News roundup: What’s happening in UK conferencing?

While many businesses are winding down as the Christmas period approaches, the UK conferencing sector is busy planning for the future.

With technology playing an increasingly important role in the working day, event organisers will be looking to see how they can integrate new systems and solutions in order to offer the best possible service.product_video

Bearing that in mind, let’s have a look at some of the biggest stories in the sector at the moment.

Eventsforce seals Coventry University tie-in

Eventsforce has announced it has agreed a partnership with Coventry University that will see the latter use the former’s event software as part of its courses.

Both undergraduate and postgraduate event management degree programmes are to be overhauled thanks to the arrangement, as Eventsforce takes a strategic interest in the courses.

It is hoped the collaboration will result in students getting the chance to develop practical and real-world commercial benefits, which will give them a vital advantage over competitors in the employment world.

George Sirius, chief executive officer of Eventsforce, said: “We want to begin to bridge the increasing gap between academia and industry by helping to develop a course built around key learning points that we believe are essential in the events industry, based on our experiences of almost ten years.

“By doing so, we will be producing a course that is of benefit not only to the students, but also to the work environment that they will soon be entering.”

Coventry University is currently ranked number one in the UK when it comes to offering degree programmes in event management and this link-up should further solidify this position, making it a very attractive prospect for potential students.

Competitiveness study receives ‘poor level of submissions’

Politicians have been left disappointed with the volume of responses to a report looking at the competitiveness of the UK’s events industry.

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) revealed only 21 submissions were made as part of the study, with chairman Nick de Bois describing it as an opportunity missed for the whole sector to have its voice heard.

However, the research did state the quality of responses received were very high, but there simply were not enough of them in order to draw up a document that is fully representative.

Philip Atkins of the International Special Events Society, chairman of Eventia Simon Hughes and Jane Longhurst, chief executive of the Meetings Industry Association, were among the industry professionals who did provide evidence to the APPG.

The report discovered that one of the main barriers to growth within the sector has been the poor positioning of the business events industry in various parts of government. On top of this, a restriction on visa and tax restrictions is also limiting its ability to be successful.

According to the APPG, the sector would benefit from the sharing of best practice, as this way organisations can learn valuable lessons from success stories. The collaboration between the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Visit Scotland was given as an example of this.

Confex unveils new partnerships 

The International Confex has signed a series of partnership agreements with key events associations. The show takes place on March 12th and 13th at the Olympia London and features and promotions will now be added as a result of the move.

Donna Bushell, event director at International Confex, said working with the associations – which include the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers, the Event Supplier and Services Association and Eventia -was a “priority”.

“These are partnership arrangements where we can give each organisation and its membership an exceptional promotional platform, in exchange we’re working with them to bring dynamic content and relevant buyers to the show,” she added.

The organisation supported the APPG’s review of the sector and is committed to boosting the international competitiveness of the industry. Registration for the March show is now open and all event professionals can get in for free. It has already announced a high profile cast of confirmed exhibitors to the show floor.

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