Opinion

Our key takeaways from Confex 2019

At Bray Leino Events we are always keen for our team to take time out to develop their industry knowledge and keep abreast of the latest developments.

International Confex 2019 is one of the largest gatherings for event professionals in the UK – bringing people together to help support, inspire and drive the events industry forward.

Here’s a round-up of our key takeaways from the 2019 show:

  1. Health and Wellbeing needs more airtime – not just AT events, but FOR event professionals too. We have already seen a movement towards taking care not just of our physical health, but also of our mental health. Just as we factor in downtime, and ‘chill out areas’ at our events, it was argued that more should be done to support the health and wellbeing of event professionals themselves, who work in an incredibly stressful and time-pressured environment.

At Bray Leino Events we have already made some great steps towards promoting good health, such as giving our team time off in lieu after working long hours in the run-up to an event, and by training members of our team to be mental health first aiders – a first point of contact for anyone who may have any concerns for themselves or those around them. Free fruit, beautiful gardens at our offices and discounted gym membership are other things that we hope can promote a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

  1. Don’t underestimate the importance of the ‘human’ touch – in a world that is increasingly online, we were reminded in many of the Confex talks and debates that the ‘human’ factor of live events is not to be underestimated. We are social beings and will always value face to face interactions – events are a great way of bringing people together to achieve a common goal. Some of the speakers at Confex even hinted at a bit of a ‘backlash’ against technology and a rise in more traditional methods of communication to stand out from the crowd of emails and tweets.

Our view is to always keep on top of the latest technological developments (and our creative & digital teams do a brilliant job of this), but to only use technology when it is relevant, rather than using it because it is shiny and new (that grows old VERY quickly). 

  1. Diversity in Events needs some serious thought – Diversity was a key topic at many of the talks this year. This goes from diversity in terms of the event programme, diversity in speakers and delegates, through to more diversity within the Events industry itself. It makes sense. A more diverse team will naturally lead to an event that reaches a more diverse audience and will address a better range of concerns and issues for that audience. This can only be a good thing.

Apprenticeships and internships can play a big role in encouraging a wider calibre of applicant into an events career, and this is something that we are actively doing across the business.

Overall Confex 2019 was a great event to attend for our industry – interesting and insightful content sessions with great speakers, lots of new event technology to help realise the next big idea, and a chance to meet old contacts and make new ones.