Forward-thinking. Professional. Relevant. Valuable. Beneficial. Fun. These are just some of the words used by events professionals to describe their experience at Event Buyers Live (EBL) 2021 last week.
Since its launch in 2014, the industry event has been hailed a resounding success by organisers and suppliers, who gathered at De Vere Orchard Hotel and EMCC, for three days of pre-arranged meetings and networking.
EBL reconnected the live events industry, with data suggesting that more than 4,700 unique connections were made, and more than 700 pre-arranged meetings took place.
Neil Fagg, event director of EBL, said: “It was amazing to see so many events professionals, back in a room, connecting, networking and just looking happy to see old faces and make new contacts.
“We wanted the event to be the most sustainable one yet, so we engaged Blendology, a digital badging company. It meant that our guests could ‘tap’ badges and digitally exchange details. The data shows that attendees made 23 unique connections (on average). Our guests loved the new badge; it facilitated an easy exchange of contact details so that events professionals could remain connected post-event and assist with our social distancing measures. This, coupled with more than 700 pre-arranged meetings, just shows the value of the EBL format. The event was created to facilitate conversation and introductions and I am proud to say that we have done that.”
Ben Hardy, managing director of Richmond Event Management, agreed with Fagg. EBL facilitates knowledge-sharing and worthwhile conversations. Hardy said: “I’ve attended the past two Event Buyers Live’s. The wide variety of industry peers who attend, across all forms of organisers and suppliers, allows for a great knowledge sharing and networking experience. I have left each event with deeper, more valuable relationships – with existing and new contacts – that have really made the difference on the event sites we operate on.”
Steve Cunningham, director of 20-20 Events, concurred: “EBL has hit on a concept that is a stroke of genius. It’s a very efficient use of everyone’s time and continues to be a very beneficial way of meeting suppliers, other organisers, and industry professionals. I particularly enjoy the roundtable discussions and on top of all that, it’s great fun.”
Cuffe and Taylor’s Joe Robinson, senior event manager and ambassador, praised the event as the pre-arranged meetings “cut out millions of emails” and Catherine Bishop, operations director at The Game Fair, found EBL incredibly productive. She said: “This was my first year attending Event Buyers Live and I loved every minute of it. Event Buyers Live is a must for an event organiser. It is educational and productive, and I am already looking forward to next year.”
Sarah Greene, project director at TBI Media, said that EBL was “the best professional/trade event I’ve ever been to”. She continued: “I really enjoyed connecting with past colleagues and making interesting new connections across both organisers and suppliers. The meetings, roundtables and presentations were all top class and the event organisation second to none.”
Event Buyers Live has built a strong reputation for solid business networking, an insightful education programme and the sharing of industry knowledge.
Events professionals from the Lawn Tennis Association, Goose Live, WOMAD, SC Productions, LS Events, Wasserman, Formula E, and Culture Liverpool attended the respected event, which facilitates pre-arranged one-on-one meetings between organisers and suppliers. It gives events professionals the chance to sit down with each other and discuss project and procurement requirements.
Jason Baris, managing director of Blade Rigg, was just one of the many suppliers supporting the event. A previous attendee of EBL, Baris said: “Event Buyers is a unique event like no other. The concept ensures that suppliers and organisers both wish to meet and that cuts out a lot of ‘cold pitches’ and chasing people at conferences. You get to sit down and talk business straight away and most times with specific projects or events in mind. It is fantastic and we will attend again next year. Neil and his team are so attentive and supportive throughout this complex event, they really ensure you get the most out of it.”
Again, Amy Gilbert, director of Site Equip, agreed with Baris. It was Site Equip’s first time at EBL and used the event to meet new contact. She said: “We have done plenty of exhibitions and I have to say it has been the slickest and most well-organised one we have ever been to. We had a hugely successful time at the event, we were fully booked over the two days and then had six or seven additional meetings with new event organisers – which was very intense! But very enjoyable! I don’t know why it took us so long to be there! Wish we did it sooner!”
Fagg concluded: “We know that time out of the office is precious, so I want to say a massive thank you to everyone that attended and supported Event Buyers Live 2021, who made it so special. From our speakers, our ambassadors, sponsors and event partners, everyone played their part, and delivered what has to be the best EBL yet.”
All images: Aniseed Photo