The Meetings Show, the UK’s leading platform for the meetings and events community, is celebrating the success of its 10th edition after welcoming 4,554 verified attendees through its doors.
The Meetings Show 2022, officially opened by Yeoh Soon Hin, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy for Penang, took place at ExCeL London on 29-30 June and has been hailed a success by visitors and exhibitors alike.
More than 500 exhibitors took part in the show – twice the size of last year’s – with a particularly strong international contingent.
Australia, Boston, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Korea, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa and Zimbabwe were just a handful of the many destinations represented at the show, which also featured convention bureaux from all four corners of the UK and regional bodies, including VisitBritain, VisitScotland, Visit Belfast and Visit Wales.
Feedback from exhibitors was incredibly positive after two successful days of meeting, reconnecting and helping buyers with their event enquiries and solutions for the year ahead.
Suzanne Watson, business development manager at Marketing Liverpool said: “It’s good to be back seeing people we haven’t seen for some time and catching up with industry colleagues and new clients. We launched an event planners guide at the show, and it has been well-received with lots of enquiries and connections made.”
Tricia Loh, head of sales at Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau, added: “It was good to reconnect with buyers and see how the industry is so resilient and ready for reopening after three years. We received a lot of enquiries and welcomed a lot of active buyers to our stand.”
The three-day programme for hosted buyers, including the Pre-Show Conference and a Welcome Reception at the iconic Royal Navy warship HMS Belfast, part of Lime Venue Portfolio, proved particularly popular and was attended by more than 250 hosted buyers.
Buyer Amie Daniels, director, 2Ten Events Limited and a first-time visitor to the show, said she was ‘really impressed’. “There’s a great atmosphere and it’s rekindled the passion I have for the industry. I’ve had some valuable meetings organised through the Hosted Buyer Programme and the education sessions I’ve been to have been interesting. I’ve learnt a lot.”
Alongside the chance to talk business with suppliers, buyers were invited to attend more than 22 hours of educational sessions covering burning issues including sustainability, building and fostering communities, diversity and inclusion, the metaverse, hybrid, purpose-driven events.
The opening keynote, held in partnership with TEAMS Europe, was delivered by Lord Sebastian Coe, who marked the 10th anniversary of the London 2012 Games by discussing the value of sport in communities and how staging events like The Olympics can have a catalytic effect on improving them.
There were multiple chances to network, with visitors treated to a well-deserved drink and entertainment by DJ 'Foxy Arve' at the official 10th edition reception at the end of day one. The Delegate Wranglers’ cocktail bar also proved a popular place to spark up new contacts, while anyone wanting some time out was welcomed to visit the EventWell Hub and quiet room.
Capturing activity from around the show and creating a long-lasting visual representation of the event was The Facilitation Partnership, a group of professional facilitators and visualisers, whose work will serve as long-lasting reminder of the success of the landmark show.
The Meetings Show 2022 included several initiatives as part of its ongoing commitment to provide a platform for the next generation of talent, including a partnership with Event First Steps to create a special programme dedicated to students. Winners from The Meetings Show’s Tomorrow Talent initiative, which celebrates and champions the rising stars of the industry also attended the show.
Daniel Wilcock, event manager and professional event services and Tomorrow’s Talent 2022 winner, said: “It’s been fantastic to have the opportunity to meet venues I wanted to learn more about, and the breadth of exhibitors was impressive. I was really impressed meeting the other Tomorrow’s Talent winners too and I’m thrilled to be included among such a talented group of people.”
Jack Marczewski, event director The Meetings Show, said: “It was incredible to celebrate our landmark 10th edition live at ExCeL London and bring so many people from the global events community together in person again. Exhibitor feedback has been hugely positive, and a high percentage have already re-booked for next year. We can’t wait to start planning for 2023.”
The Meetings Show 2023 will take place on 28 and 29 June at ExCeL London.
A desire to travel led Holly Patrick to the business meetings and events world and she’s never looked back. Holly takes a particular interest in event sustainability and creating a diverse and inclusive industry. When she’s not working, she can be found rolling skating along Brighton seafront listening to an eclectic playlist, featuring the likes of Patti Smith, Sean Paul, and Arooj Aftab.