M&IT Agency Challenge: sun, smiles and valuable connections

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International event planners and suppliers came together at ICC Wales and Celtic Manor Resort to mix business and fun at the M&IT Agency Challenge 2022.

Basking in the heatwave, the annual event saw planners and suppliers from across the sector keep their cool and battle it out across three days of presentations, meetings, challenges, networking and fun.

Between supplier presentations, each of the eight teams took part in a series of challenges around the Celtic Manor Resort. This year saw the teams get creative for the Beat the Media video challenge, get brave to traverse the low ropes in the quickest time possible and get smart in the Level Up challenge to complete the tasks creatively and quickly. 

Each team is scored for their efforts and the winning team receives a share of £1,000 worth of Amazon vouchers.

The first day of presentations and challenges culminated in the BBQ on the Terrace at Celtic Manor Resort. A band played while guests got stuck into cuisines of the world and chatted about the day’s events. 

Day two kicked off with an education session from Toni Griggs, growth lead at event sustainability body isla. Griggs delivered her session on sustainability in events and how event planners can leverage their platform to drive positive change. But before she began the session, she echoed the sentiment of most people in the plenary room, that the views out of the window were reminiscent of a rainforest. “This conference room transports me back to teaching yoga in Ubud in Bali,” Griggs added. 

The plenary room used for the presentation at the M&IT Agency Challenge overlooked the surrounding forest and is bathed in natural light – a must to keep delegates awake and engaged.

Following Griggs’ session, the teams took part in their final challenges of the event to claim as many points as they could to edge towards winning those Amazon vouchers. 

After lunch, the one-to-one meetings got underway between buyers and suppliers. Using the information shared in the earlier presentations, buyers were able to delve further into what suppliers could offer their groups and grow their networks. 

“Wow, what a jam-packed and enjoyable few days it has been. We were extremely fortunate to have been one of the agencies attending the M&IT Agency Challenge this year,” said Jo Ferreday, managing director at Sheer Edge. 

“Held at the fantastic Celtic Manor Resort and ICC Wales, we attended all venue presentations, took part in team challenges, and ate delicious plant-based food and other mouth-watering dishes.

When business was done for the day, all of the M&IT Agency Challenge attendees adorned their glad rags for a gala dinner at the 2010 Clubhouse, built for the Ryder Cup, overlooking the River Usk and the rolling Welsh hills. Between courses, each team’s efforts from the Video Challenge were played for the amusement of everyone. While each video received laughs and applause, the Orange Team’s creative efforts reigned supreme and saw them collect the Amazon vouchers. 

Ferreday added: “Our team was fantastic, we shared laughter, fun and we were all keen to win. Sadly, it wasn't our time this year, but I came away feeling that I'd won in a different way. Made new industry friends and laughed more than I have in a long time. Yes, it's been time out of the business. But it's been a worthy investment. I've new ideas, strengthened relationships and it was so wonderful to see people enjoying themselves after a long period of being away.”

The next M&IT Challenge event is happening at New Place Hotel between 18-19 October 2022 for corporate event planners and suppliers. To find out more and register, click here

Holly Patrick
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Holly Patrick
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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.

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