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: http://thespiritshow.co.uk/visitors/whats-on/

Link to book tickets:  http://spiritshow.seetickets.com/tour/the-spirit-show-2016

World Travel Market to Host Future Leaders Party

World Travel Market is back for another year at ExCeL London this week, and as part of their schedule they are hosting a Young Professionals and Future Leaders Party.

Some of the brightest of the tourism, hospitality and event students and young professionals under 35 will gather at Farmopolis, only a cable car away from ExCeL, for the launch of Skål University Clubs around the UK. It promises to be an informal and fun networking evening.

Three top industry leaders below 35 will inspire the audience for an evening to remember, for more information and to sign up, please click here.

See you at Europe’s ONLY Event Technology Show?

Launched in 2013, Event Tech Live is Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology. It has caught the attention of the sector’s innovators and manufacturers big and small, providing a unique opportunity for the industry to learn from the cutting edge, first hand.

Set in the Old Truman Brewery, Hanbury Street, Event Tech Live 2016 will host 100 international exhibitors, open plan-style, and more than 100 inspirational panel sessions and keynote speakers on six stages across the site.

The Main Stage programme features Scott Wilcox, Chief Innovation Officer for the legendary South By Southwest (SXSW) Conference & Festival, who will discuss and explore the ‘intelligent app’. This highly evolved platform is continually learning, using information from attendee preferences, activities, and location to craft event experiences that meet their particular needs.

Event Tech Live’s two Campfire Sessions’ stages offer a more intimate setting. There, delegates will be able to hear how Star Wars Celebration designed its visitor experience using best practices from retail and brand marketing, how AT&T created digital experiences anchored in brand truth at Mobile World Congress, what experiential event technology looks like from the inside and much more besides.

Event Tech Live exhibitors come to the Old Truman Brewery steeped in solutions, from apps and AV to RFID and Wi-Fi connectivity. Clarifi Media brand Festyvent will be among them this year, its multi-lingual, white label musician and event-apps bursting with content and features for fans and audiences. Designed to help them get the most out of their experiences, the apps capture first party data at the same time, such as email, gender, age and location, as well as performances and activities attended. That information can be used for immediate retargeting and also for shaping future events. Monetising opportunities are further increased through in-app purchases, simplification of merchandise sales and interactive sponsorship capabilities.

Farnborough International supplier D2i Systems will be exhibiting at Event Tech Live too. Through a central delivery platform, the company’s groundbreaking platform, Engage, has been instrumental in the operation of the airshow, unifying departments within the organisation, such as sales, marketing, operational delivery and online customer portals.

Event Tech Live takes place on the 9th of November 2016 at the Old Truman Brewery, London E1 6QR It’s followed, that evening, by the fourth edition of the Event Technology Awards at Supernova on the Victoria Embankment.

The Event Technology Awards has continued to grow in size and status, with entries up 50 per cent and attendees up 30 per cent since 2013. Right around the tech world, the Event Technology Awards is seen as the premier networking event for the sector, an expert panel of judges recognising individuals and companies who push the boundaries of innovation and connecting agencies, brands, organisers, developers, investors and tech providers.

To register for event tech live visit www.eventtechlive.com


The Founding Partners of the Sustainable Events Summit (SES) – Smyle Group, Positive Impact, Sustainable Events Ltd and Rachel Ley Consultancy – have announced that the 2016 live Summit will take place on 21 November at 30 Euston Square in London.

For the past three years the annual Summits have been at the forefront of the drive towards greater event sustainability. With the aim of not only being visionary and inspirational, they have also sought to encourage real action that would allow event professionals to adopt the very best management practices.

Global brands have both attended and supported content, including Coca-Cola, Barclays, Unilever, Schroders, BBC, Goldman Sachs, and L’Oreal UK, as well as leading agencies, venues and suppliers. The Summits have been endorsed by the former Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP and Culture Minister at the time of the inaugural summit, Hugh Robertson MP, as well as Nick De Bois, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Events who championed the role of sustainability in the government’s understanding of the future of events.

This year, in a change to the Summit’s format, a major thought-leadership research project is being undertaken by not-for-profit sustainability specialist Positive Impact. The findings, which will have canvassed 100 top global brands to gain a greater insight into their understanding of sustainability, will be unveiled exclusively at the Summit in November.

This new direction has gained the support of Executive Partners Banks Sadler, Showslice and Fresh Group; Research Partners ExCeL London, Fisher Productions, drp and Smart Group and Summit Sponsors the NEC, Melia Hotels International, Camm & Hooper and Crowdcomms.

Most recently, global experience specialists GES and International Confex have also joined as a Research Partners. Leading industry magazines Access All Areas, Conference News, Exhibition News, Exhibition World and Conference & Meetings World have added to the impressive list of 2016 supporters as Principal Media Partners.

Announcing the Summit dates, Rick Stainton, MD of Smyle Group: “A key objective of this year’s Sustainable Events Summit is to find out what brands are doing from a product marketing perspective and its alignment to their sustainable approach to business. The key discussion is then how our industry can support them in activating this through live events to their internal and external audiences. On the whole there is still a major difference between these two approaches, and the Summit is dedicated to understanding the issues around this. We want this year’s event to help the industry offer their corporate clients real solutions that will close the knowledge gap.”

Supporting this, International Confex Event Director Liz Agostini said: “What matters to event professionals, matters to us, and sustainability remains a major talking point for our visitors. Our partnership with the Sustainable Events Summit means we can support the important message of the event whilst bringing some of the flavour of it onto the Confex show floor.”

Patrick Howells, MD of fresh adds: “Sustainability is something we’ve always felt strongly about at fresh. It’s part of our DNA. We were the first agency of our size outside London to be ISO 14001 accredited and are committed to looking for new ways to further minimise the environmental impact of our clients’ events.”

James Rees, Executive Director, ExCeL London said: “ExCeL London is 100% committed to tackling the challenges of sustainable development and operating as a responsible corporate entity. We feel it is important to continue to play our part in supporting the industry’s ambition of becoming more sustainable and sponsoring the Sustainable Events Summit is one of the ways in which we demonstrate this. We look forward to participating in the debate.”

To be amongst the first to hear the Sustainable Events Summit research findings, book your tickets now at www.sustainableeventssummit.com. By booking now, and using code GSESEARLY, you will benefit from an Early Bird ticket offer of £130 + vat instead of the standard ticket price of £160 + vat.

New Research and Resources Directory launched by the BVEP

A new Research and Resources Directory has been launched by the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) providing a searchable database of research and reports for the meetings and events industry.

Compiled by industry educators and experts, Tony Rogers of Tony Rogers Conference & Event Services and Glenn Bowdin of Leeds Beckett University on behalf of the BVEP’s research group, the Directory is now live on the BVEP website: https://www.businessvisitsandeventspartnership.com/research-andpublications/research-directory#

John Gallery, Chair of BVEP’s Research group said: “This is the first phase of an on-going project that began with the identification of research that is currently available and a gap analysis of work that is still needed to inform the sector. Some of the identified research gaps have already been acted upon by VisitBritain and we will be seeking partners for other gaps.”

The new directory is easily searched alphabetically, by category, search term or key word and new research and articles can be uploaded so that the resource will remain up to date in the future.

BVEP Chair, Michael Hirst added: “Good quality research is so important and as BVEP is the industry’s umbrella organisation, this new resource should be invaluable to all of our partners and anyone involved in the events industry seeking information about the sector.”

New BVEP Document Outlines Industry Road Map Following Brexit Decision

The Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) has launched a major new policy document for the UK events industry: “Opportunities for Global Growth in Britain’s Events Sector”.

The policy document outlines the issues, opportunities and challenges that will help Britain achieve a more competitive, more profitable and higher profile as it repositions itself following the decision to leave the European Union. After comprehensive consultation with the UK Events Industry, the policy focusses on the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. It also identifies wider areas of trade and industry which are supported by the creativity and innovation of events businesses in the UK.

The policy highlights five key areas of opportunity for the events sector:
• To make a bigger role for government working with the events industry
• To grow infrastructure and enable greater access and investment
• To create a more competitive tax regime
• To avoid greater regulation
• To support the industry and business sectors that sustain the events industry

The document asserts that events can play a major role in building Britain’s international trading strength. Events can highlight and enhance the key components of the government’s emerging industrial strategy, the policy says, as well as showcasing Britain’s creativity, commercial inventiveness and ability to bring the country together.

BVEP Vice Chair, Simon Hughes, said: “There’s no doubt that support for the Events Industry in Britain will reap tremendous benefits in terms of greater trade, increased exports, more inward investment, stronger community cohesion and higher levels of civic and national pride. We now have a oncein-a-lifetime opportunity to present a clear view of both the key policies and new opportunities which our partners believe will help Britain transition into a new global role following our exit from the EU. This document is a rallying cry for all event professionals to make the most of the government’s focus on trade and industry and the role events can play in supporting Britain plc.”

In a further show of support for the events sector, the BVEP has also confirmed the Department for International Trade (DIT) as a Supporting Government Department to the Partnership.

Welcoming the commitment from DIT, BVEP Chair, Michael Hirst OBE, said: “We welcome the fact that the government has recognised the importance of events in growing international trade, in its new Industrial Strategy. Having the DIT as a Supporting Government Department to the BVEP will make even more effective the task of identifying and implementing opportunities to grow Britain’s business and exports though the medium of trade fairs, exhibitions, congresses and meetings.”

“Opportunities for Global Growth in Britain’s Events Sector” is available to download from the BVEP website: www.businessvisitsandeventspartnership.com

Realise Launches First Event Apprentice Training Programme

The first fully recognised and industry created apprenticeship training programme has been launched by Realise. The programme, which has been developed by long term industry trainers David Preston and Richard John, is ready to use and follows on from the announcement of hiring of the first event apprentice.

The company behind the training programme has been created by David Preston, who was part of the development team for the apprenticeship Standard and has a thirty-year industry background, including running global events programmes for organisations such as IBM and Kaspersky Labs. David has joined forces with industry training expert Richard John, to create the industry’s first specialist training company that will support event apprentices.

“The apprenticeship movement in the UK events industry is really starting to gather pace,” commented Mark Riches, who chaired the industry’s development of an event apprenticeship through the government’s Trailblazers initiative. “We have a bona fide, government apprenticeship scheme, we’ve got the first event apprentice in place, and now we have the first comprehensive training programme, it’s great news for the industry.”

The new programme is positioned at level 3, broadly equating to A levels, and is open to UK residents aged 16 and over. It is positioned to be relevant across event management companies, exhibition organisers, third party agencies, venues, hotels and many other businesses within the events supply chain.

“it’s an 18-month programme, which has been created and approved by the government and is ready to support the first event apprentices,” David explained. “The syllabus is a combination of structured workplace learning and assessment, supported by a blended learning programme of online development and participation at specialist workshops. The material is designed to give a practical grounding for a career in event management that is designed to lead to an ongoing job upon completion.”

For apprentices, the programme offers the benefit of earning while learning. And, with the Government funding the majority of the training and development element, it also means avoiding

the burden of student loans. For employers, there can be no complaint that the training isn’t relevant as they have been integral in designing the new Standard. And, with companies now paying an Apprenticeship Levy of 0.5% on payrolls that exceed £3 million annually, the incentive to take on an event apprentice becomes far more compelling.

Cancer Research UK & BEcause Experiential Marketing to discuss impact of VR at UK Events Week

Graham White, Director of Individual Giving for Cancer Research UK, and Joss Davidge, Innovations Director at BEcause Experiential Marketing invite marketing and events professionals to their talk during UK Events Week on how virtual reality (VR) is being used to achieve event objectives.

‘VR – Perception or Reality?’ will explore the impact of VR on experience marketing and how this technology is allowing third sector organisations to fully immerse the public in amazing worlds without the costs and lo-gistics traditionally associated with large-scale charity events.

Joss will explore many of the ways that charities and smaller brands are using VR experiences and where they fit on the spectrum between mobile 360-degree video and big-budget CGI content.

He will showcase wide-ranging VR examples such as tiger poaching first-hand in the forests of Nepal with WWF, to a flight of fantasy around the inside of a fridge with Boursin cheese

Graham will then discuss how Cancer Research UK is using VR for enhanced consumer experiences such as the Life Garden.

Joss Davidge, Innovations Director at BEcause Experiential Marketing, says: “Today, more than 50% of the briefs we receive as an agency ask for a VR element, so this is an area that’s only going to keep growing. The capabilities and possibilities of VR for experiential marketing are limitless and I’m looking forward to explor-ing its potential for creating new and immersive realities during UK Events Week.”


  • 61% of respondents think the environment is the most important section of sustainability
  • 18% said they shared or published their event’s sustainability reports
  • 81% say sustainability is not a barrier to creativity
  • Brands understand that sustainability is vital for their business success but this understanding does not consistently carry through to the delivery of their events
  • Event professionals do not think sustainability is linked to a specific label

Event professionals from over 100 of the industry’s top agencies, brands, venues and event suppliers were the first to hear the findings of the major research project undertaken by the organisers of this year’s Sustainable Events Summit (SES). Delegates attending the event on 21 November were given a unique insight into how sustainability is currently viewed by corporate event planners, and to what extent it plays a part in the planning and execution of their events.

The research, carried out by not-for-profit Positive Impact, comprised in-depth interviews with corporate planners from six global top brands and agencies plus over 100 online surveys from event professionals across the industry. The research questions were compiled by a committee of SES Executive and Research Partners that included Banks Sadler, The fresh Group, Showslice, drp, Fisher Productions, ExCeL, GES, Smyle, Sustainable Events, Smart Group, International Confex and the Rachel Ley Consultancy.

In a change from previous years, the research findings drove the content for the Summit and formed the basis of the programme with a mix of presentations and panel discussions featuring speakers from Anglian Water, Formula E, Sky, Delta Lloyd, Ethical Corp, UFI and VM Ware, as well as a keynote presentation by award-winning social entrepreneur and global expert on the Sharing Economy, Benita Matofska from The People Who Share (courtesy of Speakers’ Corner). Delegates attending the Summit came from organisations such as Direct Line Group, Virgin Media, Unilever, ITV, the NEC, Melia Hotels International, Gleneagles, Camm & Hooper, The Crystal, Fisher Productions and the o2.

The key findings of the report identified that 61% of respondents think the environment is the most important section of sustainability, but that event professionals do not think sustainability islinked to a specific labelsuch as Green Tourism Business Scheme or ISO20121. Discussions focused on how the event industry could shift its focus to be able to tell a better story on the positive impact of events, and how labels could be used to enhance the global profile of the event industry.

Only 18% of respondents said they shared or published their event’s sustainability reports so during the Summit delegates were asked why this figure is so low. Pressure from the media was sited as the main reason more stories are not currently being shared. However, the panel, which included Paul Colston from Conference News magazine, Emma Hudson from Access all Areas and Susie Harwood from C&IT magazine thought that social media and society would have been more influential factors, and said that they welcomed stories from the industry about sustainability initiatives.

Importantly, a significant 81% of people surveyed said that sustainability is not a barrier to creativity. The report outlined the expectations of corporate planners and how the supply chain could provide more creative and sustainable options. The panel of speakers from Anglian Water, Formula E and Smyle looked at examples of how sustainability could inspire creativity which makes business sense.

The Report shows that there is still work to be done, however. Whilst it is clear brands understand that sustainability is vital for their business success, this understanding does not consistently carry through to the delivery of their events. Summit attendees heard from a global panel of corporate planners who shared how their brands communicate their sustainability message across the business and within their events.

Commenting on the report findings, SES Founding Partner Rick Stainton of Smyle said: “What the research showed very clearly is that corporate event planners have a real passion for, and understanding of, the need forsustainable events. A number of the people we spoke to even believe that there is the potential for it to be a world-changing power if all event planners used their events to create a positive impact.

“This feeling was echoed by the discussions and debates during the Summit and I am really encouraged by not only the findings of the report, but also the obvious willingness of everyone in the room to drive sustainability to the top of the industry’s agenda. I would therefore like to thank everybody who supported and attended the Summit for joining us in the shared belief that sustainable events are not only the right way forward, but that they also make sound creative and business sense.”

Expanding on this, Fiona Pelham of Sustainable Events Ltd added: “A second dominant theme from the research is that planners’ understanding of sustainability is non-negotiable, demonstrating that sustainability is almost past the phase of being a trend and has now moved into being a requirement. This should influence the event industry’s focus, training requirements and budget setting.

“The Sustainable Events Summit 2016 has moved the conversation on from best practice and trends to an understanding of corporate planners’ expectations and requirements of future partnerships, from measurement to social procurement,” she concluded.

The full Global Sustainable Events Summit 2016 Report is available from the Sustainable Events Summit website www.sustainableeventssummit.com/summit priced at £60 + vat.

Talent, Tariffs, Trade; BVEP Identifies Key Industry Priorities Over Brexit

The Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) today announced the results of its Events Industry Referendum Impact Survey which aimed to identify the industry’s key priorities for consideration during the forthcoming EU exit negotiations.

Drawing on responses from a broad range of event industry venues, suppliers and contractors, the survey reveals the top four priorities facing event professionals following the decision to leave the EU.

Nearly two thirds (62%) of respondents identified their number one priority as “safeguarding trade” by reducing uncertainty and engaging with new markets. The second highest consideration was reviewing existing legislation in order to ensure future business can be conducted efficiently (16%). The third most important issue was investing in UK infrastructure to improve Britain’s competitive position in the global market (12%). The final priority was investing in people in order to manage the impact of changes to foreign worker status in the UK (9%).

Britain’s reputation as an events destination was another major interest for survey respondents including: the potential perception of the UK as protectionist and unfriendly; damage to the UK’s reputation for being a modern international leader and trendsetter; and the danger of European conventions stopping the inclusion of the UK on their rotation patterns.

The survey also highlighted opportunities that have emerged since the EU referendum result. The fall in the value of sterling was cited as an opportunity for some businesses, although this was offset against projects being delivered in Europe where margins were being eroded due to the exchange rate. An increase in domestic business was cited by some respondents, particularly in relation to the need for additional conferences and meetings required by clients to help support SMEs face a more competitive trading future.

BVEP’s report points out that the questions raised by Brexit are compounded by the already wide range of issues and considerations that affect the events industry. As well as a lack of hard data on the events industry from a single recognised source, these include: workforce issues; aviation capacity; regulation; and specific initiatives such as the Tour Operator Margin Scheme (TOMS).

However, the report suggests that there is an opportunity for the industry to position itself as an integral part of the broader trading nation that needs to re-define itself with the EU and forge new trade agreements with other international markets. In other words, the future success of the UK events industry is also inexorably linked to the longer term impacts on the key industrial sectors it serves. Where the automotive sector succeeds, for example, so too will events such as product launches, dealer training session, trade shows and consumer experiences.

Calling on the events sector to help prioritise the key issues for government in the forthcoming EU negotiations, BVEP Vice-Chair and report author Simon Hughes said:

“Having identified the wide range of touch points that could affect our industry, the next stage is to identify a specific “Brexit Manifesto” to make sure events are taken into account in any positioning of UK PLC. Over the next two years or so, we have a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the links between events and international trade. This is a chance for all event professionals to be seen and heard, while the government’s agenda is firmly focussed on protecting and enhancing our global reputation for business”.

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!


Verve, The Live Agency, has scooped a prestigious accolade at the glamorous Special Event Gala Awards in California – dubbed The Oscars of the Event World.

The high-profile Event and Brand Activation outfit, with offices in Dublin and London, landed the Best Corporate Event Globally gong for their outstanding work on Grand Hotel Google.

Inspired by the 1930s party theme in Wes Anderson’s film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, the event was managed in its entirety, from creative concept design to event execution, by Verve, The Live Agency. The event was attended by more than 4,500 Google staff at the RDS Stadium, Dublin.

Featuring international finalists from nine countries, the Special Event Gala Awards ceremony was hosted in Long Beach, California.

“We are very proud to win the Award; ‘Best Corporate Event Globally’,” said Ronan Traynor, Founder of Verve. “We would like to thank the event team from Google, a longstanding client, who worked very closely with us to deliver Grand Hotel Google. The level of detail, design and guest experience was pretty special. Winning this Award demonstrates the depth of creativity and production expertise we have at Verve.”

Verve, The Live Agency, has seen rapid growth recently. Having opened an office in London two years ago, it has since made several high-profile appointments to strengthen its UK team further.

The London operation is headed up by Olivia Collier, managing a number of accounts including the Guinness GB rugby sponsorship portfolio. Collier, a Sponsorship and Events specialist, has held senior positions at agencies including Synergy, brandRapport and Weber Shandwick, bringing a huge amount of expertise to Verve London.

Sam Scott has also joined Verve London as Account Manager working on Guinness Rugby activation. Scott previously held positions at Synergy and IMG.

ILEA Member Podcast named in Small Business Saturday UK’s ‘Small Biz 100’

A new weekly audio-only podcast with content specifically created for inspiring entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and ‘wannaprenuers’, has been named among the 100 small businesses in the UK to be celebrated by Small Business Saturday, the campaign that culminates in the UK’s dedicated day for small businesses on December 3rd.

The Guestlist Podcast on iTunes aims to showcase people who have risen from hard situations and created lives of which they’re very proud. From idea to inception at the start of 2016, the show has achieved Best of iTunes status with thousands of downloads and unique listeners and subscribers in 14 countries. ILEA Member, Content Creator and Community Manager Jason Allan Scott attributes the success to compelling dialogue and interviews with small businesses and start-ups in a broad range of industries combined with a whole lot of actionable advice. Topics covered include events, lifestyle, hospitality, business, technology, success, wealth and leisure time. The Guestlist Podcast will now be among the select number of companies to be featured by the Small Business Saturday campaign one per day for the 100 days leading up to Small Business Saturday itself.

“The number of subscribers has climbed the more honest and raw the show has become,” explains Jason.

“Interestingly, as subscribers climb, interest from interview sources grows as well and we are now flooded with pitches from prospective guests. We want to highlight the practical action steps people have taken to make their lives better and what they’re working on right now. Each episode is designed to uplift, inform, and inspire.”

Small Business Saturday is already the UK’s most successful small business campaign. This is the fourth year of the campaign, which last year saw £623m spent with small businesses across the UK on Small Business Saturday, an increase of £119m or 24 per cent on the previous year. The campaign trended at number one in the UK on Twitter on the day with more than 100,000 campaign-related tweets being sent. Over 75% of local councils supported the campaign, giving considerable national reach into local communities.

“The British public has a great affection for small businesses and we continue to see that grow year on year. Small Business Saturday is an exceptional example of collaboration and co-operation with small businesses teaming up in communities around the UK,” explains Campaign Director Michelle Ovens.

“Although the campaign focuses on one day, the goal is to have a lasting impact on small businesses by changing mind-sets, so that people make it their mission to support small businesses all year round. Most people in this country own a small business, work for a small business or know somebody who does, so supporting a small business on Small Business Saturday is absolutely personal.”

Small Business Saturday, which is a grassroots, not-for-profit campaign, was originally founded by American Express in the U.S. in 2010 and it remains the principal supporter of the campaign in the UK, as part of its on-going commitment to encourage consumers to shop small. The campaign also benefits from the backing of leading business organisations including the Federation of Small Businesses and Enterprise Nation. The campaign is also supported by PRS For Music, TalkTalk Business, Vistaprint, Post Office and Clear Channel Logos.

Member Focus: IceBox London at #AccelerateConf

On 12th May, ILEA UK members IceBox teamed up with ILEA, Ministry of Sound, Boulevard Events, Present Communications, PRG XL Video, GS-Live, George P. Johnson, Flingbrook, Enswarm and Darren Bandoo Photography for the opening night of the 2016 #AccelerateConf.  Icebox took the opportunity to push the boundaries and re-educate event professionals about ice. The following post from the IceBox team gives insight into how and why they created the pieces on show at the event.

We wanted our creative and innovative designs to show that there really are no limits to what we can do and that ice really does add that final WOW factor to an event… think about it, would you ever believe it was actually possible to have a curtain made of ice?


Making the ordinary extraordinary: 

A racing bike, perfectly encased in ice
An urban, interactive brick grafitti wall
A freestanding, smoking ashtray (yes a smoking ashtray!) made of ice

How did you do that?“Go nuts” was our brief, and that’s certainly what we did!  With no holds barred, we suspended a twinkling 2.5 meter ice curtain from the balcony above.  Directly in front of the curtain stood two ice poseur tables with surprise features trapped within. Either side of the main stage, we displayed stunning cala lilies, frozen in time within blocks of ice.


And then the showstopper!

The majestic and hugely impressive 3m high ‘Cherry Tree of Life’.  The intricate carving of this piece and the clever use of white ice and red LEDs really made it a talking point of the night.  From afar guests marveled at it, but as soon as they got close and realised that the red spheres were ice too – then once again the question of “how?” began to circulate.

Something quite sensational…

Stripped of their sight, guests were lead into the Ministry’s fantastic Dolby Room for an ‘iceperience’ of the senses.  Making use of the versatility of the space, we created five stations and ‘challenged’ the blindfolded participant – forcing them to rely on only their touch, taste and hearing to make sense of the environment around them.

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We were delighted to see so many of our wonderful industry friends and event professionals at the event and are hugely grateful to ILEA UK for allowing us to showcase so much ice at one event!  If anyone would like more information about the evening or would like to see further images of the sculptures, please email: 

Highlight images from the night can be found by clicking here.


It’s that time again, our ‘call for nominations’ process has officially opened for the ILEA UK Board 2016/17! After another great year for our association, 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.
The ILEA UK Board candidates are selected by the Nominations Committee and then confirmed by the ILEA UK membership. This process will be finalised by 13th June 2016.
Available Positions
Term of Office – 1 Year
  • President Elect
  • VP Education
Term of Office – 2 Years
(Able to change position after 1 year)
  • Director Large – Marketing
  • Director at Large – Programmes
  • Director at Large – Membership
  • Director at Large – Education
  • Director at Large – Innovation
Eligibility Requirements – any ILEA member in good standing for at least one year (non-student member) is able to apply for these positions. A full job description can be found on the application form HERE.
Why Join?
This is an opportunity to profile your leadership skills and 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, as well as representing the association at other industry events. We know how busy your working life can be and all roles can be adapted to suit your specific time constraints.
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 operationsmanager@isesuk.org or on +44 7917 365 539 with any queries. Applications and candidate reference forms must be submitted to us no later than Monday 13th June 2016.

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!