Ashfield Meetings & Events and its sister brand, SPARK THINKING, (part of UDG Healthcare plc) held its annual conference, The Lab, at The Hilton Birmingham Metropole. 

The Lab is in an interactive event for the UK-based staff of the global event management business and aims to drive creativity, build supplier partnerships and facilitate continued professional development. Now in its seventh year, the theme expanded on last year’s focus ‘the power of you’, this year centring on ‘the power of us.’ 

“In 2018, The Lab looked at our qualities as individuals, focusing on our strengths and using storytelling to create impactful messages,” explained head of organisational development, Janina Monaghan. “So this year we wanted to extend this concept to highlight that while we’re great as individuals, we’re even better when we come together with our different perspectives and ideas. Through ‘the power of us’ we’re able to create exciting and memorable meetings and events for our clients.”

A team of internal colleagues from across the business collaborated to create and deliver the event for over 200 members of staff. Those involved included event management undergraduates who embraced the opportunity to showcase the skills they’d learned throughout their placement year. 

Attended by a number of Ashfield preferred suppliers who were at the event to highlight their latest products and services through immersive stands, The Lab was a full day of presentations, workshops and unique interactive sessions that all focused around #ThePowerOfUs. 

The day culminated in a session from guest speaker, Andy Lopata, one of Europe’s leading business networking strategists. Andy outlined the importance of relationship building with colleagues, clients and partners.

“The Lab is incredibly well-received by our staff each year, as not only do they get to experience the delegate rather than the delivery side of an event like this, but they also get to learn so much in the process,” added director of operations and business services, Penny Callaghan. “This year, we focused on our partnerships and our purpose – not just what we do, but thinking about the bigger picture and how everyone plays a part achieving success. We received fantastic feedback from both our staff and suppliers, and fully achieved our objectives of creating an impactful and insightful event that enabled our staff to make valuable connections – to their role, to our partners and clients, and to each other.”

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Molly joined the editorial team in March 2019. She has several years’ experience working in broadcast and journalism, as well as marketing and PR. Past experience includes working for the BBC and independent publishing houses. If you have a story you think Molly might be interested in, please email: molly@eventindustrynews.com