands, while offering a premium customer experience, and thrives on the challenge of bringing these together in an innovative, engaging and commercially sustainable manner.  He will be a big asset to our clients across the board “.

Verve the Live Agency has been delivering award winning live communications for over 26 years with offices in Dublin, London and Amsterdam.

World Class Events & A.C.T (National) Ltd Announce Partnership

Event management consultancy World Class Events (WCE) and the UK’s leading event safety consultancy A.C.T (National) Ltd have announced a partnership that will see the two companies promote and raise higher Health & Safety standards throughout the UAE. The partnership will enable WCE and A.C.T to deliver training that will improve knowledge and understanding of safety processes in the region by providing all personnel working on events access to competent advice therefore educating the local workforce and the client at the same time.

As a successful event management business that delivers production solutions all over the world, World Class Events deals with a wide range of Health & Safety matters on a daily basis. Often seen as an obstacle to creativity, World Class works hard to prove that this isn’t the case and applies sensible and pragmatic solutions. Ove the last eighteen months this has more often than not been achieved by working closely with A.C.T (National) Ltd so the formalising of the working relationship with a firm partnership is a natural progression for both. Combining the two companies global experience will offer a global solution that will reduce costs, enhance service delivery and assist our clients to deliver the safest event possible.

Commenting on the partnership, John Adkins, managing director of WCE said: “It was becoming increasingly apparent that there was a global requirement for WCE to have access to experienced and internationally recognised qualified safety consultants. Entering into a partnership with A.C.T allows us to make it part of the package that we offer to clients; it assists the client as they don’t have an additional element to source and we can ensure that all areas of safety and due diligence are covered from day one. The client has one point of contact and doesn’t have to deal with third party authorities without support.”

Adkins and Chris Woodford, director of A.C.T.(National) Ltd both added in a joint statement: “We see this partnership benefitting the industry as a whole. Standards can be raised by educating those within the industry in a practical manner and barriers to competent safety education can be lifted, allowing a free flow of information. This will see standards raised and deliver a more professional image to the rest of the world.”

“Future training plans will be aimed at the general workforce initially, with an emphasis on correct learning outcomes instead of charging for a course, issuing a certificate and then forgetting about them. This partnership will ensure that the training course are internationally recognised and approved and allow for continuing professional development at whatever level.”

Giant iTab Launch Enterprise Lab Product

ILEA UK Members Giant iTab have launched a new ‘Enterprise Lab’ version of its award-winning hardware, aimed specifically for app, software and digital marketing developers. The product is already being used by a number of event tech companies, as well as training, testing and design departments in businesses across industries from automotive to tourism.

The giant smart phone is perfect for new product and design demonstrations within companies building software at BETA stage. The large format recreates the app and enables developers the chance to get a closer – and a larger – view of apps, website, on line and mobile marketing as they are in development. Giant iTabs are already being used by many businesses, not just to reduce the amount of ‘small screen huddling’, but to demonstrate touch screen and gestures on a giant screen, that replicates exactly the user experience of the smaller screen.

“Increasingly, out Giant iTabs are being used for training, testing and presentations. Both for conventional video, PowerPoint etc., but also for on-line marketing, design and app demonstrations,” commented Mark Jones, founder & CEO, Giant iTab. “This is happening in retail outlets, within internal meetings, sales presentations, and amongst large businesses and as a presentation aid within research and development labs.”

The software installed on the Enterprise Lab Giant iTabs is more sophisticated, and tailored to the needs of developers. The hardware itself is available in a larger size, so can be used from small intimate internal huddles, too larger company conferences.

The Giant iTab Enterprise Lab devices are available now from Giant iTab both to buy and rent, for more information visit

ILEA UK Needs You!

It’s that time of year again, our ‘call for nominations’ process is officially open for the ILEA UK Board 2017/18, and we want to hear from you!

After a fantastic year for ILEA, there really is no better time to join the team of driven, passionate individuals who work together making a significant contribution to the professionalism of our industry.

If you want to raise your profile and feel part of the wider creative events industry, we urge you to get involved. The year ahead could not look more exciting, and we need great people on board to help support us in delivering the best ILEA UK programme yet.

Why should I join?

– opportunity to profile your leadership skills
– chance to make a contribution to the continued professionalism of the creative events industry

The board meet on a monthly basis and attend ILEA networking events as much as possible. We know how busy your working life can be and all roles can be adapted to suit your specific time constraints.

Term of Office – 1 Year
  • President Elect
  • VP Programmes
Term of Office – 2 Years

5 x Director at Large:

  • Marketing
  • Programmes
  • Membership
  • Education

Committee Members

  • Various

Click HERE for more info.

Where do I apply?!

If you are interested in serving or if you know someone who would be – download a nomination/application form HERE and submit it to ILEA UK. Please feel free to contact Elena Clowes at with any queries.

Applications and candidate reference forms must be submitted to us no later than Wednesday 31st May 2017.

9 Health & Well-Being Tips #EventProfs Should Live By

In April, the ILEA UK event focused on health and well-being for #EventProfs – guest Kim Goetze shares her thoughts on what she learnt below…

Eating healthy, exercising and sleeping 8 hours a night is the best you can do for your body and your soul. Yes, we all know that. We have all heard that a million and one times. Another thing we have heard at least as many times: jobs in our industry are ranked the 5th most stressful in the world. We know! Do we need to talk about that again and have another event preaching it to us? NO.

So why was the last event from ILEA UK about health & well-being different and actually helpful?

No one preached. They told us a story, their story. Let me now tell you mine about what I learnt that night in order to remain a happy and healthy Event Professional.

Talk, talk, talk

It honestly doesn’t matter who you talk to, your mum, your partner, your therapist, your dog, your stuffed animal, your dinner. Just talk about what is bringing your down, or just express that you don’t feel happy for no reason all. Anyone who doesn’t want to listen to it and tells you to just cheer up is not your friend and you might have to rethink that friendship.

Eat in peace

Take your lunch break, it is yours and yours only! We all have days when we are on site and don’t even have the time to think about lunch – but when it is a normal office day there is always enough time! Go out and get lunch, sit somewhere else other than your desk, enjoy a bit of sunshine (or better chase it when it decides to show for once) or phone a friend. Take that time for yourself and cherish it.

Daily de-stress

We are the absolute best at making our lives unnecessarily stressful. De-stressing it is simply achieved by creating less stress for yourself. Sounds great, doesn’t it? If you know you will be late for a dinner or networking event if you finish off that email… instead of stressing either plan the route that will get you there quickest once you are done, or ask yourself can that email wait until tomorrow? Remember that life happens and things rarely run to plan.

STOP talking

Yes, yes, I know what I said three paragraphs before. I am not talking about as individuals, but as an industry. Constantly talking about and highlighting the stress we put ourselves through is driving people out of their jobs into mental breakdowns. Stop talking, start doing is the motto here. Watch out for #EventWell!

Move your bum

You might not want to change your body shape, or feel like losing weight/gaining muscle is not achievable at all. So why should you bother exercising? To feel better, to have “me time” and to help you switch off. The results from a workout aren’t just on the scales and in your muscle fat ratio. The best results can be seen in how great your self-worth is.. not how pumped your muscles are!

Work can wait

Yes, it can. We are tempted to take our work everywhere as we so easily can. Our office is never more than a fingerprint recognition on our phone away. As many perks come with this, many disadvantages haunt us too. Don’t think just because you can, you have to work everywhere. Maybe next time you are on the tube, walking down the street, talking to a friend (or on the loo) you leave work at work and focus again on what you are doing.

Sleepy bunny

Let me start this by saying I honestly don’t think everyone needs to sleep 8 hours a night! There are people who need more sleep than others and those should make sure they get it. But, what we should all agree on is a routine is necessary. Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day is what makes our body clock the happiest.

Take a break

A workaholic´s worst nightmare… I can hear you laughing at me through the screen. ‘There is so much to do!’ Yes, but it will still be there tomorrow. Taking a night or a day off is what keeps us sane. Those refueling days are the ones that keep us going, not the worked through nights and early mornings. Re-centering and refocusing can only happen when we completely pull away for some time. Maybe don’t go cold turkey with a whole week though, try the odd day or afternoon here and there to get used to it

Be encouraging

This is probably the point closest to my heart as we can only grow together. If you want to talk, there needs to be someone else listening and giving the right advice too. We need those people around us and we need to be those people equally. It is and will always be a give and take, not a take, take, take.

Thank you again to the great speakers Hannah Luffman, Mark Maher and Patrick Moore Jones for sharing their mental health journeys –  and to ILEA UK for starting this discussion. This issue is important to me because I love my job and I don’t want to be telling you the story about my burnout in 20 years’ time! If you want to know why I still believe it is okay to lie about your mental health you can find that out here

ILEA Members to get VIP Upgrade at International Confex 2017

In case you missed it, ILEA UK are working closely with International Confex next week (1st & 2nd March). We have a series of ‘Fuelled by ILEA’ sessions throughout the exhibition where you can see the best of ILEA UK speakers and content.

We will also have a stand supported by two of our fantastic members, Giant iTab and Yahire, who have worked together to create an ILEA space showcasing some of their latest products – and where visitors can view any ILEA sessions they might have missed.

It will be a productive two days for us and many of our members who attend and exhibit at the show, and so from 3pm on Thursday 2nd March we’ve got an area at the Main Bar exclusively for ILEA members to network and unwind*.

As a thank you to our membership for their input into International Confex this year, every ILEA member is also eligible for a VIP upgrade to the show, simply register with ‘VIP17‘ and make sure you tick the ILEA box!

We look forward to meeting you there… look out for our sessions (schedule can be found here), drop by our stand and most importantly, have a great show!

* Available to both UK based and international members visiting the show

ILEA UK to Help Fuel International Confex 2017

We are delighted to announce that we have partnered with International Confex to create a series of educational sessions that form part of the exhibition’s comprehensive seminar programme.

Our speakers will cover topics ranging from event technology trends, entrepreneurship, social media and content curation and include speakers from across the live experience industry. Emma Brunjes, creator of the Alice Underground immersive theatre production, as well as the Sherlock exhibitions will be one of the key sessions in the marketing theatre. In addition, Jason Allan Scott, presenter of the internationally acclaimed ‘The GuestList Podcast’ will be presenting in the keynote theatre on ’in-trepreneurship’.

Within the Associations Theatre, TFI Group and The Personal Finance Society will present the meetings and events industry launch of the ‘Festival of Finance’. This Q&A session will feature an interview with The Personal Finance Society on its approach to national meetings and events, and how this led to the creation of the first Festival of Finance, set to take place 7th – 8th November 2017.

Meanwhile, Gavin Williams of Quander, will be sharing his views on the future of event technology as he talks about tech bin-dipping. Elena Clowes, Operations Manager of ILEA UK will be joining Jason Allan Scott again in the #EventTech Theatre for a session presenting 20 social media hacks for event professionals.

ILEA UK will also be exhibiting at the event alongside YaHire and Giant iTab to bring the seminars back onto the exhibition floor through Facebook Live.

Don’t forget to register for your place HERE. We look forward to seeing you there!

Keeley Knight: My ISES Story

KKnight The following blog post is written by current University of Hertfordshire Student, Keeley Knight

My story with ISES started in July 2015 where I attended an event that my then employer, Viva Live Music, provided the entertainment for. This is where I met Terence, who is the Director of Education for the ISES UK team. We talked about that fact that I was working as a student in an events related job even though I didn’t study Events Management, and he suggested that ISES might be a fit for me. From there he invited me to my very first ISES UK event at Shaka Zulu – their AGM.

Having not gone to a networking event of this kind before, I was very nervous! I had been to many marketing based expos and conferences in the past and always found it quite difficult to approach people as a student. It just never seemed like the right environment at the time and as other students may relate, it can be a very intimidating setting!

Therefore in the build up to the event I decided I needed to market myself in the best way possible, and created some business cards and a website to share with people. I would recommend this to any student looking to make networking contacts, having a material product to share really helps people remember you in the long term.

On the evening of the event I was instantly put at ease with the warmth and friendliness of the events professionals I met, everyone was genuinely interested in my studies and the achievements I had made so far. The general setting was relaxed and I was instantly energised, motivated and inspired by the people around me. I was slowly building my personal brand and the best thing was I was having fun doing it! I knew when I left the event I had to get more involved with ISES UK. I signed myself up as a member, and a couple of weeks later I saw that a Marketing Committee position had become available via Twitter, so I jumped at the chance. Within a month, my passion and enthusiasm meant that I was sat at my first committee meeting – I could hardly believe it!

ISES UK has helped me in so many ways, not only has the community helped me build my confidence but they’ve also enabled me to add industry experience to my CV. Not to mention sharing connections that allowed me to build a freelance career whilst still studying. BUT, the best (and most unexpected) part is that ISES is the reason I now have my placement secured for next academic year.

I met the CEO of Wildgoose, an events company specialising in team building location based challenges, in December at the ISES UK Christmas event. After experiencing their product on the night, it was safe to say I was very interested in their company and the work they do, and so after a little networking I gave him my business card (so far so usual), but I wasn’t expecting what happened next…

A month later I updated my LinkedIn status saying I was looking for a placement role, and I received a direct message from the CEO of Wildgoose sharing a potential marketing placement opportunity. Obviously I already knew of their work so I grabbed the chance, and from there I went through the interview process, but I am extremely delighted to report that I start working for them in June. Of course I would not have got the job without my experience and competence, but without ISES UK welcoming me into their community and connecting me with these organisations, I may not have ever been given an opportunity to work for a company as exciting as Wildgoose!

So thank you ISES UK. The past 8 months as part of the family have been a whirlwind of positive experiences, I’ve met some incredibly inspiring people, built a really strong CV that will help me even after I graduate and secured my placement. All whilst having the best time and making some incredible friendships. Students, I cannot recommend joining more, and I’m looking forward to what the future holds for me as a member!




The following blog post is written by current Event Management student
Catherine Eagles, from the University of Greenwich.

A few weeks ago myself and a few other students were invited to attend the 2015 Event Awards as guest of ISES UK – the International Special Events Society – as soon as we arrived at the Eventim Apollo we were greeted at the door with the warmest welcome by the event staff, and as we waited to go upstairs to the designated ISES UK guest area we met many other event students from universities across the country. Our arrival networking party was the perfect ice breaker where we got to talk to some of the ISES team, some of the Event Awards organisers, recent graduates and of course the other student guests.

We then got taken to the balcony where we had front row seats to view the awards, with complimentary welcome drinks and popcorn. There was such a wide scope of events up for nomination, from the product launch of Edible Orbs, to Adidas campaigns, to a Hendricks Gin quest through the rain forest! It really broadened my horizons as to the various event companies out there, and the variety of memorable and innovative experiences they produce.

Displaying edible orb.jpg

Once the awards were over we were invited to go downstairs to the foyer area which had been transformed into the after party space, it was the perfect opportunity to network with all the industry professionals we had just witnessed being celebrated. At the beginning of the night I might have felt too under-prepared to have done this, but the ISES team had given us all a pep talk and some blank business cards which we were able to use to represent ourselves – and I honestly cannot recall a single person who was not happy to be approached by us to chat about their events. We also got to try the aforementioned Edible Orbs (zero calorie vapor, consumed through a straw, tasting of strawberry or cookie dough).. I still cannot get my head around how it actually works!

The night was the perfect opportunity to get dressed up, make new contacts, network and have a good dance. I have attended quite a few networking events but this one by far was my favourite. Elena at ISES UK made us feel so welcome and has offered us so many industry connections, I am so thankful to her and the rest of her team for that! I’m now hoping to use those connections to attain a graduate job next year. I would highly recommend the event to other events students if the opportunity arises in the future, and to definitely consider joining ISES UK for their networking events – it is a great way to be pro active about graduate life before you have even finished uni!

Surrey Students – Live From The Apollo

The following blog post is
written by Megan Strahle, a current
International Events Management Student
from the University of Surrey.


When my professor presented the opportunity for students in the International Events Management program to go to the Event Awards in London, three girls in my class and I jumped at the opportunity. All of us are international students and we didn’t want to pass up a once in a lifetime event while we were so close to London. I couldn’t wait to see how the UK put on a major event show and to see who won what.

We took the train to London and successfully rode the tube to the venue. When we arrived, security greeted us and directed us to the coat check. All of the student guests stood around chatting amongst ourselves before we got invited upstairs to a cocktail reception where we were greeted with champagne. Our hostess introduced herself and her team and welcomed all of us. We mingled and ate popcorn until it was time to watch the awards – I loved hearing where all of the other students were from and what they wanted to do with their degree.

The awards portion was nothing short of spectacular. I had previously worked in the events industry and decided to go back to school to broaden my horizons, and watching the awards discovering the creative efforts behind some amazing events further motivated to set my goals higher than they already are. The students cheered along with the event professionals when people won – and we all watched starry eyed as people received the awards they worked so hard to obtain. We were sitting in the balcony seats overlooking the entire event – and we had great seats before health and safety meant we had to move and lost our front row view(!) – but regardless it was an excellent show.

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Afterwards we ventured downstairs to the bar to mingle with the guests. There was a DJ and a fun photo booth on the upper level, it was quite hilarious to see the shots the photographer set up! Unfortunately, I had a Cinderella moment where the clock struck a certain time and I had to catch the last train back before I got a chance to mingle with the guests. I wished I was able to stay longer and meet the amazing people in the events industry but I knew my chance to do so wasn’t over..

At the after party, our hostess had mentioned that students could join ISES too. After seeing the Event Awards and the amazing companies present, I jumped at the chance to be a part of something so spectacular. Each month there will be an opportunity for me to join a group of event professionals at an industry networking event and grow my contacts (where hopefully I won’t have to leave before the end!). It is a great way for students to immerse themselves in the events industry and take a running leap towards their future. I can’t wait until the next event!

Leeds Beckett Students – Live from the Apollo



The following blog post is written by Alexandra Dayle Weatherstone and Lewis Manson, current Events Management students from Leeds Beckett University.



If Carlsberg did awards ceremonies…

There’s a sponsorship deal in there somewhere! A little over two weeks ago, our lecturer shared with us the chance to attend the 2015 Event Awards as student guests of ISES UK – and we both jumped at it.  So in typical student style, we took a five hour long MegaBus from Leeds to London to attend the event at the Eventim Apollo and frankly, we would do it all over again! As current Events Management students, we cannot stress enough how much fun we had, and how worthwhile attending the Event Awards was for us. This is how our evening went..

Landing in good ol’ London Town, we hit the tracks for the esteemed Apollo. Before arriving we ate in a beautiful restaurant just round the corner, Lala’s. FYI highly recommended – we had great service and fantastic food (and maybe a sneaky Bellini or two).  Then we changed into our glad rags for the evening, leaving us feeling fabulous, despite changing in the restaurant toilets (don’t judge – remember the five hour coach journey? And who said the events industry was always glamorous?!). We arrived at the Eventim Apollo to be met by the shimmering lights and a host of top event industry players, all dressed to the nines in wonderful tuxedoes and stunning dresses – the best kind of night!

As student guests of ISES, we were welcomed with a champagne reception where we had the privilege of meeting fellow Event Management students from other universities and our lovely hosts. After a short time, we were taken to our balcony seating to watch the ceremony – from here we could observe the entire audience of industry professionals eagerly waiting to discover if they would receive awards for their work. Then it began, and the gorgeous Steve Jones presented to the best of the best in event creativity.

Witnessing the awards brought to light just how impressive, creative and world altering our wonderful industry can be, especially with the likes of ‘Shell Morro Da Mineira’ from J. Walter Thompson, who managed to bag the most awards of the evening including the Grand Prix Award.

After the awards ceremony we moved down to join the rest of the guests. The foyer turned disco was the ultimate place to network with the finest in the industry. Forget single and ready to mingle, we are unemployed and ready to mingle! Introducing ourselves and swapping business cards with those willing to talk to us (which thankfully all were), we both networked and danced the rest of the evening away. Fingers crossed, we met our future colleagues!

With extremely sore feet from the dancing but still buzzing from the energy in the room, it was time for us to hit the tracks. We headed back to the bus station and back home to Leeds after an extremely rewarding and wonderful evening.

The atmosphere was positively overwhelming and the collective energy from a room full of amazing talent has further inspired us to become one of them. So much so, that we have since become student members of ISES UK. There is no doubt in our minds that the knowledge that ISES offers will allow us to become top players in the industry one day too, maybe even with an Event Award to our names.

Apollo… You’ve were amazing, Thank you!

Laura McNamara – My Event Degree


The following blog post is written by a previous member of the ISES student community – Laura McNamara. 
In 2014 Laura graduated with a 2:1 in Event Management from Bournemouth University.


The four years I spent at Bournemouth were some of the best ever, and I  would go back in a heartbeat and do it all over again if I had the chance! It  was tough, I won’t deny that, and the jump from college to university  essays and what is expected of you is something you will have to get used  to, but all in all you’ll get there.

In my final year I was lucky enough to be one of four students from my  Event Management course to become a nominated ISES UK student  member. This meant I was able to benefit from all of the opportunities that  the association has to offer it’s corporate members, such as attending  industry events and networking with top names in the sector.

Since graduating in 2014, I have been working as a freelance event and marketing manager. At present I work for Projected Image Ltd – specialists in the supply of audio visual equipment for the events and conferencing industry – as well as a boutique events agency in London. At Projected Image Ltd I head up the marketing department, it’s a small business and didn’t have anyone working in marketing prior to my arrival.. so a word of advice for job hunters: don’t dismiss the smaller businesses straight away, you never know what opportunities may be open to you!

As with all degrees there is the good and the not so good, and in particular I think that Event Management is a degree which comes under a lot of fire…which I experienced first-hand!


  • Placement year: if your university offers it, whether it be compulsory or optional, take it. I can’t express how much I learnt not only about the industry, but about what I wanted for the future as well. In your placement year you get to work hands on in the industry – maybe in a job you’ll decide not to go back to, maybe in one you’ll adore and don’t want to leave – either way the experience you gain is invaluable.
  • Course content: OK, there will be a few modules that you will sit through in your first/second year and wonder why you’re there. When I first started I definitely had the “why do I need to do this I’ll just hire an accountant” frame of mind. But, no matter how much you hate it, aspects like financial planning are stupidly important. And you soon realise that it doesn’t matter how creative you are, your event will be useless if you can’t budget for the creative beforehand!
  • Flexibility: Bournemouth gives students returning from placement year the opportunity to structure the course around what THEY want to learn and not what the university think they should be learning.  This means you are able return from placement year having learnt what it is you love, and narrow your studies to match.
  • Post uni life: Yes, you may struggle to find that perfect job once you’ve graduated, but don’t forget that your CV will reflect your interest and experience in the industry, and the fact that you have completed a three/four years at university. Never leave university thinking you’ve ‘wasted’ four years of your life.. you will have matured and learnt more about yourself than you could have ever imagined, and you will know your limits (at least some of them… maybe not how many Jagers you can do in a row though).

Not so good..

  • Event Management degree haters: You’ll have sooo many people say “Oh, so you’re studying to be a party planner then?” … NO! just NO! Never underestimate the value of your degree. For four years I fought long and hard against these people, including the founder of the Global Conference Network! My tweets were used by event magazine, and written in relation to an article they were contradicting but none the less, fight for your degree!
  • Where to start when you graduate – Yes you could go straight into the industry, and yes you could start waiting tables at events on minimum wage and work your way up. I have a problem with this though.. working on events and learning the background planning that goes on behind the scenes in the years / months in advance are two very different ideals.
  • Event degrees are too broadly written: The events industry is vast, so in order to go in depth with specific aspects of the industry and where you can work there would need to be degrees on exhibition management, or conference management, or wedding planning courses. Just be prepared to learn about aspects of the industry you do not want to work in.








So how was having an ISES membership beneficial to me as a student?

I don’t know where to start here. As far as I am concerned, there are no downsides to having an ISES membership, you get to network as a student with industry professionals from a variety of backgrounds with years of experience … where’s the issue there? I made numerous contacts through my networking, I met some VERY interesting people and was able to discuss where I saw myself after uni. I also was able to get into conversations about my dissertation subject and how this was progressing with those who know the industry like the back of their hands and could possible offer advice.

I have (or am about to) sign myself back up to an ISES membership for the next year. As a graduate I have lots to learn and there is so much room for my personal and professional progression within the industry. I can’t see a better way of enhancing this than to network with those already in the industry and who could be prospective clients for both myself as a freelancer or Projected Image Ltd as suppliers, as well as meeting possible future employers.

ISES hold a mixture of events, and although you will get to meet familiar faces, never underestimate the contacts these individuals may have. I found everyone to have a very ‘open-door’ welcoming mentality at the events, and even as a student, there was a lot of interest in what the future holds for me as well as the work I was already participating in.

I can’t wait to see where my ISES membership will take me next!