Showdown: Everything you need to know about The Meetings Show 2024

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The wait is almost over – The Meetings Show 2024 kicks off at ExCeL London next week, and final preparations are in full swing for what promises to be THE must-attend event for #eventprofs this summer.

Taking place on 19-20 June, The Meetings Show features a jam-packed programme with a stellar line up of meeting and event suppliers from across the globe, a thought-provoking education programme, and countless networking opportunities.

There is something for everyone, whether just starting out in the industry or a senior leader. Here are just some of the highlights of this year’s show:

Brilliant buyers

The Meetings Show always attracts top quality buyers and this year is no different. Representatives from corporate and agency brands such as Agiito, AXA, BCD Meetings & Events, EDF, BNP Paribas, George P Johnson, Smyle, Top Banana, Shell International, Santander, Identity, HSBC and many more are confirmed to attend this year.

To maintain The Meetings Show’s renowned reputation for attracting quality buyers, all applications for complimentary attendance are fully vetted. Other meetings industry professionals are welcome to attend by purchasing a non-buyer visitor ticket.

Captivating content

Working with Samme Allen, Claus Raasted and the atex team again, The Meetings Show’s education programme features an exciting line up that will deliver practical takeaways for all who attend. It’s split across four key themes: INFORM – INSPIRE – INNOVATE – IMPACT, with a stellar line up of expert speakers covering topics including event security, AI, inclusivity, wellness, experiential design, contract negotiation, sustainability and legacy.

Speakers include Emmy-winning comedy writer Beth Sherman, isla CEO & founder Anna Abdelnoor, Louise Tratt, head of Meetings & Events at The British Neuroscience Association and Catherine Southall, head of M&E Business Development UK & Ireland at American Express Meetings & Events.

Sessions will be introduced by graduates of the atex Young Host Academy – Amba Karsondas from Yoti, Becky Bates from BH&P and Mathilde Gerritsma from Pagoda Projects. The three were selected following a five-week journey to becoming an emcee and will host with support from atex’s Samme Allen, Shonali Devereaux and Lisa Moore.

Interactive inspiration

Back for a second year, the Blank Canvas stage will showcase best practice event design with sessions featuring hackathons, a Neurodiverse Design Challenge, and an innovation showdown. This is the place to get hands-on, try out new experiences in a safe and supportive environment, and push creative boundaries.

Don’t miss the chance to shake it off with Taylor Smith. You’ve never seen a trend retrospective presented in exactly this way before. It’s Trends vs Reality, and it’s bound to be not just informative, but also rather hilarious. And yes, of course there will be dancing!

Exceptional exhibitors

With over 650 exhibitors from across the globe, buyers can discover hotels, destinations, destination management companies, venues, conference centres, technology suppliers, and more.

This year’s impressive list includes Conference Leeds & Hull, Better Venues, Radisson Hotel Group, Scenic / Emerald Cruises, Premier UK Events and Butlin’s to name just a few. A strong international presence includes many major European cities, key players from Asia such as Japan NTO, Penang, Sabah Convention Bureau and Singapore Tourism Board, and the rest of the world.

Collaborative communities

Event industry communities, associations and media will also be present at the show, including the Meetings Industry Association (mia), The Delegate Wranglers, Meetings & Events Support Association (MESA), M&IT, micebook and more.

The MESA Pavilion will feature its community of technology and event suppliers as well as a range of educational campfires where you can find out more about technology and events innovations, ideas and tips. Meanwhile, a new visual identity reinforcing the positioning of the mia will be revealed at the show.

Next-gen networking

With so many passionate and knowledgeable event professionals under one roof, The Meetings Show is well positioned to help the next generation of talent, and the ideal place to introduce newbies to the wealth of opportunities the sector has to offer.

The Meetings Show is joining forces with Event First Steps to run a dedicated next generation programme for students and individuals looking to get into the industry and has partnered with M&IT to run its Tomorrow’s Talent scheme again. This year’s winners and alumni are invited to attend the show, with a celebratory drinks reception taking place on day one in the central lounge.

Wellness and wellbeing

New for this year, Go! Running Tours will be offering guided running and brisk walking tours for attendees, before The Meetings Show opens on 20 June. It’s a great opportunity for visitors to see some sights of the city and get the energy pumping ahead of a day of meetings and networking.

With wellbeing and accessibility in mind, The Meetings Show has partnered with EventWell to support those who may need help navigating the event, or would like a quiet break from the show floor. As part of this partnership, all The Meetings Show attendees have access to the EventWell Buddy system, which will provide help to those who need special assistance – whatever that means to you.

Zero waste stand

The world’s first zero waste, reusable exhibition stand made from event waste carpet will make its global debut at The Meetings Show.

Thanks to a collaboration between creator Paradigm and partners isla, The Bulb, Informa and The Meetings Show, a prototype of the innovative reusable zero waste stand will be revealed to the world’s meetings and events community exclusively at the show (stand A41).

The walls and floor of the truly circular and sustainable stand are built out of Reform, a ‘game-changing’ recycled plastic tile made from old exhibition carpet, with the flooring made using post-consumer ocean plastic fabricated using renewable electricity in the UK. The substructure of the stand is built out of repurposed metal from disused shell scheme, meaning the structure of the stand is made from 100% post-consumer materials.

Sustainable curious hosted buyers will also be able to receive sustainability support for their events at a drop-in clinic with isla at The Hosted Buyer Insight Forum on 18 June.

Delegate downtime

It’s not all work and no play. As always, there will be countless networking events taking place throughout the show and London, from the official welcome reception for hosted buyers, to on-stand drinks and more, providing the opportunity to catch up with industry peers and friends and make new connections.

Conference Sheffield, Venues of Excellence, Spanish Tourist Office and Delegate Wranglers, are among the exhibitors hosting drinks on their stands, while MESA has teamed up with SongDivision for an immersive half hour of team building and rock.

There are various ways to register to attend The Meetings Show 2024, which will be co-located with Business Travel Show Europe and TravelTech Show.

Buyer registrations can take up to five days to be processed and onsite buyer registrations may take up to an hour to be reviewed, so #TakeTheTime to register NOW to avoid the queues. For information on buyer, hosted buyer and visitor registrations options, visit: https://www.themeetingsshow.com/register

Registered already? Dowload the app here: https://www.themeetingsshow.com/app

Adam Parry
Author: Adam Parry

Adam is the co-founder and editor of www.eventindustrynews.com Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.

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