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The Meetings Show 2024 kicks off with singing and dancing

The Meetings Show 2024 kicks off with singing and dancing

Thousands of #eventprofs and industry specialists have assembled at ExCeL London to commence two days of connection, learning and networking at The Meetings Show 2024.

The UK’s leading event for the meetings and incentives industry kicked off with a singalong, a dance-off and spontaneous poetry session as part of its innovative and inspiring education programme.

Lucy Eden, founder of Be in Your Element’s, session 9 To Thrive: Dolly Parton's Guide To Sustainably Rocking Events And Meetings drew crowds to hear tips on brilliant event delivery, set against the tunes of legendary country singer Dolly Parton.

Meanwhile, visitors to the Blank Canvas – an area designed to deliver practical and hands-on advice – shook it off with Taylor Smith of BCD Meetings & Events in his energetic trend retrospective Trends vs Reality Danceoff With Taylor Swift (sorry, Smith!) before space was made for the Great AI Hackathon – a look at how AI can support events – with Claus Raasted.

Other sessions on diversity, sustainability, careers and marketing took place on the Impact and Inform and Innovate and Inspire stages while more intimate talks and workshops took place on stands including isla’s, The Meetings Industry Association (mia), MESA and the Power of Events Hub.

The show floor buzzed as thousands of meetings took place between buyers and almost 700 exhibitors – from convention bureaux and DMCs to hotels and conference centres – from the UK and around the globe.

New exhibitors ready to share news and updates this year include ProColombia (C41), STAR Your World (E41), which will be joined by six DMC partners; VisitDetroit CVB (E11), Hyatt Hotels (F30) and Radisson Hotel Group (F20).

Other highlights from day one included:

  • Hard Talk with Women in Exhibitions UK Chapter: This interactive session saw WiE board member Laura Tavernor lead a debate addressing gender bias and other career challenges in the events industry.
  • The debut of the world’s first zero waste stand made from event waste carpet. 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 was revealed to the world’s meetings and events community (stand A41)
  • Wall-to-wall networking. There were multiple meetings in the Central Lounge, Hosted Buyer Lounge as well as on stands with VisitScotland, Delegate Wranglers, The British Motor Museum and Venues of Excellence among those holding drinks receptions.
  • The mia (D51) unveiled its new identity. The new branding is designed to celebrate collaboration, networking, and fostering positive relationships, reflecting the core values and objectives of the mia in supporting and bringing people together.

The show continues tomorrow (Thursday, 20 June) with a 5k Go Running! Tour (or 3k brisk walk) kicking off the day for those looking to burn off energy before the exhibition opens again at 9:30am.

Education sessions to bookmark include Data & Research, a panel discussion on the topic hosted by the Power of Events (Power of Events Hub E71) and Transformative Conversation: Turning Conflict into Connection (Innovate & Inspire at 10am) with Jo Berry of Building Bridges for Peace. A speaker and expert in conflict transformation,  Berry will explore the profound impact of empathy, communication, and vulnerability in bridging divides and fostering genuine connections.

Those interested in technology should head to the MESA stand (F80) at 12pm to hear from their tech stand partners about their product and for tips on how to integrate it into their next event.

There will also be chances for further networking, exhibitor meetings and more.

Jack Marczewski, portfolio event director, Northstar Meetings Group, said: “It’s been a fantastic start to The Meetings Show 2024 with a real buzz felt across the show floor. Hundreds of meetings have been taking place between our exhibitors and buyers are picking up valuable knowledge and tips in sessions from our packed education programme. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for day two.”

About The Meetings Show:      

The Meetings Show, which is part of Northstar Meetings Group, is the UK’s leading exhibition for event, meeting and conference professionals. Organised by meeting professionals for meeting professionals, the show includes an exhibition, educational sessions and networking and attracts buyers from the corporate, association, agency and public sectors. The show features destinations from over 50 countries across 6 continents, venues, hotels and key providers of meetings products and services.   

The Meetings Show has an Advisory Board that meets several times a year both in-person and virtually, bringing together their wealth of experience, ideas and strategic understanding of the meetings industry.   


About Northstar Meetings Group:  

Northstar Meetings Group is the premier online platform for business and sports event organisers, planners and incentive program professionals across all sectors – corporate, association, third-party organizations/agencies, SMERF (social, military, education, religious and fraternal meetings) -- providing critical news analysis and research, practical strategies, creative solutions and sourcing services. 


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