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How to choose hybrid event platforms

By Company Blog Articles

Updated March 2024

According to a survey about 73% businesses in the UK have claimed that hybrid events have become an irreplaceable element in their portfolio ever since 2021. There is no doubt that hybrid events are a raging phenomenon in the event industry in the present times. However, there are some other aspects that need to be considered as well. A Forbes report claims that about 71.1% event organisers find it extremely challenging to connect physical audiences with the virtual ones. 

Hence to combat this issue, event organisers unanimously agree that choosing the correct platform to host hybrid events is the most essential part of organising the entire event. A well-suited platform enhances connectivity between virtual and in-person attendees, offering interactive features like live Q&A, polls, and networking opportunities. This fosters a dynamic and inclusive environment, ensuring that participants, regardless of their physical location, can fully participate and benefit from the event.

Considerations while organising a hybrid event

Hybrid events are dynamic and engaging, but the road to success involves careful consideration of various practical aspects. Here’s a breakdown of key factors to keep in mind when organising a hybrid event:

Event Registration and Delegate Management

Differentiating Attendee Types

Ensure your platform allows clear identification of in-person and virtual attendees. Provide tailored customer journeys during registration, allowing customisation for session selection, travel details, ticketing, payments, and appointment setting. Utilise conditional logic for mandatory questions, tailoring the experience based on previous responses.

Delegate Communications

Implement automated communications aligned with attendee types. Schedule emails based on specific actions or inactions, ensuring timely reminders and relevant information. Consider the need for onsite session scanning and badge printing, favouring integrated platforms to avoid data complexities and outdated information.

Event Production

Consider the complexity of hybrid event production. Determine the number of feeds required, assess speaker technology capabilities, and decide on the use of breakout rooms. Plan technical rehearsals, addressing support availability, time zones, and content mix, including live speakers, pre-recorded videos, presentations, and interactive elements.

Hybrid events

The Events App

Comprehensive App Features

Evaluate the events app features, emphasising integration with the core platform for seamless updates. Look for real-time engagement tools like moderated Q&A, live polling, and chat for both in-person and remote attendees. Ensure the app supports e-tickets, payments, and confirmations, with additional features such as networking, recording, closed captions, and accessibility options.

In-Person Extras

Consider in-person extras like location information, menus, maps, and hotel details. Provide a web app for onsite attendees, eliminating the need for downloads. Prioritise a help desk for online attendees, potentially with dedicated staff for additional support.

Sponsors and Exhibitors

Virtual Stand Spaces

Address the needs of sponsors and exhibitors, internal and external, requiring virtual stand spaces. Streamline visitor details capture for both in-person and virtual exhibitions, integrating data into a unified database. Plan for follow-up actions, such as scheduling calls or appointments, and sending emails.

Tailoring Tips for the perfect platform for hybrid and virtual events 

Define Your Event Needs and Goals

Clearly outline event objectives, audience demographics, and budget constraints. Determine the primary nature of your event – in-person, virtual, or a hybrid blend.

Evaluate Features and Functionality

Look for platforms with interactive live streaming, virtual networking tools, and robust analytics. Ensure the platform supports various devices and operating systems for accessibility.

Assess Technical Requirements and Support

Check technical requirements and evaluate reliability, scalability, and security. Prioritise platforms with responsive customer support to address technical issues promptly.

Prioritise User Experience

Choose a user-friendly platform with an intuitive interface. Conduct demos or trials to assess the overall user experience for both organisers and attendees.

Consider Integration and Flexibility

Select a platform that integrates seamlessly with existing tools and offers customisation and scalability. Review pricing structures, including potential extra fees, to align with budget constraints.

Choose Brightspace events for the ultimate hybrid experience

Transform your gatherings into unforgettable experiences with BrightSpace Hybrid Events. Seamlessly blend in-person and virtual engagement, cutting-edge technology, and unparalleled support. Elevate your event game – contact us at hello@brightspaceevents.co.uk to get started and create moments that resonate!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Hybrid Event Platforms

1. How does the platform differentiate between in-person and virtual attendees during the registration process?

Clarify how the hybrid event platform ensures clear identification of attendee types and tailors their registration journey based on session preferences, travel details, and other relevant information.

2. Can the platform handle automated communications to different attendee types, and how are reminders and updates managed?

Explore the platform’s capabilities in automating communications, scheduling reminders, and delivering tailored information to in-person and virtual attendees. Understand the process for managing speaker and attendee communications effectively.

3. What features does the platform offer for event production in a hybrid setting, and how does it support technical rehearsals?

Inquire about the platform’s capabilities in managing multiple feeds, integrating virtual speakers, and facilitating breakout sessions. Understand the flexibility in scheduling technical rehearsals and the level of technical support provided.

4. What comprehensive features does the events app offer, and how does it enhance both in-person and remote attendee experiences?

Delve into the functionalities of the events app, focusing on real-time engagement tools, integration with the core platform, accessibility options, and in-person extras. Ensure a clear understanding of its ability to enhance networking, engagement, and post-event viewing.

5. How does the platform cater to sponsors and exhibitors, particularly those seeking virtual stand spaces?

Explore the platform’s features that support sponsors and exhibitors, both internal and external. Inquire about data capture for in-person and virtual exhibitions, integration into a unified database, and follow-up options such as scheduling calls or sending emails. 

Empowering Remote Teams

By Company Blog Articles

Updated March 2024

Engaging a remote workforce

According to a remote workforce statistic published by Forbes, 28.2% employees work hybrid while 12.7% work remotely while 59.1% actively work from offices. Another report claims that as of February 2024, 17% of the UK workforce is working remotely and 52% prefers a hybrid setup. Working remotely has its own advantages, however, the issue that is faced by employers in this arrangement is employee engagement in the remote workforce. Some of the main areas that are severely threatened in this establishment include productivity, profitability, customer service along with the mental well-being of employees.

Remote work has become widely recognised for its numerous advantages for both employers and employees. Employers can tap into a diverse global talent pool, while employees enjoy the flexibility to work from a location that suits them. The happiness of remote employees is evident, as revealed in a recent PwC study, where only 8% expressed a desire to work from their employer’s office. Additionally, the shift to remote work is perceived as successful by 83% of employers and 71% of employees.

How to engage a remote workforce? 

Sarah Threlfall, Managing Director of BrightSpace events has effectively reflected on the issue of remote workforce management and brings to you effective solutions for engaging a remote workforce: 

Start as you mean to go

Creating a robust onboarding process is crucial for setting the tone and building a strong foundation with new remote team members. Traditional office environments naturally expose employees to the company culture, but in remote setups, a proactive introduction is imperative. 

Consider assigning ‘Culture Champions’ among peers to guide new members, allowing line managers to focus on role-specific objectives. Comprehensive induction programs spanning weeks or months offer a more immersive experience, steering clear of brief virtual meetings. Introduce mentors from diverse backgrounds to enhance support and integration.

Review you Communication Strategy

Effective communication is the lifeblood of any successful remote team, bridging the gap created by physical distance. Address the challenge of missing out on spontaneous office interactions by proactively designing communication channels. Implement a diverse range of platforms such as Slack, Teams, or Skype chat for different communication needs. 

Encourage informal discussions to replicate the ‘water cooler moments’ that contribute to idea generation and problem-solving. Periodic check-ins by line managers ensure relevance and inclusivity, preventing employees from being drowned in emails or experiencing burnout from endless virtual meetings.

remote working woman

Meeting Audits for Productivity

While staying connected is crucial, drowning in excessive meetings can hinder both productivity and employee well-being. Regularly assess the meeting landscape to identify redundancies and streamline communication channels. Embrace the power of quick 5-minute calls for informal check-ins rather than rigid 30-minute schedules. 

Evaluate the necessity of virtual meetings versus face-to-face interactions, striking a balance between convenience and the impact of live events. Leverage hybrid and roadshow events for important updates, ensuring engagement without the drawbacks of constant travel.

Harness Technological Advances for Engaging Platforms

The technological boom of the past two years has revolutionised virtual communication. Ensure you’re utilising the most up-to-date platforms that align with your company’s needs. Move beyond monotonous screen shares and PowerPoint presentations; opt for interactive and engaging virtual experiences. 

Benchmark the quality of your virtual meetings, considering both technical aspects and attendee experience. Evaluate if your current platform faithfully represents your brand and if it aligns with the expectations of your remote workforce.

Foster Collaboration through Co-Creation

Engage your remote workforce by involving them in the creation of communication and socialisation strategies. Instead of imposing team-building activities, facilitate discussions to identify challenges and collaboratively design solutions. A great way of doing this is organising hybrid events. 

Recognise that different teams may prefer diverse communication methods, whether through an intranet, regular social events, or offsite activities. Encourage a participatory approach to problem-solving, tapping into the creativity and insights of your diverse workforce.

Remote working

Continuous Feedback for Ongoing Improvement

Establish a two-way feedback loop to consistently gauge the pulse of your remote workforce. Beyond formal surveys, embed questions about communication, team dynamics, and overall satisfaction into regular one-on-one or appraisal meetings. 

Ensure a comprehensive exploration of immediate and long-term concerns, team dynamics, and awareness of company events and initiatives. Demonstrate commitment by promptly addressing identified issues and communicating transparent plans for improvement.

Invest in Employee Development and Recognition

Prioritise employee growth and recognise achievements to reinforce a sense of value and belonging. Provide opportunities for skill development, mentorship, and career advancement within the remote setup. 

Implement recognition programs to acknowledge individual and team accomplishments, fostering a positive and motivated work environment.

BrightSpace Events; your ultimate event solution

BrightSpace Events is your trusted event management partner, presenting innovative solutions for effective remote workforce management. Enhance your team dynamics, communication, and productivity with our tailored strategies. Contact Sarah today to explore how we can redefine the remote work experience together or mail BrightSpace events at hello@brightspaceevents.co.uk 

 

Award Event Planning 101

By Company Blog Articles, Uncategorized

Award event planning circa 2024 is no small feat. Meticulous planning is the lynchpin of success, for associations honouring leading industry lights, or corporate companies celebrating high achievers.

While event trends come and go, award events remain a permanent fixture for celebration and acknowledgement. It’s unsurprising, bearing in mind how award events can support broader business objectives.

In essence, these events are purpose-designed to recognise excellence. But additionally, they’re also powerful networking platforms for nurturing connections and building partnerships.

So, what does it take to create impactful awards events that tick the boxes of multiple different stakeholders with varying criteria? In this article, the Brightspace Events team identify some of the key factors to consider when award event planning is on your agenda.

8 Important Steps to Award Event Planning.

  1. Define your objectives: This is the fundamental starting point for any event and awards events are no different. What business objectives will this event support? Who are you going to recognise? What behaviours / results / values do you want to reward? How will you measure the success of the event?
  2. Event Format: Unfortunately, Awards Events are historically famously dull even the Oscars employ people just to fill empty seats to cover the fact that their audience cant sit through the whole night. A super slick, carefully considered event format and military precision stage management will keep the energy high and everyone engaged. Dont fall into the trap of repeating what youve always done exploring different award event formats will pay dividends.
  3. Venue Finding: Your venue sets the stage for your award event. So, it’s vital to select a venue that aligns with your brand and your event goals, while resonating with your target audience. Today’s choices can be overwhelming, from industrial urban spaces to old-school red-carpet glamour. But the first step to successful award event planning is finding the perfect backdrop.
  4. Sustainability, Carbon Impact and Waste Management: Sustainability has become a priority for many event planners. This means assessing the carbon impact of your award event, from venue choices to transportation to suppliers. For these purposes, you need to think carefully about things like decorations, marketing materials, and catering. And don’t forget about efficient disposal methods once the last guests have left and the lights go out. All these initiatives contribute to an event that aligns with your company’s commitment to a greener future, plus the ESG strategies of your multiple stakeholders.
  5. Catering: Food takes centre stage for award event planning, just like it does for any type of event. And there’s plenty to think about. Does your event have a theme to tie your menu in with? Will you be working with an in-house team at your venue? Or do you need to appoint an external catering company at a non-traditional location? Are you ready to cater for diverse dietary needs? In some industries, your award event will be jostling for attention in a very crowded market; food gives you a really exciting opportunity to make yours really stand out and get people talking. Never underestimate food. It’s a cornerstone that elevates your award event from better to best
  6. Audio Visual and Event Tech: State-of-the-art event tech is crucial for polished award event planning. In fact, you can get the party started long before the doors open, with an event app for pre-event networking and gamification. Then there’s the lighting, sound and other audiovisual elements. A grand entrance won’t be so grand, and the acceptance speeches won’t be so gracious, if every moment isn’t seamlessly illuminated and amplified. Plus of course the ability to use the tech to help push your hashtags and brand all over the socials if thats part of your key metrics.
  7. Branding and Sponsorship: From digital marketing to printed materials, signage, giveaways and award categories, award events are a compelling way to engage key clients, collaborators and suppliers. SquareMeal’s Ellie O’Donnell explained how award events, can also be a fantastic platform to boost the profile of your company, whether that’s to sponsors, press or future applicants. They also provide lots of branding opportunities and are a great way to promote the company to people in attendance.”
  8. Project timeline: Celebrations and awards ceremonies need even tighter schedules than normal; that are clearly agreed from the first project meeting. Work backwards from the event date to ensure that enough time is allocated for every step of the awards process. From defining categories, creating and promoting nomination processes, voting / judging panels and creating videos / trophies and other assets once the winners or nominees are known. Its a well known principle of time management in events that everything takes at least twice as long as you think so dont risk running out of time!

Ultimately, it’s the taking part that matters for your team members or entrants. But in terms of award event planning, there’s only one option, and that’s winning!

At Brightspace Events, our commitment to excellence and attention to detail ensures award events that exceed expectations. Get in touch when you’re ready to start your next award event planning. We can help you with full event management services or just the services you specifically need, such as free venue finding, entertainment sourcing or sustainability measurement to name just a few.

Decoding Event ROI for Future Forward Corporate Event Planners

By Company Blog Articles, Uncategorized

The landscape of corporate events has shifted, and not just in the way events are delivered. You see, success is no longer solely judged by the applause of a captivated audience. Now, the focus is switching from traditional or even no – event evaluation. Instead, today’s event planners are taking a more strategic approach that aligns events with overarching business objectives.

But, how do you measure event ROI, and what does it achieve? Let’s explore how you can methodically measure and analyse ROI in the context of internal and/or B2B events.

Setting the Scene with SMART Goals

The first step towards measuring event ROI is setting SMART goals:

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Relevant

Time-bound

These objectives lay the groundwork for your event, by outlining exactly what you aim to achieve. Each objective needs to be tightly aligned with the company’s overall goals. For example:

  • More event sign-ups
  • Greater social media presence
  • New lead generation
  • Increased website traffic
  • Boosted pipeline value
  • High-volume, high-quality job applications

Checking the Pulse of Event ROI

Meaningful event ROI requires meticulous data collection. This means collating data points across the entire end-to-end event lifecycle, from pre-event engagement to post-event impact. The results can be transformational. But truthfully, the number crunching can be back-breaking without the right tools of the trade.

To this end, marketing platforms like HubSpot and CRM systems like Salesforce play a pivotal role in capturing data related to your SMART goals.

Quantifying the Intangibles

Tangible metrics like number of registrations and leads are clear markers of success, and they’re relatively simple to benchmark. Whereas intangibles call for a more anecdotal process.

These metrics matter, even though they’re more abstract. All the same, factors such as brand perception and customer or staff sentiment contribute significantly to ROI.

But, how do you measure them? There’s a variety of methods for collecting qualitative data, such as surveys, feedback forms, and post-event interviews, which all provide invaluable insights.

Translating Event ROI Analytics

So, you’ve gathered all sorts of previously unimaginable metrics. But there’s no point having them if you don’t know what to do with them.

Imagine tracking the journey of a lead from event engagement to conversion. It provides a clear picture of how the event contributed to the sales pipeline.

This is why it’s essential to be able to decipher the story behind the numbers, using tools like Google Analytics, social media analytics platforms, and CRM systems.

Drumming Up Stakeholder Buy In

Even though attitudes to the value of events can differ greatly between different stakeholder

groups, event ROI analysis extends beyond the events team. This is because truly holistic assessment needs buy in from various departments, such as HR and line management building event ROI into the appraisals process.

Think of it like this. Getting various stakeholders involved in the process increases your chances of comprehensively evaluating how an event aligns with broader business goals. And thats something most stakeholders are likely to have more than a passing interest in.

Pioneering the Cultural Shift

Embracing the concept of event ROI might seem like a daunting cultural shift. So, start small to win over any naysayers, by showcasing the tangible benefits of the approach. Even the most resistant stakeholders will be more inclined to embrace change when you can demonstrate the correlation between well-defined event objectives and tangible outcomes.

It’s a transformation that might not happen overnight, but ultimately lays the foundation for a more intentional and impactful event strategy.

Catalyst for Change

Event ROI calls for meticulous planning, data collection, analysis, and a cultural shift that permeates the entire organisation. While shifting the dial might require patience and perseverance, it’s a golden opportunity to pave the way for events to be more than just gatherings, but powerful drivers of business growth.

 

At Brightspace Events, we not only deliver unforgettable events. In addition, we understand the ever-evolving role of events in the corporate landscape, equipping us with a bigger picture overview that supports and drives strategic business growth.

Get in touch when youre ready to evolve professional event delivery into a data-driven success story that supports your overall business goals.

Brightspace Events Founder Recognised as Power 50 Green Champion

By Company Blog Articles, Uncategorized

Brightspace Events Founder and Managing Director Sarah Threlfall has been officially recognised for her commitment to event sustainability when micebook, the digital hub for event professionals worldwide, joined forces with sustainability body isla to create the Power 50 Green Champions on Tuesday 10th October 2023.  

 The micebook and isla collaboration is the first industry initiative dedicated to shining the spotlight on the individuals who are devoting their time, passion and energy to making a positive impact on the planet. 

“On behalf of the Brightspace Events team, I am so proud that someone else can see our true desire to make a positive impact with our events,” Sarah said. “We’ve put a lot of time and effort into genuinely improving the ways we work, and also setting the bar high for our clients, suppliers, and partners. It’s great to finally see this issue taking centre stage for our industry and  to have a platform for sharing and promoting our mission with other event profs.” 

 The shocking waste and emissions generated by the event industry in previous decades has always horrified Sarah. Yet recent innovations in event sustainability have further reignited her passion to reduce, reuse and recycle, as she strives to create exceptional event experiences whilst protecting the planet’s resources and helping its people thrive.  

“The events industry has a vast purchasing power across a huge range of sectors,” she continued. “Where else could you one day be sourcing 200 monogrammed towels and luxury jewellery, and the next you’re on the hunt for 150 hay bales, 30 glass tables and 500 edible favours?    

“This is way more than using biodegradable cups and wooden cutlery. This is about transforming the industry, the way we look at our own supply chain and making sure we are all making good choices in everything that we do, which we’ve consolidated and publicly committed to in our Sustainability Commitment.”  

“Some of the ideas discussed during the workshop I moderated were humbling in their greatness; using social enterprises to help create your event set and then returning everything back into the chain via charitable donations to other not for profit organisations…  there really is no limit to what we can achieve if we really put our minds to it!”   

 A special inaugural event to mark the induction of the first Power 50 Green Champions was held on 10th October 2023 at the Barbican. It included panel sessions of which Sarah was a moderator, workshops, and networking, culminating in the launch the official Power 50 Green Champions publication.  

 For more information, contact Sarah Threlfall on 01604 385179 or sarah.threlfall@brightspaceevents.co.uk  

Nissan Concept 20-23 Launch

By Company Blog Articles, Uncategorized

How it Began

In April this year, I received an exciting but fairly innocent looking email about a ‘behind the scenes’ event at Nissan’ European design HQ in Paddington. Their PR agency, Performance Communications, were creating a compelling media event to celebrate the centre’s 20th Anniversary and wanted to partner with Brightspace to build 5 or 6 activity stations to allow the journalists to get ‘hands on’ with the different areas and then provide some lunch for 30-40 people. They were going to have dinner, stay overnight, then visit Nissan’s Technical centre up near Milton Keynes before flying home.

Oh, and they might have a launch but we weren’t to worry about that at the moment.

What Actually Happened

This is what we have just pulled off in London on Monday….

Press Coverage

The Guardian: Nissan vows to go all-electric by 2030

Unveiling Concept 20-23

Nissan Motor Corporation 

Brightspace Events – Nissan Motor Corporation

Our unstoppable and unflappable Event Director, Helen Wildgoose, and her team worked with over 20 different suppliers, including the PHENOMENALpeople at Chameleon Live event and Easy Gourmet caterers to pull off, without a doubt, the biggest, most exhilarating event I personally have ever been involved in – let alone at the helm of my own agency.

The launch element slowly gained traction throughout the wonderful summer of planning meetings by the canal in Paddington; and before we knew it, we were revealing the groundbreaking new Nissan Concept 20-23 with Makoto Uchida, Nissan’s President & CEO, plus Guillaume Cartier, Chairman of Nissan in the region, and numbers were growing (and changing) every day.

Oh, and did I mention they wanted to do it on a barge?

Their daring vision was led by Neil Reeve, Manager, Product Communications at Nissan AMIEO and was driven by Nissan’s founding principle of “Dare to do what others don’t”. I certainly think most manufacturers wouldn’t be brave enough to float a model that was only completed on Friday evening, down the Grand Union Canal in Central London and into a live show for 120 VIPs and journalists on a Monday lunchtime.

What we Did

Whilst all that was going on, we took the very functional, incredibly busy facilities within NDE’s “Rotunda” building and transformed them over the weekend into a slick and high level event venue operation. This would have been impossible without the unfailing support and tireless work from Dean Claridge and Simon Fleming at NDE who worked for weeks before we even arrived on site to prepare the building.

Oh, and did I mention that the CEO’s participation was a relatively late addition to the event? Late in July, he was in a meeting where the idea was being discussed.He liked the audacity of the idea so much that he decided to adjust his schedule in order to be there. to

We installed wi-fi, carpet, toilets, bins, furniture, draping and power stations. We built a kitchen, a staff lounge, a stage, a conference space and all under strict security lockdown due to the highly confidential nature of the work at NDE.

I learnt a LOT about cranes, hoists and towpaths, and model construction and canals and the complex patchwork ownership of land in London. I talked a lot about stage loading and reinforcements and air compressors and generators. And now know just how many permits and RAMS and meetings it takes to do anything outside that interacts with the public. With massive thanks to impeccable construction plans from Sam Parkins at Chameleon Live and also to Helen McCabe and Stephen Chaston from Harrier Safety who bolstered our expertise and supported flawlessly throughout.

We planned 7 different events in excruciating detail, that were never going to happen – as we needed so many different weather scenarios – and thankfully, the one that was called on Sunday and then executed on the day was Plan A; glorious sunshine and a once in a lifetime moment as the car floated effortlessly (!!!!) into view at the exact moment Guillaume Cartier first mentioned Nissan’s “birthday surprise” to the assembled media.

Improving the Impact

Although it was a stretch at times due to the lead times and highly specialised nature of some elements, we also stayed as close to our ‘Planet First” ethos as we could; suggesting reusable alternatives at every stage including spending slightly more on slightly less that will then come into use throughout NDE in the future. Including fairtrade cotton aprons, reusable shoe covers and using branded event stock from previous events instead of creating new.

We sourced biodegradable ponchos, protective gloves and wet wipes as well as working closely with our preferred suppliers for catering and AV production who we know have strong recycling and reuse policies in place.

The set panels were all reused and reskinned for the event and, wherever possible, we used items that were made from recycled plastic.

We limited single use catering items to the bare minimum; and that we did use was all fully biodegradable and disposed of accordingly. My favourite wildflower seeded paper wrist bands made another appearance for crew, staff and VIP access bands so I’m looking forward to watching them bloom next year.

Frustratingly, we attempted to donate waste food to a local homeless shelter as we’d been careful to keep all packaging and allergen information and labels; but they were unable to collect it. This is definitely something I’ll do more research into next time, to make sure we have a clear plan in advance rather than reacting on the day and falling at the last hurdle.

I am still returning items that were unused; to make sure they can go back into the supply chain and will also hopefully find homes for various used but very good condition items either via the Delegate Wranglers Facebook page or Event Recycle.

The big sticking point was the carpet which I had no plan for; so that is going to be my massive learning takeaway. If anyone has any recommendations for more ethical suppliers, materials or waste management around used carpet, I’d love to hear from you.

The benefit of a central London location, meant that we only laid on minimal airport transfers as most delegates were encouraged to use public transport to get into central London and we also used mass transportation between sites on a coach rather than smaller, individual vehicles. Delegate numbers per country were also kept low which further reduced the travel impact and anyone travelling from France came via the Eurostar rather than air.

Progress definitely, not perfection, but we’ll take that.

The Outcome

Understandably, the press coverage has, so far, been incredible. The CEO used the opportunity that we had created to announce that from now, all Nissan vehicles launched in Europe will be electric vehicles and that by 2030, all Nissan vehicles sold in Europe will be EVs.

Thanks to the CEO’s participation, extra coverage of Nissan’s important message about their commitment to electric vehicles was secured thanks to broadcast interviews with the BBC and CNBC during the event, as well as leading articles being featured in the business sections of most national newspapers and wall to wall influencer content across all the major platforms.

The THANK YOU

One of my favourite quotes from Nelson Mandela features on our giveaways and I can’t quite believe how appropriate it is right now; “Everything feels impossible. Until it is done”

And it is ONLY made possible by the trusted friends and colleagues who stand by my side in life and during these crazy events:

Helen Wildgoose, AJ Mills, Sam Parkins, Emily Higham, Sarah Stanyer, Jo Randall, Charlotte Orton, Robin Dixon, Gaynor Evans, Eden Prince, Ineska Dabrowski

But most importantly, and the final word, has to go to Sam Mercer from Performance Communications. This guy was running at a million miles an hour from start to finish, the central cog of a HUGE machine that was driving and pulling in every possible direction, every possible minute of the day. He was calm, efficient, available, professional and the greatest ally I could possibly wish for. Who also repeatedly said “I’m not an events person” – based on what you’ve just achieved, Sam, we beg to differ.

The Art of Time Management in Event Planning: Saving You Time and Headaches

By Company Blog Articles, Uncategorized

In the million-miles-an-hour world of event planning, time is precious. And when youre under-resourced and up against it, its not unusual to go from neutral gear to panic stations in a nanosecond. Thankfully, there are many ways for not only saving time, but also keeping nightmares at bay and ensuring seamless events.

Let’s explore just a few ways, from common sense strategies to tech tools, that make all the difference to your event success and your sanity.

Delegation and Outsourcing

Guilty of keeping everything close to your chest? Many of us are. But there comes a time to recognise you can’t do it all alone.

One of the most effective time-saving strategies is delegation. It can be hard to let go. But imagine freeing up valuable hours on your calendar by delegating responsibilities like:

  • Venue selection
  • Supplier coordination
  • Contract negotiation
  • Speaker tech tests and rehearsals

The view from the other side is spectacular when you learn to entrust certain tasks to capable team members. Or consider outsourcing to a reputable event management company

DO NOT be fooled by the oh its just quicker to do it myself trap! Its hard, of course, but the earlier you force yourself to spend the time training or briefing someone else, the more saving it will deliver throughout the life of the planning process.

Tech Tips

Delegate Management

In the age of event technology, event planners have access to almost too many tools and platforms for doing all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff. But, now isnt the time for going wild for too many shiny pretty things.

Instead, opt for a comprehensive event tech platform that consolidates tasks, including key areas such as:

  • Registration
  • Hotel accommodation bookings
  • Audience engagement
  • Data analysis

Bear in mind, a single platform saves you toggling between multiple applications and boosts efficiency, without sending you cross-eyed. Dont just jump at the first solution; or one that works for your old company. Really invest the time to define what you need; where are your time pinch points and focus on solving those.

Project Management

At Brightspace we also invest in project management software (Asana, in our case) which has massively reduced the amount of catch up calls as well as making us all very efficient; using clear timelines, project plans, deadlines and dependencies.

Again, taking the time at the beginning of the project to build a comprehensive timeline, with clear roles and responsibilities, can save huge amounts of wasted time further down the line and allow everything to flow seamlessly.

Spot and Prevent Burnout

Burnout is a silent enemy thats notorious for sneaking up on event planners. Thankfully, there are many positive narratives on the subject in the events industry. Its crucial to listen and learn from them, to save time and maintain the wellbeing of yourself and your team members.

That means delegating more tasks, taking short breaks, practicing self-care, and seeking external support from industry specific event welfare specialists, such as EventWell and Stress Matters.

We consciously include a ‘personal check-in’ at the end of project calls just to make sure everyone is still in their happy place.

Contingency Planning

You might not think so, but effective time management includes planning for curveballs. Whether it’s a technical glitch or unexpected weather changes for an al fresco gathering, being prepared can save you from scrambling around like headless chickens at the last minute.

This also comes into play with your timelines / project planning; make sure you build in time for changes, feedback on creative before sign off etc.

Automate Repetitive Tasks

Automation not only saves time but also reduces the risk of human error. For these reasons, its worth identifying repetitive tasks in your event planning process and exploring automation options for jobs such as:

  • Email communications
  • Social media posting
  • Data entry

Review, ReSet, Resume

Time-saving strategies arent set in stone. Theyre fluid and can be adjusted to suit when youre regularly reviewing your event planning processes. After all, if you cant measure it, you cant improve it. So, seek feedback from your team, delegates and other stakeholders to identify areas for improvement and refine your approach to suit.

Remember, the ultimate goal is to create memorable experiences that leave a lasting impression. But, its a much less gruelling and stressful process when youre equipped to navigate event planning with confidence, ease, and time on your side.

 

At Brightspace Events, we understand only too well that the art of time management in event planning is a continuous journey. To this end, our portfolio of leading-edge services offers:

  • Full or buy-what-you-need event management services for stress-free project management of every event
  • Delegate registration and communications optimum use of technology
  • Exhibition stand build and design design, manufacture and installation
  • Event staffing experienced and professional staff
  • Incentive programmes improve business performance with unforgettable experiences
  • Hybrid events all the features of live and virtual events
  • AV production audio visual for live and virtual event production
  • Event safety Health and safety procedures and checks

Get in touch for expert help to not only save time, but also reduce stress, and ensure the unparalleled success of your corporate events.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Organising Sustainable Events

By Company Blog Articles, Uncategorized

As environmental concerns continue to soar, it’s become imperative for many businesses to organise and deliver sustainable events.

Its in our blood so were thrilled that this shift is starting to move the industry in the right direction and to be honest, even if youre against it or dont see the urgency yet ignore it at your peril.

Shareholders, clients, suppliers: everyone is starting to look at this more deeply and sometime soon, someone is going to ask questions to make sure that you are adapting your approach for the good of the planet and the people on it.

Were already speaking with hotels that have lost business because they couldnt demonstrate their sustainability practices and it wont be long before that translates into agencies and planners losing out as a result of ignoring the dawn of this new era.

HOWEVER be warned!! Success in this field required more than good intentions. You need to carefully adopt eco-friendly practices throughout the process, from venue selection to lights out as you wave off the last delegate standing. Its no longer enough to chuck a few cardboard cups around and consider yourself green. Were talking about a wholesale change from the ground up which looks into every detail and makes those vital marginal gains throughout the planning process.

This article zones in on the key considerations at each stage, enabling you to plan and put on sustainable events that make a positive impact on your stakeholders and the environment.

  • Finding the Perfect Place

Prioritise hotels and venues that align with your sustainable values. Many of them that are going all-in on sustainability are quite rightly shout loudly and proudly about their energy efficiency, waste reduction, and water conservation. Plus, the recent advent of event sustainability measurement tools has made sustainable procurement much easier to get right.

In addition to the venues themselves, don’t forget to think about accessible public transportation options to encourage attendees to reduce their carbon emissions.

  • Recognising Sustainability Excellence

Look for recognised seals of approval such as:

ISO 20121 for sustainable event management systems

B Corp certification for overall sustainability commitments

Accreditations of this calibre demonstrate genuine environmental responsibility when you’re seeking event partners who really walk the talk.

Theres a huge variety of venue and other sustainability badges jostling to find their place in the market at the moment, and were hoping that it will eventually settle down to a couple of big hitters that everyone adopts.

However, in the meantime, you can check out our Sustainability Hub for a list of the main ones we have found and what they mean.

  • Engaging Sustainable Suppliers

Collaboration with sustainable suppliers is a surefire step to hosting eco-friendly and ethical events. To this end, it’s essential to look closely at supplier credentials in areas such as ethical sourcing, sustainable production methods, and minimised waste.

So don’t be afraid to proactively invite tenders from suppliers offer environmentally friendly alternatives, from biodegradable or compostable serving ware to LED lighting.

  • Mindful Event Planning

Keep sustainability front of mind at every single touchpoint of your event. For example:

  • Minimising paper waste by leveraging digital platforms for invitations, registrations, and event programmes
  • Providing recycling and composting stations, clearly labelled throughout your venue/s, to ensure environmentally friendlier waste management
  • Levelling up energy conservation by using venues with efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems, plus the little things that mount up, like encouraging attendees to switch off unnecessary devices
  • Consider your waste how to reduce the quantity of food thats wasted and arranging for charities to collect any that is left at the end of the event. This is a whole separate topic so watch this space for a more detailed explanation of the possibilities!
  • Re-Thinking Event STUFF

Theres so much of it! Signage / giveaways / uniforms / badges / lanyards / branding / themeing / flowers..

If you are spending money on it, please stop to think about how to make it better for the planet or how you can direct that budget into improving peoples lives by supporting fair trade / local and independent companies.

Let’s be honest, there isn’t much good to say about traditional goody bags filled with single-use plastic trinkets that often ended up in landfills! Now is the time to look at some of the inspired alternatives on the market that align with your sustainability goals. From reusable water bottles to organic snacks, the choice of quality sustainable merchandise continues to grow and grow.

Sack off cut flowers flown in from hot houses around the world and replace with locally grown pot plants that can be given to charities or staff after the event.

Abandon costly event branding with dates / locations blazoned across it and design clever, reusable items that can be brought out for future events.

Rather than purchase anything new, see if you can find a repurposed or recycled option from local suppliers and / or find a way to donate anything you dont need to charities. We highly recommend the fabulous work of Event Cycle to make this easier.

  • Carbon Offsetting

Despite best efforts, some aspects of an event may still have an environmental impact. So, if you absolutely have to do something that’s not sustainable, what can you do to offset?

The University of London Venues Team explain: C02 offsetting is the process of financially supporting projects around the world that work to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. Offset schemes vary widely in terms of cost, however you can expect to pay around £8 for each tonne of CO2 your event produces.

They recommend the Carbon Footprint site for calculating your emission and choosing your preferred offset project from a compelling portfolio.

In 2023 and beyond, hosting sustainable events isn’t just a trend but a responsible choice that contributes to a healthier planet. For this purpose, the incorporation of sustainable practices into every stage of event management equips you to make an invaluable contribution to tomorrow’s world.

At Brightspace Events, were 100% committed to sustainable events. This includes sourcing and forging partnerships with other like-minded suppliers on your behalf, from environmentally conscious caterers to green logistics.

Get in touch for help with sourcing sustainable venues and / or suppliers. Let’s join together in creating a brighter, more sustainable future, one event at a time.

Our Top 5 Midlands Sustainable Venues for Inspiring Events

By Company Blog Articles, Uncategorized

More and more of our clients are seeking sustainable solutions across their business and we are thrilled that they are coming to us with really specific briefs for lower impact venues and events . We cant quite work out if its a chicken or egg situation but it certainly seems like our passion in this area is attracting other companies that share our values.

With recent innovations in sustainability measurement, venues can stand up and be counted in previously untapped ways. And you can find some shining examples in the heart of the UK. Weve done a lot of sustainable venue searching recently so we thought wed share some of our recent finds.

The Midlands although a little bit flexible in its definition, is a longstanding go-to destination amongst event planners. After all, it boasts an impressive repertoire of venues, besides being easy to get to from all corners of the map. Accessibility is traditionally the key priority here, but unsurprisingly, top venues in the region arent just keeping pace with event sustainability, but leading the way.

Here are some of our top recommendations for market-leading sustainable venues in the Midlands:

Wyboston Lakes Resort, Bedfordshire

The slogan of this multi-faceted resort is ‘More Sustainability, No Apology’. Its a bold claim to make, considering the site comprises three compelling venues offering event facilities for up to 620 people, 406 bedrooms, golfing and a Y Spa.

Nevertheless, Wyboston have committed to optimal self-sufficiency and waste management. Theyve been zero to landfill since 2015, and aim for carbon neutrality by 2040 by investing in generating renewable energy onsite via wind turbines and solar panels, which is no mean feat while welcoming thousands of visitors daily.

Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham

“We have grand ambitions to be the most sustainable cricket venue in the UK and operate as Net Zero by 2030, said Claire Daniels, Operations Director at the home of Warwickshire County Cricket Club.

In order to achieve their objectives, this exceptional 800 capacity venue has introduced an impressive range of sustainable initiatives, including:

  • Reusable ‘e’ cups since 2016
  • Renewable energy sources, mostly from compressed wood pellets
  • Locally sourced and prepared foods

National Space Centre, Leicester

With an exhilarating Rocket Tower, the UK’s largest Planetarium and six space-themed galleries, this unique venue hosts events for up to 200 people, and takes event sustainability to infinity and beyond.

While participating in a company conference or celebrating at an awards dinner, your delegates and guests can marvel at the ways the Centre is pushing the boundaries of satellite data analysis for managing the environment.

Science for sure holds the keys for us to navigate our way out of this mess and the Space Centre is a great way to support that message.

Eastside Rooms, Birmingham

With state-of-the-art facilities for up to 1,200 people and an adjoining Aloft by Marriott Hotel, every aspect of this recent addition to Birmingham’s future forward Knowledge Quarter is imbued with sustainable values.

Its impressive range of sustainable credentials includes but isn’t limited to:

  • Encouraging public transport, offering only limited parking, and providing electric car charging points
  • Minimising and eradicating single use items, for example, replacing bottled water in meeting rooms with water coolers
  • Compartmentalising all bins for recycling at its own on-site cardboard compactor

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

When you’re looking for inspiring surroundings and sustainable principles, Birmingham Botanical Gardens is a majestic choice for up to 500 people. The team are committed to circular economy principles, and their policies around biodiversity, energy, procurement, travel and waste are grounded in tackling climate change by reducing environmental impacts.

Complimentary access to the majestic Gardens for refreshment breaks is a bonus means of engaging and inspiring your delegates and stakeholders.

At Brightspace Events, sustainability informs the way we conduct our business, and our entire approach to events. We aspire to B-Corp status over time, and you can read our sustainability commitment here.

Get in touch for help with sourcing sustainable venues, or any element of sustainable event delivery in line with your overall business objectives.

No-Fly Destinations: Our Favourite Amsterdam Venues

By Company Blog Articles, Uncategorized

Brightspace now has a ‘no fly’ policy on anything that’s not business critical so all fams / inspections / networking etc. and are working on encouraging ‘no fly’ destinations as much as possible. So when I was invited on an educational trip to Amsterdam a couple of months ago, I opted to travel by train. Hopped on the Eurostar at St Pancras and was in Amsterdam, by direct journey, in less than 3 ½ hours. 

Amsterdam is a great ‘no fly’ option and home to some incredible event spaces…. 

Pulitzer Amsterdam 

WOW!  If you ever get a chance to visit Amsterdam I can highly recommend the Pulitzer – what an incredible hotel.  Made up of 20+ canalside houses all beautifully joined together into the quirkiest, cosiest, most luxury experience ever.  The rooms have everything you need, exactly where you need it including all the tech and The Best Shower Ever.  Jam packed with history and exploding with local, cultural and culinary treats the staff couldn’t do enough for me and the vibe was gloriously relaxed.  

Hilton Amsterdam 

Now, I’m the first to admit that, with a few STUNNING exceptions that I’ve seen in London particularly, your average Hilton generally ‘works’ but is nothing to write home about.  However, the Hilton Amsterdam is most definitely one of the exceptions to the rule. On the outside, it’s fairly nondescript but don’t be fooled!  Firstly, in a city increasingly being pedestrianised it’s one of the few hotels with decent parking and accessible for full size coaches. But inside it’s LOVELY.  The lobby is fairly standard but once you look a little deeper it’s full of original 60’s style retro details which really give it character and an identity.   

The MASSIVE conference space is literally just off the lobby so incredibly convenient, it has beautiful canal side gardens and the original Jon and Yoko peace in bedroom! 

NH Anantara Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky  

This hotel came highly recommended to me as a top pick, so I was intrigued to visit and so glad I did.  The location was spot on – right on the main square with views of the Royal Palace and a whopping 402 rooms hidden behind a relatively normal sized façade and lobby! 

Awesome and varied meeting space but the real jewel in the crown is the stunning Wintergarden.  Everything was shiny and new having been recently refurbished to a very high standard so would be a very appropriate option for a large, or small, group looking for that VIP, luxury experience.   

Beurs van Burlage and Felix Meritis 

Two stunning venues. Both very impressive, steeped in history and culture and now superb meeting venues. Highly recommend both the Beurs van Burlage – originally the stock exchange of Amsterdam and Felix Meritis – home of the first concert hall in Europe. Treated to some fabulous entertainment and even better food at both venues and encourage you to work them into your group programme if you can. 

 

Top Tip……get around the city by bike. Everyone does, it’s so much fun and keeps you fit too!

 

Take a look at our sustainability hub for more European destinations easily accessible by train. Get in touch with usat Brightspace EventsWhether youre looking for a meeting room, a product launch or a top-notch incentive programme, we cant wait to inspire and delight you with tailored options to suit your unique needs.

Our Sustainability Commitment

By Company Blog Articles, Uncategorized

Within our lifetime, our planet and the way we live is already changing and it will be unrecognisable for the next generation if we continue to operate the way we are.

We are in a climate emergency and doing nothing (Or very little) and hoping for the best is not an option anymore.

Drastic and wholesale change, in the big and small decisions we make every day, is needed and exactly as we approach event risk assessments, we need to apply these principles to our climate impact:  focus on activity with the biggest impact (flying) and / or the most likely to happen (food). 

However, we cannot let perfection stand in the way of progress!    

There are a multitude of free, creative and easy changes that can be made across the event landscape that, when replicated around the world would gain that vital 1% 

Brightspace has ambitions to become a B-Corp certified company but that takes time.   

In the meantime, here are the changes we have made / are making to reduce our negative impact and, where we can, to take it a step further and use our business and our events as a force for good in the world.  

NO-FLY COMMITMENT 

Flying is, without question, the most damaging and dangerous thing we do and we will:

  • No longer attend networking events, educational trips or trade shows that involve flying
  • Take trains whenever reasonably possible (particularly for mainland Europe)
  • Always assume site inspections will be virtual or conducted by local partners 
  • Build local delivery teams to reduce numbers who need to fly from the UK

If we HAVE to fly for event critical reasons or because the alternative would seriously impact on the quality of delivery we will:

  • Always fly economy, fewest travellers as possible, fly direct, look at fewer, longer trips if appropriate
  • Use researched carbon offset schemes 

EVENTS & SUPPLIERS

Clients have the final say but we will:

  • Include ‘impact’ information on destinations / venues at proposal stage 
  • Focus on destinations that reduce travel impact for attendees
  • Actively seek out and propose venues who are making positive changes 
  • Suggest meat free or vegan menus
  • Interrogate our supply chain and pass on the message that this matters 
  • Suggest local providers, research small businesses and support ethical businesses
  • Prioritise working with suppliers who have made similar commitments 
  • Call out ‘greenwashing’ when we see it to encourage best practice

EVENT STUFF

  • Remove or reduce stuff produced for events 
  • Focus on re-usable if that’s not possible
  • Choose recycled and recyclable materials if possible
  • Consider airmiles and production impact of all stuff as well as waste
  • Use or provide waste and re-use or recycling solutions for food and stuff after the event

OUR CLIENTS

       We will:

  • Prioritise working with clients who genuinely share our passion
  • Seek to educate and shift their priorities to include reduce impact 

US

       We will:

  • Constantly research and share the latest ideas and best practice
  • Change to electric vehicles when vehicles used for company business need replacing
  • Arrange virtual meetings
  • Review all business policies and procedures through a ‘sustainability’ lens

At Brightspace Events,we’re already sharing joy and happiness with 2023’s class of corporate Christmas party organisers. From venue finding, to entertainment sourcing, to taking care of every intricate detail imaginablefor fabulous, future forward festivities, we’ve got your back.

Check our our sustainability hub for tips and tricks, to suppliers who share our passion and information on ‘no fly’ destinations and programmes, this resource is a hub of useful links and references. We’re also collecting and unravelling all of the acreditations and organisations springing up to help with our goals.

Need help and advice? get in touch, and we’ll help if we can or point in the right direction. 

Your Guide to Contemporary Company Christmas Parties

By Company Blog Articles, Uncategorized

Planning the annual company Christmas party or client celebration can be overwhelming, with many factors to bear in mind. And we don’t just mean the sheer amount of awe-inspiring venue, food, drink, entertainment, décor and other supplier choices to whittle down. But because your guests expectations are different in 2023.

This isn’t to suggest the death of the familiar dinner and disco scenario theres always a certain element of if it aint broke, dont fix it and after all, traditional parties have put the sparkle into company Christmases past for decades. Theyll doubtlessly continue to do so for many more Christmases, present and future.

Yet in todays Christmas party marketplace, a cooking activity, for example, is just as feasible. And why wouldnt it be? You could say its the original ‘team building’ activity from our cave dwelling days. It continues to be surefire winner to this day, especially when your team members get to tuck in to the fruits of their labour!

Top Trends for Corporate Christmas Parties 2023

Here are a few key tenets for planning company festivities everyone can enjoy:

  • Experiential

Entertainment is one of the most powerful ways to make your company Christmas party pop. And you can x 100 the impact by involving your revellers. For this purpose, live actors and walkabout entertainment add extra dimensions of excitement and interactivity.

For example, imagine a Secret Cinema on a whole event basis. Your party people are in the show and engaging with the performers. Its a guaranteed way to bring your guests together in an immersive experience.

Or on a sideshow basis, a 360 or video photo booth is an inspired choice for guests to film clips and share their Instagramable moments on social media.

  • Sustainable

When sustainability matters to your business, your team or your clients, it’s important to align your company Christmas party plans. This means thinking extra carefully about your choices.

Take food, which is integral to the success of any event. The theatricality of experiential and street foods is wildly popular at the moment but do just make sure youve got a plan to mitigate any potential excess waste due to uncertain quantities. Choice menus generally minimize wastage and save money and focusing on vegetarian or white meat options over red mean reduces the carbon impact.

In addition, there are many and varied other ways for your party to be a force for good. For example, how about replacing traditional Christmas crackers with more thoughtful

table favours? Youll be blown away by wow-worthy locally sourced Christmas chutneys, mini Christmas puddings or artisan chocolates, for your staff to take home and enjoy on the big day with their families whilst supporting small businesses at the same time.

  • Inclusive

To have a seasonal success on your hands, it’s essential everyone feels included, comfortable and welcome. So, make doubly sure your venue, plus any activities, are suitable for everybody. This entails clear information about dress code, accessible facilities and transport and seating options. You also need to underline any special needs to the venue, to make everyone feel welcome and allow time for any adjustments to be made.

You might be surprised what you come up with when you re-frame your criteria, such as not centring your celebrations around alcohol. This consequently diminishes the risk of excluding team members who don’t drink.

On the contrary, you want them to have equal opportunity to welcome the holiday spirit. Guilt-free mocktails, exciting new non-alcoholic beers and spirits, flavoured tonics and premium soft drinks enable them to take advantage of the companys generosity alongside their colleagues, without feeling like afterthoughts. (And dont forget about booze-free puddings either!)

A final thoughtBy weaving these combined elements into your Christmas party plans, you’re better placed to deliver the merry in a playful, inclusive and sustainable way, enabling everyone to celebrate the end of the year in style.

 

At Brightspace Events, we’re already sharing joy and happiness with 2023s class of corporate Christmas party organisers. From venue finding, to entertainment sourcing, to taking care of every intricate detail imaginable for fabulous, future forward festivities, weve got your back.

Need help and advice? We have something for everyone on your nice list. So, get in touch, keep calm and merry on.

Incentive Events

The Icing on the Cake – Our Favourite Quirky Ideas for your next incentive event

By Company Blog Articles, Uncategorized

Looking to introduce an element of gamification to new initiative you’re rolling out, for maximum team buyin? Or, how about a memorable invite for your highly competitive sales team who have smashed their targets?

With VIP incentive programmes, money cant buy experiences never lose their allure and are unique in driving sales, change or positive behaviours. Especially for high earners, its our job to deliver aspirational and emotive incentive rewards to motivate and inspire.

There are many innovative ways to add that extra x factor when designing your events. Even better, some of them need minimal investment to deliver maximum impact.

Heres just a few ideas to supercharge the V in VIP!

Clever Communications

A compelling comms plan is a vital multi-purpose tool, before, during and after your incentive trip, for:

  • Reflecting your core messages and brand
  • Heightening customer / staff engagement

So, why not step away from ‘death by email’ and get creative? The following items have caught our eye recently for sending to guests and teasing the experience:

  • Branded logopops or miniature bespoke company cocktails Great fun!
  • Seeded paper invitations Guests can not only plant and cultivate them. In addition, you can start a thread on your intranet or event app, where they can send photos of their seedlingsprogress before and after the event. 

Bespoke Gifts

Personal gifts and extra touches during the trip enhance the specialness for the people attending incentive groups. Plus, they’re also secret weapons for making the experience as brand relevant as possible. But there’s more to customisation than personalised pens and tote bags, (as nice as it is to have them).

So, put some extra time and effort in to sourcing meaningful gifts that compliment your company brand and contribute to your narrative. For example, for a client arranging a Scottish conference, we proposed a bespoke tartan using 88 threads, to represent each of their 88 Members all working together to be stronger and better.

To boost sustainability efforts, this is a great opportunity for supporting local companies and producers. Ask hotels and venues for their recommendations then approach them to create something beautiful together.

Magical Food & Drinks

If you have a budget for Michelin star dining, it can be literally breath-taking. Whats more, equally remarkable plant-based options are now available, ensuring none of your so-called VIPs are made to feel like economy class.

But, imagine introducing a more theatrical and experiential element. We highly recommend taking a look at the following suppliers who have bowled us over recently:

  • Lick Me I’m Delicious are masters of uniquely quirky multi-sensory experiences, such as edible bubbles your guests can bite from the air and savour. They come in fabulously freaky flavours, from kooky caramel and black pepper to beer in a bubble!
  • Horseradish Catering, the team behind classic venues like Chester Racecourse, Liverpool Cathedral and Tatton Park, have earned quite the reputation for their theatrical grazing tables and immersive dining, culminating in guests being invited to create their own ice cream from a liquid state. Their plant based beetroot wellington at the recent Micebook Ventures was incredible!!
  • Dragon Breath Popcorn its not just the sight of the dry ice popcorn machine thats impressive here, but the smell is wonderfully evocative; filling your drinks reception with a quirky carnival vibe!
  • Colour changing gin fountain create a talking point as well as an extra service station with this Alice in Wonderland style Drink Me fountain. Arrives with staff, all the accoutrements to take the drink to the next level and provides an awesome social media engagement opportunity

Final Word

At the end of the day, the sheer variety and volume of amazing choices are as broad as theyre wide. Never underestimate your audience; in a crowded market with every brand attempting to woo consumers, customers and staff with experiential events its the tiny touches that make a massive difference.

 

At Brightspace Events, we offer expert help with all elements of your VIP incentive programmes, from venue and supplier sourcing, through setting objectives and a full communications strategy, to ultimate ROI measurement and reporting.

Get in touch for a chat. Theres plenty more where these nuggets came from, we can assure you.

Sustainable Events

Events as a Force for Good

By Company Blog Articles, Uncategorized

At the beginning of the summer, I was lucky enough to attend the Micebook “Talks” session held at the Meetings Show.  And finally, several very intelligent, engaging and passionate people were able to articulate what has been swirling round in my head for several years now. 

The unstoppable force that is Chetan Shah created and hosted the panel show and opened with the sort of statement that leapt off the stage and slapped me round the face: 

“The events industry can be a force for good – Is the world a better place because your company is in it?” 

Since then, it’s taken on a whole separate identity, with Chetan launching the Micebook Ventures at the end of October – expanding this 30 minute talk into a 2 day industry conference, encouraging us all to ‘be a part of the change’.

The Power of Events 

The events industry has a VAST purchasing power across a huge range of sectors – where else could you one day be sourcing 200 monogrammed towels and luxury jewellery and the next you’re on the hunt for 150 hay bales, 30 glass tables and 500 edible favours.   

Just imagine the good that could be done if all that money was invested in ethically sound, environmentally conscious companies – who themselves have a supply chain that brings wealth to poor communities or supports disadvantaged groups with employment.  

This is WAY more than using biodegradable cups and wooden cutlery. 

This is about transforming the industry, the way we look at our own supply chain and making sure we are all making good choices in everything that we do. 

Progress, not Perfection 

Of course, it’s a work in progress, and no-one is going to go from throwing entire stage sets in a skip to 100% ethical and reusable material overnight – but we all have a duty to aim high to kick start the process.  

Equally, not all our clients or suppliers are going to be as passionate about the cause as we are – but our responsibility is to start the conversation early – and force the discussion to the top of the agenda. The most dramatic differences can often be made with those fundamental event decisions:  format, venue, location. 

Beware Green Washing 

One word of warning though – the panel were unanimous in a desire to avoid ‘green washing’ at all costs.  This is where companies are using this purely as an exercise to tick RFP boxes – you will get found out!   

Having said that, in the short term, if you need to convince someone higher up to take a 2nd look at this, there is no denying that sustainability is becoming increasingly important for your clients and your stakeholders 

Their decisions on who to appoint will increasingly be influenced by your policies, attitude and approach in this crucially important area.  

Best Practice Suggestions 

The panel were a great cross section from agencies, venues, suppliers and were all incredibly committed to the message. Emma Welstead, from Warwick Events was the most passionate, honest and knowledgeable speaker I’ve ever heard on this topic and she lit a fire underneath me which will now never go out.  

She focused on the idea of making sure everything at your event has a great story behind it – if it has a story, it’s likely had a positive impact.  Don’t just hire in conference chairs and tables, use a company like Rustic Furniture Hire that repurposes 2nd hand / waste products to make furniture instead.  Don’t buy the best value for money room gifts, in bulk, from Amazon.  Instead, source thoughtful items made by social enterprises (social enterprises UK) that fund good work elsewhere as well as using sustainable materials.  

Another bold idea was to do away with traditional give aways altogether – but instead make a direct charity donation and then use your event comms / screens / content to tell guests that their missing goody bag has instead funded the building of a school or is funding a food bank.  

Give them a warm glow – instead of a bag of branded crap.   

Claire Pearson from non-profit water company Belu explained how it was the little things that add up and it’s important to make changes from the ground up – not just the big decisions like which hotel you use.  This echoes one of my favourite concepts – the 1% gains.  If you make enough of them, they make a huge difference.  

Caroline Lumgair Wiseman from Eventful talked us through how they are taking pro-active steps to lead their clients into better decisions.  They will highlight the most sustainable venue choices and other decisions throughout the process to force the conversation even if the client hasn’t mentioned it.  This is something that we have already introduced.  

Ana Carolina Moutella from Good Hotel Group in London gives a big tip – to find suppliers who are already doing it – and let them do it!  If you can appoint the right people within your supply chain then you will make your life much easier.   

Ask probing questions around sustainability, re-use, waste management etc. when you have those first conversations around a new brief.  Put pressure on them to demonstrate / up their game.  Why choose a less than committed hotel then spend the next 6 months challenging their operation when you could choose someone who’s already there – and will probably be able to give you even more ideas to improve.  

The full supply chain story is so important – Emma gave another example of table centres which I’d like to finish on as the #eventgoals for all of us: 

You may choose a local florist and feel that you’ve done your bit.   

  • Supported local small business, maybe even minority or female owned 
  • Non plastic 
  • Low mileage to deliver 
  • Biodegradable 

However, if you dig a little deeper, the cut flowers industry has a terrible track record for workers rights & welfare – off in distant countries and uses vast quantities of the world’s precious resources including land and water. 

It usually involves thousands of airmiles to get them to the local florist.  Then it all gets thrown in the bin.   

Instead, purchase locally grown houseplants, dressed for the tables, and then given to attendees or even event / hotel staff to take away to keep.  Supports local industry, reduces carbon footprint, reduces waste, recognises unsung staff who are often on minimum wage and introduces more plants into the world!   

That’s a win, win, win, win, win in my book! 

 

For more information on Micebook Ventures and to join us and other industry leaders and global players, click here.

At Brightspace Events, we’re extremely passionate about this. Event Management, Delegate Registration, Exhibition Stand Design & Build, Event Staffing, Incentive Programmes, AV Production…..always delivered with the good our planet and our society at the very heart of conversations, decisions and the operation.

If this really matters to you and your company too and you need help and ideas on how to make your next event a ‘force for good’ Get in touch, we really would like to help you.

 

How to source a venue for your next event

How To Source A Venue For Your Next Event

By Company Blog Articles, Uncategorized

Updated May 2024

Industry surveys from our friends at Cvent pleasingly are projecting growth across all meeting and event sizes in 2024.  The data indicates that a massive 78% of respondents anticipate an increase in the number of small and medium-sized meetings, defined as events with fewer than 100 participants which is very pleasing news. Concurrently, an equal percentage of 78% foresee a rise in meetings with over 100 participants which is where the magic happens, if you ask us. 

As we know, planning an event involves numerous decisions, with one of the most critical being the selection of the perfect venue. The venue sets the tone for the entire event, impacting everything from the guest experience to the overall success of the occasion. Get this wrong and you are instantly creating a lot of work for yourself and will be continually on the back foot.  Whether you’re organising a corporate conference, a product launch, a celebratory dinner or any other gathering, finding the right venue is key to creating a memorable and successful event. 

How to find a venue for an event'

Checklist for finding the perfect venue

Before speaking to potential venues, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your requirements and what you’re willing to compromise on and what is a deal breaker. Include all your key stakeholders and then design a comprehensive “venue wish list” that answers all the following questions:

  • Date(s) and Time(s) – Include any setup and breakdown periods on adjacent days or evenings.
  • Location – Specify not just the destination but also the desired area, such as city centre, near a railway station, airport, or rural setting.
  • Travel – delegate travel is usually the largest contributing factor to your environmental impact so this is crucial at venue selection
  • Sustainability – This is an opportune time to initiate conversations and encourage your clients to prioritise sustainability.
  • Number of Attendees including for breakouts or dinners
  • Required Rooms and Room Layouts
  • Accommodation Needs (if any)
  • Food and Beverage Requirements
  • Audio-Visual Equipment Necessities
  • Budget!!
  • Accessibility Provisions – Specify if you need accommodations for individuals with physical, hearing, or visual impairments.
  • Crew areas, production offices and catering
  • Deal-breakers or “Killer” Criteria – For example, if you’re organising a conference for 300 delegates, is it essential for all attendees to be accommodated under the same roof? Be upfront about such non-negotiable requirements to avoid wasting time on unsuitable proposals.

Using a CVB or Venue Finding Agent

A Convention & Visitor Bureau (CVB), such as Visit Manchester, is an impartial destination expert. Their local knowledge can be invaluable in connecting you with key contacts and uncovering hidden gems that may not be widely known, beyond the popular high street brands.

Another option is the ever-growing availability of free venue finding websites, which are digital equivalents of venue finding agents. These platforms allow you to enter your event specifications and submit your inquiry with a single click, reaching venues that match your requirements. Some of the most popular examples include:

We would urge caution, however, as the many and varied nuances that make the perfect venue are very hard to condense into easily digitised, searchable fields and tick boxes so do make sure you do your own extensive research as well.

Hybrid Event Capabilities

With the rise of virtual and hybrid events, it’s essential to evaluate the venue’s technical capabilities. Look for venues equipped with reliable high-speed internet, dedicated streaming studios, and the necessary audio-visual equipment to support a seamless hybrid experience for both in-person and remote attendees. According to a survey, 73% of event professionals believe that hybrid events will become more prevalent in the future.  The good news is that a lot of venues used the pandemic shut down to completely overhaul their facilities so there’s plenty of state of the art options out there now. 

Venues should also have experience with popular virtual event platforms, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Hopin. A study by Markletic found that 68% of event planners use virtual event platforms to enhance their hybrid events. On-site technical support teams should be proficient in troubleshooting and managing hybrid event technology to ensure a seamless experience for both in-person and virtual attendees.

Event Safety and Security

Ensuring the safety and well-being of your guests should be a top priority. Assess the venue’s emergency protocols, fire safety measures, cybersecurity and accessibility features. Additionally, consider the venue’s capacity limitations, crowd control measures, and security arrangements to maintain a secure environment.

Evaluate the venue’s fire safety measures, including fire alarm systems, sprinkler systems, and clearly marked emergency exits. Ensure compliance with local fire codes and regulations. For hybrid events, assess the venue’s cybersecurity measures to protect against potential cyber threats, such as data breaches or hacking attempts. 

We’d also recommend that you start carrying out your Risk Assessment now as it is often expensive and time consuming to mitigate inherent venue risks that weren’t identified prior to contract.  

Event Management and Logistics 

Evaluate the venue’s event management team and their experience in handling events similar to yours. A well-organised and responsive team can make a significant difference in the smooth execution of your event. Additionally, consider logistics such as parking availability, loading bays and goods lifts for easy set-up and break-down, and on-site catering options.

A study by the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) found that experienced event planners can save up to 25% in overall event costs through effective planning and negotiation.

Parking and transportation accessibility are crucial factors, as they can significantly impact not only the event’s carbon footprint but also the attendee experience and turnout. Ensure the venue offers ample parking spaces or is easily accessible via public transportation park and ride. According to a survey by Eventbrite, 52% of attendees cited convenient parking as a top consideration when attending events.

Electric vehicle charging points are also a consideration and worth noting in your event information for attendees. 

Location and Accessibility

Despite the comeback of in-person events, a significant 93% of event marketers indicate they plan to invest in virtual events going forward. A LinkedIn survey spanning over 1,800 marketers across 13 countries found that 85% of respondents had organised virtual events within the past 12 months.

The venue’s location should be convenient for your target audience, taking into account factors such as proximity to transportation hubs, accommodations, and local attractions. Ensure the venue is easily accessible for attendees with disabilities, providing ample parking and appropriate accommodations.

Capacity and Layout

Carefully assess the venue’s capacity to accommodate your expected guest count comfortably. Consider the layout of the space, including the arrangement of seating, exhibition areas, breakout rooms, and registration areas. A well-designed layout and flow can enhance the overall attendee experience and facilitate networking opportunities.

A study by the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) found that effective layout design can increase attendee engagement by up to 30%.

If your event includes presentations or performances, ensure the venue has appropriate staging areas, lighting, and sound systems to accommodate your requirements. According to a survey by the Event Marketing Institute, 78% of attendees consider the quality of audio-visual equipment as a crucial factor in their overall event experience.

Ambience and Branding

The ambience and style of the venue can significantly contribute to the overall event experience and reinforce your event’s identity as well as complimenting the company or product brand. Consider the decor, lighting, sound capabilities, branding opportunities, customisation options, and outdoor spaces.

The venue’s look and feel should align with the overall theme and tone of your event as well as your brand.   Evaluate the decor, lighting, and architectural elements to ensure they complement your event’s branding and desired atmosphere. Some venues may also offer customisation options to personalise the space further.

Always be very clear about opportunities to display your own branding materials and signage if that’s important – some of the higher end hotels don’t allow any overt branding in public areas, for example. 

Flexibility and Contingency Planning

Unforeseen circumstances can arise, so it’s crucial to consider the venue’s flexibility in accommodating potential changes or contingency plans. Discuss their policies on date changes, capacity adjustments, and backup options in case of emergencies or inclement weather.

According to a study by the Event Safety Alliance, 42% of event professionals have experienced a major disruption due to severe weather or natural disasters in the past five years. Discuss the venue’s contingency plans for dealing with inclement weather, power outages, or other emergencies that could disrupt your event.

Review the venue’s contract and understand their policies regarding force majeure clauses, which address circumstances beyond either party’s control and may impact the event’s execution. A study by the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) found that 63% of event planners have experienced a force majeure situation in the past five years.

hybrid events

Trust BrightSpace events for the ultimate event management experience 

Discover the perfect venue for your event with Brightspace Events. Our event management experts specialise in venue sourcing, seamlessly aligning your vision with the ideal location. Trust our meticulous approach as we evaluate technical capabilities, safety protocols, and logistical considerations. With our extensive industry network and negotiating prowess, we’ll secure the best venue to elevate your event’s success. Let Brightspace Events take the reins, elevate your event game – contact us at hello@brightspaceevents.co.uk to get started and create moments that resonate!

Onsite badge printing for an event

A day in the life of… delivery of onsite badge printing for an event

By Company Blog Articles, Uncategorized

Thanks to our fab tech expert Arvi for this behind the scenes guest blog: 

05:50 am. I’m the lucky one, as I know some of my colleagues wake up earlier. By 6.10am, I have had my wake-up cup of tea and am ready for the day ahead. After a quick breakfast, it’s out on the road, and heading to the venue.  

By 07:00 am, we are at the venue… on some days, beating the security staff. The first task was to bring all the session scanners and tablets from our… portakabin. Yup, we’ve worked in some glamorous locations, but for this one, we had to park ourselves and our equipment in a portakabin. At least it was safe… and warm.  

First job was to check-out all the relevant equipment for the day and get it into position ASAP as crew were knocking on the door to get cracking! 

The scanners we used were ipods used for checking attendees into sessions. We also had ipads for database checking each delegate to meet the very strict security protocols at the event. Eleven day events with A++ list speakers are not normal… so we needed a way to ensure the right people came onsite on the right day.  

07.30am – A final equipment check before ‘doors opened’ – all the badging stations were checked to ensure they had paper and were printing correctly.  

Badging stations consisted of a laptop connected to a mounted scanner and a badge printer. With health and safety in mind, but also in a drive to eliminate waste, the badge printing process was touchless and paperless for attendees – they would simply scan the QR code on their email on their phone, and their badge would print.  

No pre-printed badges = less waste plus no printed tickets! 

These badges had information about their purchases and sessions, so it was easy to see from the badge if the attendee was in the right place on the right day. The badges not only facilitated networking between attendees, but the QR code on the badge was used to scan them into sessions. 

 With 6 different areas where sessions took place, often concurrently, this required some serious staffing management to ‘catch’ everyone and ensure attendees were in the right session.  

08:30 am, both staff and attendees would begin to arrive. Because staff had no restrictions on their movements within the venue, they didn’t need a badge – instead, they were identified by a wristband that they wore for the duration of the event. For attendees, the process was seamless and touchless… any enquires were handled at the enquiries desk.  

And so the rest of the day took shape – after an initial rush in the morning, when many sessions began, attendees arrived in a steady stream throughout the day.  

The event was a ‘hub’ of paid and free educational sessions, film screenings, private meetings, drinks receptions, invited dinners, exhibition area, bars, cafes and more. This meant badge printing and session scanning continued throughout the day. 

5.00pm time for a quick bite to eat and a review with the evening shift to make sure we’re all clear on exactly what is happening where in the venue and that the iPods are all charged, the iPads are loaded with the correct information and everyone is well briefed.  

7.00pm the dinner rush arrives!!  But by now we’re all a well oiled machine and everyone is in high spirits with the end in sight.  

8.00pm Most evening functions have kicked off by now, so we start to close badging stations and where we can send staff home early, that is always gratefully received.  As the end of the day approached, we reduced the number of badging stations and session scanners further until we were confident all attendees were in the venue.  

9.00pm After returning the equipment to the Portakabin for charging overnight, it was back to the hotel… only to repeat again the next day. 

A very interesting insight from Arvi, thank you. So a seemingly small part of an event like this comes together as a result of weeks of meticulous planning. Next time you pass through a reg desk, take a minute to appreciate these skilled professionals!

Connect with Sarah on LinkedIn and for Event Management enquiries or send us an email to hello@brightspaceevents.co.uk.

To be kept in the loop, follow @Brightspace Events on LinkedIn.

Choosing a technology platform for your hybrid event

Choosing A Technology Platform For Your Hybrid Event

By Company Blog Articles, Uncategorized

Arvi Virdee, (Event Technologist – Brightspace Events) 

As live events pick up again and restrictions are lifted, the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to linger in people’s minds for some time, resulting in many event attendees preferring to attend events from the comfort of their homes or offices.   

This, combined with a long overdue focus on sustainability (beyond some CSR box ticking) means that we have a real challenge ahead – to manage both live and remote audiences… ie. hybrid events. 

Although this term is not new, it’s very much here to stay and the range of experiences on offer, and the budgets and time investment they need, varies drastically! 

Hybrid Event Options 

 

 So, how to choose the right software platform for your next hybrid and virtual event? 

The first step is to look at your event objectives (blog coming soon on that one!) and make sure you’re clear on what features you will need.  Don’t choose a platform on what looks good or what you’ve seen competitors using.  Focus on what you want to get out of your event. 

Practical Considerations  

Some of the factors that event managers and planners need to consider when choosing the ideal platform for hybrid events include:  

Event registration And Delegate Management

  • Can you clearly register who is in-person and who is virtual? 
  • Are you able to offer them different customer journeys throughout the reg. process? 
  • Consider the following inclusions that may need to be different for each attendee type: session selection, travel details, ticketing, payments, appointment setting and more.  
  • Can you control your ‘mandatory’ questions for each type so they only have to complete the fields that are relevant to them?  
  • Ideally, the platform should support ‘conditional logic’, so attendees only see certain questions based on their answers to previous questions.  

Delegate Communications

  • Use automated communications and make sure these work with your delegate types so that everyone receives tailored information depending on if they are in-person or virtual as well as if they are a speaker or attendee, for example 
  • Set up your emails based on a time and date, or an action (or inaction) by the recipient. Eg, if a recipient has not registered x days after the invitation was sent, send them a reminder email.  
  • Do you need onsite session scanning and badge printing? An integrated platform will avoid exporting and importing attendee data between platforms. This becomes very complex, very quickly!  You also risk having out of date data in one system.  
  • The really sophisticated platforms will record all data changes in real-time. For example, if an attendee adds a session to their personalised agenda online, this should automatically be picked up as the attendee scans into the session without having to print a new badge.  

Event Production

For hybrid events, event production takes on a whole new meaning – it is much more than simply placing a camera at the back of the room!!  The following are questions to consider BEFORE you go looking for a hybrid platform: 

  • How many feeds will you need?  Are you looking at one central location for producing the content or will you also be connecting speakers from virtual locations? 
  • What technology / capabilities do these speakers have available and are comfortable with using?   
  • Are you going to use breakout rooms – either in person or virtually?  Streaming multiple choice breakouts is possible but expensive and you will need a platform that can make sure the right virtual attendees are allowed into the right breakouts! 
  • How are technical rehearsals arranged?  Are you limited in use of your platform due to tech support from the hosting company or can you schedule rehearsals whenever you like? 
  • What mix of content would you like to show?  Live speakers, pre-recorded videos, presentations, interactive elements for in-person and virtual? 
  • What technical support is available in the pre-event planning and during the live show – and are they on the same time zone as you are?  Can you phone someone or is it via a helpdesk system? 

 The Events App

 Most platforms have apps which can be viewed on both a mobile device and on a computer, and this app connects the live event with its remote attendees. The common areas are: agendas, speaker bios, feedback, live stream but some of other features to consider are:  

  • Integration with the core platform- so any changes on one are reflected on the other (i.e., change of session selection, or purchase of a new ticket) 
  • Real-time engagement features, like moderated Q&A, live polling, event and session chat, gamification, etc. for ALL attendees – that is, both in-person and remote.  
  • E-tickets / payments / confirmations 
  • Networking: Instant chat, email connections, appointment booking or 1 to 1 video calls 
  • Recording and ‘on demand’ viewing after the live days of the event
  • Closed captions or language translations 
  • Accessibility eg. large text format or other adaptations 
  • A web app for onsite attendees who are using their own devices, so they don’t need to download anything 
  • In person extras e.g. locations / menus / maps / hotel information  
  • Help desk for online attendees to chat / request password resets.  The platform provider may even provide staff to man the desk as an extra service.  

Sponsors And Exhibitors

  • Will you have sponsors / exhibitors (internal and external) who require stand space in a virtual environment? 
  • Do you need to capture visitor details to in-person and / or virtual exhibition areas?    
  • Can both sets of data be fed into the same database? 
  • What is available for follow up – scheduling calls / appointments / sending emails  

 The Final Word! 

 Data, data, data – ok, it’s repeated but still one word 😊.   

 Because of the digital nature of hybrid events, they generate TONNES of data… but the trick is to ask the right questions to get useful insights into your audience / objectives and actually DO something with it after the event.  

 When you’re choosing a platform, think about what you need OUT of it at the end.  You can’t get out, what you don’t put in. 

 

Connect with Sarah on LinkedIn and for Event Management and COVID Safety consultancy enquiries or send us an to hello@brightspaceevents.co.uk.

To be kept in the loop, follow @Brightspace Events on LinkedIn.

Sign up to our Information and Training Hub for updated advice and guidance for COVID Secure Events.

Brightspace Events News Article

‘The New York Times’ Climate Hub

By Company Blog Articles, Uncategorized

It’s very exciting seeing this event featured in our local paper! I suppose that once you start doing very cool things for really famous clients, everyone is going to be a bit more interested, even the media!! 😀

We’ve spent the last two years carefully dissecting articles by and about event professionals on all things COVID-19, now we ARE the event professionals, with an article of our very own!!

New York Times praises Brightspace Events for helping deliver pioneering COP26 event in Glasgow

Greta Thunberg, John Kerry, Nicola Sturgeon and David Lammy were there as speakers, with Leonardo DiCaprio also in attendance.

The New York Times (NYT) has praised Brightspace Events for helping it deliver ‘the most ambitious journalism and event project in its 170-year history.’

Brightspace Events, which has offices in Northampton, was called upon by the global news brand to help deliver its NYT Climate Hub Event at COP26 in Glasgow, which saw 6,000 in-person delegates attend alongside 3,000 remote attendees.

Covering two weeks of live journalism, six different spaces, more than 400 speakers and 150 different sessions, the Northampton-based team at Brightspace helped organise a host of support services, with the company’s delivery drawing praise from senior figures at the NYT.

Stephen Dunbar-Johnson, president of the The New York Times Company, said: “We are very appreciative of the support Brightspace provided on what was always going to be a bold, ambitious endeavour. That it was a success was a big collective effort and Brightspace was a key ingredient in the cocktail.”

This sentiment was echoed by Rona Perry, marketing manager at The New York Times Company, who said: “I was extremely lucky to work with such a wonderful group of true professionals, who, in my opinion, were the true heroes of climate hub.”

Sarah Threlfall, director at Brightspace Events, added: “The event was an enormously complex operation, and with the eyes of the world on Glasgow during COP26, the pressure was on to deliver an experience that appropriately positioned the NYT as a world-leader in thought-provoking content and controversial debate, whilst also underlining its commitment to truth around the climate emergency.

“Despite the challenges, the team rose to the occasion magnificently, doing a fantastic job to meet the New York Times’ objectives by delivering agility, flexibility and quick, clear communication.

“Given the global significance of the NYT brand, to think that our team from Northampton has drawn such high praise from senior figures at the organisation is tremendously rewarding. A huge well done to all involved.”

Read our ‘NYT Climate Hub’ case study here.

Risk Assessments for safe events

Why risk assessments are crucial for safe events: Navigating the new normal

By Company Blog Articles, Uncategorized

Updated April 2024

In the dynamic landscape of event planning, ensuring safety and compliance has always been important as well as now legally mandated. However, the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the critical importance of risk assessments in orchestrating safe and successful events as it was only through them that we were even allowed to operate live events at all. As we continue to lead our clients through the evolving terrain of the events industry, it’s important to stay focussed on comprehensive yet realistic risk assessments and to navigate the “new normal” with confidence and responsibility.

What is a risk assessment and why is it crucial?

At the core of event planning lies the fundamental practice of risk assessment. It involves the systematic evaluation of potential hazards, identifying who might be harmed, and implementing measures to mitigate risks. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, traditional risk assessments took on renewed significance. The additional guidelines and protocols introduced in response to the pandemic necessitated an intense study and understanding of the legal position and guidelines as well as how that all interacted with the existing Health and Safety legislation.

The importance of covid risk assessments in events

Risk assessments serve as the cornerstone of event safety, providing a structured framework for identifying and managing potential hazards. Beyond meeting legal requirements, thorough risk assessments instil confidence in stakeholders by demonstrating a proactive commitment to safety. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, failure to conduct adequate risk assessments can have profound consequences, ranging from regulatory non-compliance to reputational damage and your events being shut down.
This could result in your event being immediately shut down.

Sarah Threlfall Onsite Event Management

Benefits of conducting risk assessments for your event

  • Ensuring legal compliance
  • Enhancing safety measures
  • Fostering client trust and satisfaction
  • Building audience confidence
  • Standing out in a competitive market
  • Safeguarding the well-being of all participants

Key considerations for successful risk assessments

1. Early integration of risk assessment considerations into event planning:

  • Identifying potential hazards and risks from the outset
  • Incorporating safety measures into event design and logistics
  • Ensuring that risk assessment is a foundational aspect of event planning rather than an afterthought

2. Engaging all relevant stakeholders in the risk assessment process:

  • Soliciting input and feedback from suppliers, staff, and participants
  • Fostering buy-in and collaboration to ensure the effectiveness of risk mitigation strategies

3. Practicality assessments:

  • Evaluating the feasibility and practicality of proposed risk mitigation measures
  • Considering logistical constraints, resource availability, and operational considerations
  • Striking a balance between safety requirements and the smooth execution of the event

4. Prioritising high-risk areas and activities:

  • Identifying and prioritising areas of the event with the highest potential for risk
  • Allocating resources and attention to mitigate risks in these critical areas
  • Implementing targeted control measures to address specific risks effectively

5. Conducting comprehensive COVID-19 transmission risk assessments:

  • Assessing the potential for COVID-19 transmission at every stage of the event
  • Considering factors such as venue layout, crowd density, and interaction dynamics
  • Incorporating insights from public health authorities and guidelines to inform risk assessment

6. Implementing control measures:

  • Identifying and implementing practical and effective control measures to mitigate risks
  • Enforcing measures such as social distancing, mask-wearing, and sanitation protocols
  • Establishing protocols for monitoring compliance and addressing non-compliance swiftly and effectively

Theatre style meeting

Adapting to the new normal

The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated a paradigm shift in event planning, prompting organisers to adapt and innovate. While the challenges posed by the pandemic are undeniable, they have also catalysed a wave of innovation in the events industry. From virtual conferences to hybrid experiences, event organisers are leveraging technology to connect attendees while prioritising safety. Moving forward, hybrid events are poised to become the new norm, offering a blend of in-person and virtual components to cater to diverse preferences and mitigate health risks.

Moving towards the new normal with Brightspace Events

According to a recent survey by the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) nearly 70% of event planners expect hybrid events to become a permanent fixture, combining in-person and virtual components to cater to diverse attendee preferences and mitigate potential health risks.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brightspace Events has emerged as a beacon of innovation and resilience in event management. Our commitment to thorough risk assessments, innovative formats, and cutting-edge technology sets us apart in delivering exceptional experiences. By embracing the “new normal” and continually refining our risk assessment protocols, we remain steadfast in our mission to rebuild confidence in live events.

Hybrid Event Panel Live Streaming

Why outsource your event management

In an era defined by complexity and uncertainty, outsourcing event management can offer a strategic advantage. Partnering with experienced professionals not only streamlines the planning process but also ensures compliance with regulatory requirements and best practices. By entrusting your event management to experts like Brightspace Events, you can focus on your core objectives while enjoying peace of mind knowing that every aspect of your event is in capable hands.

Choose Brightspace Events today!

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the events industry, placing a renewed emphasis on safety, resilience, and adaptability. Through meticulous risk assessments, proactive safety measures, and innovative event formats, organisers can navigate the “new normal” with confidence and deliver exceptional experiences for all participants. As we collectively chart a course towards recovery, prioritising safety and well-being remains paramount. Choose Brightspace Events today and embark on a journey of safe, engaging, and unforgettable events. Contact us at hello@brightspaceevents.co.uk or get in touch with Sarah to learn more about our comprehensive event solutions.

The Events Industry

Lobbying for the Industry

By Company Blog Articles, Uncategorized

We CAN open Safely

My wonderful colleagues across this great industry have been working tirelessly to raise awareness of the drastic impact that the Coronavirus shutdown is having on the Live Events market.  We CAN open safely, we just need the government to recognise that and support us financially in the meantime.

Today, I have taken the excellent work linked below that HBAA have done and sent it to my MP for Northampton South, Andrew Lewer,  imploring him to raise our plight with his colleagues and to reopen and / or support us.

HBAA Business Events Meetings and Accommodation Report

 

Letter to MP For Northampton South

Hi Andrew,

I am writing to you as a business owner in Northampton South who offers consultancy B2B services to Corporate Event Management agencies around the UK.  I offer Project Management support for corporate events such as conferences, exhibitions, product launches etc.  These events are usually very high end, with big budgets and often operate all over the world as well as a significant proportion in hotels and venues around the UK and in Northamptonshire.  They are not weddings, music festivals or other ‘consumer’ type events eg. the Good Food show.  These are events which bring usually hundreds of corporate attendees together and, according to latest research (attached) is worth over £30 Billion to the UK GDP.

However, the industry has been decimated as you can imagine by the Coronavirus lockdown.  There is no end in sight as the Government will not publish any guidance or indication of when the sector may reopen.  As you can imagine, the average conference delegate is VERY compliant – certainly much more so than a member of the public who has had several pints in their local pub or who is out shopping with their family.

The industry already has a hugely positive Health & Safety culture and is well versed in Risk Assessing every single event.  Working within existing Government guidance for social distancing etc. we have already produced several Best Practice guides on how to operate events safely.  And yet, we remain ‘illegal’ with no signs of when restrictions will be lifted.

Up to 30% of jobs in this industry could be lost as a result (again, see the attached for source) due to agencies closing or making redundancies.  As we have seen with previous recessions, our industry is hit hard, and so we need the Government to specifically address our concerns urgently so that we can reopen as soon as possible.  In the meantime, we would also appeal for additional, specific financial packages in order to support us during this time.  Due to the ‘unclassified’ nature of what we do (we have no individual SIC code and individual councils sometimes place us in Tourism or Hospitality) we fall down the many gaps in current provision.  There are also a high percentage of self employed or PAYE Director owned Ltd companies earning largely or solely through dividends which, again, have been left without sufficient support.

I urge you to discuss our concerns and the industry in general with your colleagues in Westminster who will hopefully be receiving similar messages from others in my profession.  Corporate events can be run safely and will generate confidence and revenue again in a very beleaguered industry.  We need you to reopen the corporate events market NOW and provide immediate financial support to those that are employed in it.

Many thanks

Sarah Threlfall