I can’t work out if we are blessed in the business events industry with so many industry conferences, exhibitions and awards to choose from, or if we’re so crazily disorganised and discombobulated that we’ve ended up with a mishmash of smaller events that don’t really serve us well.

In 2018 there were eleven business industry events, held over 26 days, providing 19 days of conferences, 16 days of exhibitions and 4 award ceremonies. In 2019 we can add yet another conference, adding two more days of the same.

Couldn’t we have one or two super-events a year that brings the industry together, saves delegate’s time and money and better profiles business events on the big stage?

Before I get abused too much for being cool on the recently mooted amalgamation of some of the business event industry bodies; an amalgamation would be ideal if the deal and the timing are right; But only if deal and the timing are right. But I am not talking organisational amalgamation here, I am talking event amalgamation, or a rethink about how we in the event industry organise ourselves event wise.

Only five of the twelve events are permanently domiciled in one city, so each year host cities are asked to support seven roving events. Sponsors are spread thin, as are relevant speakers and delegates.

Some serve specific markets within the industry which is logical, but others offer the exact same thing – whatever their spin.

I have done some digging, and it appears just three of the twelve events in 2019 will be run by not-for-profit, membership led associations; MEA, EEAA and AACB, then there is MCB controlled AIME; all the others are privately owned, even if the event titles and organisation names sound as if they are not-for-profits.

It might take us a couple of years to get there, but wouldn’t it be tremendous if we had one annual supermassive not-for-profit industry event that competed with the world stage for intellectual thinking, networking and sales opportunities?


Simon Baggs

Simon Baggs is the CEO of Lateral Event Management