Venuefinder Features

Industry news round-up

Published: 16 Nov 2018

Bringing you key announcements and keeping you up-to-date with sector goings-on. This month, Confex launches Smart Venue Summit, the Mia predicts meetings growth for 2019, apprenticeship website goes live, and leaders gather for BVEP forum. 

Confex launches Smart Venue Summit

International Confex will stage a Smart Venue Summit on the eve of its 2019 Olympia London exhibition.

The networking and knowledge-sharing event will take place on 25 February from 2pm until 7pm and focus on the technology’s role in the changing venue landscape.

Speaker programme highlights include a case study from Amsterdam RAI, a discussion around what 5G will mean for venues, a look at the future of venue tech, and how to build technology into venue refurbishments and build.  

International Confex event director Liz Agostini said: “There is a huge amount of knowledge and experience amongst the venue IT & tech infrastructure directors both in the UK and globally. All are concerned with future-proofing their spaces from a tech perspective, whatever stage of development their venues are at, and are making decisions on huge sums of investment.

“The idea of the Smart Venue Summit is to create a forum where those at the coal-face can get together to share knowledge and benefit from each other’s experience and perspective.”

The event costs £220 per head for attendees, while venue exhibitors at International Confex will enjoy two free places. 

Mia predicts meetings growth for 2019

The latest figures from miaTouchstone, the Meetings Industry Association’s online benchmarking tool, point towards a strong 2019 for the meetings industry.

There were 49% more meetings held between June and August 2018 than in the same period during 2017. Over the last two years, the overall number is up 25%.

Other positive figures from the latest miaTouchstone report include a typical increase of two to three per cent on the average daily delegate rate (DDR) compared to the same months in 2017.

There has also been a 10% increase in the average DDR over the last three years – from just under £40 in 2015 to £43.50 in 2018.

The industry also experienced an increase of around seven per cent in average enquiry levels between June and August compared to the same period in 2017, indicating further sustained growth into 2019.

Apprenticeship website goes live

Venues looking to hire apprentices can now turn to a new website,, set up by a community interest company that will own and develop the Event Management Apprenticeship programme in partnership with industry. 

This new online hub of information will be further developed in the coming months, providing a central resource of information for employers, apprentices, and industry stakeholders.

Sarah Wright, director of the company and a founder of the Event Management Apprenticeship Programme said: “We have massive ambition for the development of this apprenticeship programme, setting a new training route for our industry, and providing access to a new pipeline of industry talent”. 

Leaders gather for BVEP forum

The Business of Events Senior Leadership Forum was attended by more than 100 industry leaders with a combined 3,788 years, nine months and five days experience in the events sector.

The event, held last month at the QEII Centre in London saw sessions delivered by the All Party Parliamentary Group for the events industry (APPG); the Department for Culture, Media & Sport; the UK Events Industry Board and VisitBritain/VisitEngland. 

APPG Chair James Heappey MP had kicked off the programme with The Business of Events Parliamentary Debate at Portcullis House. More than 50 delegates attended a debate which focused on infrastructure, people, talent and skills, marketing and promotion. 

The debate was followed by a Senior Leadership Reception at the QEII Centre and a private dinner at The Royal Society, attended by Michael Ellis MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State.

By Mike Fletcher

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