EW publisher Mash Media hosted A-Livex, an in-person exhibition with hotel rooms serving as stands, on Thursday 20 May.
The event welcomed more than 50 exhibitors across three floors of London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel, and was one of the first in-person exhibitions to take place in the UK since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
Hygiene measures were in place throughout the venue, with masks required when walking around the venue, but not in exhibitors' hotel rooms. Hotel staff also cleaned the venue regularly throughout the day.
Positive feedback was received from many exhibitors, with the unusual format of the event ensuring that people were able to safely reconnect with colleagues and industry friends.
Among the international exhibitors were the Korea Tourism Organisation, the Catalan Tourist Board, and representatives from convention bureaus in Switzerland and Copenhagen.
Mash Media managing director Julian Agostini hosted three panels throughout the day, speaking to a variety of leaders from the conference and exhibition industries.
An early panel featured Peter Jones, CEO of Nineteen Group, Raphael Sofoluke, CEO and founder of the UK Black Business Show, and Suzanne King, COO of CloserStill Media.
The three discussed the future of flexible working, and how company culture can be conveyed through leadership and shared values.
Raphael Sofoluke commented: “If you’re an entrepreneur, a leader, you have to be open to change. Give people lower down the chain the opportunity to make decisions.”
Jones agreed, and added that he is undergoing CEO coaching which will see him shadow James Timpson, founder and CEO of shoe repair/key cutting company Timpson.
The day’s second panel featured Tarsus CEO Douglas Emslie, Reed Exhibitions CEO Hugh Jones, and Montgomery Events MD Lori Hoinkes.
The third and final panel featured the leaders of three UK event industry associations: the Association of Event Organisers, the Association of Event Venues and the Event Supplier and Services Association. They updated the room on the progress that has been made speaking to the UK government on behalf of the events industry.