International Confex: The rise of communities & information sharing

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Speaking at the Exclusively London Stage at International Confex was Joseph Bonner, head of high events at DFID; Hannah Hamilton, a freelance corporate events organiser; Chetan Shah, the CEO and founder of micebook; and Neil Thompson, the CEO and founder of The Delegate Wranglers.

Moderated by Hire Space’s co-founder and COO, Edward Poland, the panel discussed the shift in trends and habits in the event industry regarding sharing information and building communities.

Sharing their own expertise and knowledge from their sector within the industry, the speakers agreed that the industry has experienced a shift in attitudes towards information sharing. It has been traditional among event professionals to remain secretive about their projects, keeping their “cards close to their chests”.

However, the industry has become a lot more collaborative and open in recent years. Technology allows event professionals to instantly communicate. Emails, forums and social media platforms provide a space for colleagues in the industry to share tips, advice and notes on their events.

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Hannah noted that event organisers are “time poor” and, therefore, rely on a digital approach to streamline what would otherwise be time-consuming jobs, such as venue-finding: 3D walk-throughs and virtual tours allow organisers to book venues without even leaving the office.

Edward stated that technology is a facilitator for professionals and that we remain a face-to-face industry at heart.

Additionally, the panel agreed that the working day culture of event professionals has changed. Instead of a nine-to-five office day, event professionals frequently work on-site or from home during all hours of the week. Again, technology has facilitated this change; digital means of communication allow professionals to instantly get in touch with people from anywhere in the world.

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