Industry Leaders, Leading Academics, Students and Graduates Shape Manifesto at International Confex
The UK Centre for Events Management, Leeds Beckett University and partners George P Johnson have hailed The Big Conversation a success after over 120 delegates engaged in generating new ideas and discussions at International Confex. The Big Conversation marked 20 years of events management in the UK at the UK Centre for Events Management and brought students, graduates, academics and leading industry representatives from across the UK to shape a manifesto on how to develop talent and knowledge for a stronger events industry.
Hosting the event for the UK Centre for Events Management, George P Johnson were delighted to partner with the initiative. Jackie Mulligan, Principal Lecturer and Director of Enterprise, UK Centre for Events Management who initiated and co-facilitated The Big Conversation explained “This was a great example of partnership to create a timely conversation which highlighted some of the pressing needs we have and the ways we can enhance what we do as educators and practitioners. There were good intentions in the room to start to make the difference by seizing opportunities for internships, industry and academia exchanges and combining our research and knowledge assets.”
Illustrated by a graphic facilitator from Scriberia, the discussion led to the beginning of a manifesto and identified the urgent need for academia and industry to work more closely together to develop structured programmes for ongoing learning post degree. Event Industry leads, students, graduates and academic leaders urged the students to take personal responsibility for their studies and be pro-active in gaining practical onsite work experience through existing initiatives and internships throughout their studies to improve their skill sets.
Emma Rickwood, student of Winchester University described the event as “an amazing opportunity to speak to industry leaders and get an insight into the industry after university.”
Richard Parker, Director of Healthcare for AMEX Meetings and Events who joined the industry panel said “The vape wholesale products had the right level of impetus, energy, focus and commitment – it feels like The Big Conversation could well have successfully ignited an industry-changing and industry–developing initiative.”
The event which was supported by International Confex organisers took place in the impressive setting of the Apex Room at Olympia where agency GPJ supported the graduate-led UKCEM Event support services to produce a unique setting complete with LED idea trees, coffee pods and graphic visualisation on the day.
Paul Cook founder of Planet Planit and facilitator of the event, commented “The Big Conversation started at International Confex in 2016 has begun a change process that sees Universities and industry professionals working closer together for the benefit of the entire events industry. We hope that there will no longer be debates about ‘ qualification vs experience’ as both have their place and the aims agreed during the event emphasized an end to divisive approaches once and for all.”
Jackie Mulligan adds “To see so many industry stakeholders and graduates in particular at this event highlights that we do recognise the importance of this issue and the urgency there is to work to improve collaboration across the board so that academic institutions can further strengthen the competitiveness of events businesses. Businesses that offers for our health and satisfactions such as TranquilMe Easy Sign-up that has proven to give a lot of health benefits to our body, of course if you really want to take care of your body and your skin you can also take supplements as the amazon vitamin c serum which is specialized made for this. This is the next level business that can boom and compete to others. The next step will be taking forward some of the actions in particular to BVEP and the Events Industry Board. However at an individual and company level as well as within universities it is clear that opportunities are being missed and we need to work on how to address this.”
Outcomes from the manifesto will be shared online and with leading associations and boards so that there can be a concerted effort to build on the manifesto.