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Under the microscope at EventLAB 2018

Ahead of EventLAB 2018, which takes place at London’s Barbican, 23-24 October, CN sat down with Ed Poland, founder and COO of Hire Space and a key driving force behind the event, to get a taste of what’s in store.

What did you enjoy most about EventLAB 2017?

The atmosphere stood out most. Some 800 people had congregated to learn, meet new people and to celebrate everything that’s great about events. It was a forward thinking, passionate crowd who seemed fully engaged with the content and contributed a huge amount to the discussion.

The Conference Stage became a real forum for debate, and the themes that emerged and demand for continued learning led to the introduction of the EventLAB Series, a successful series of events we’ve held this year.

What are you looking forward to most in 2018?

So many things! The content is always the most exciting thing for me, and we have some thought-provoking speakers lined up to discuss the future of events, from companies including the BBC, Smyle, Hearst, Olympia London and many more. We expect to hear great new ideas and insight into how memorable events are being organised in 2018 and beyond.

There is a lot of great content on the intersection of events and brand marketing, which is something I’m personally especially interested in. The Conference Stage will be buzzing with ideas about how to engage your audiences in new and innovative ways.

We’ve also got some brilliant new venues exhibiting this year, including the recently opened Nobu Hotel Shoreditch and the Science Museum’s brand new Illuminate space, as well as some exciting interactive networking experiences from companies including Wild Goose and Wizdish. We’re keen to make sure everyone meets one other and has a great time doing so.

And of course, we’re all really excited about being in the Barbican too, one of London’s most iconic venues.

What is this year’s hot topic?

We're running a number of sessions across our "Leadership, Professional Development and Wellbeing" track, which is proving especially popular this year. Events is an entrepreneurial world at the moment, and a lot of people - from start-up founders to events managers within major corporates - are thinking about how to build fantastic working cultures, and ensure events professionals are thriving in their roles and loving what they do. There’s some great content lined up on building great businesses. 

How did you decide the content for this year’s show?

EventLAB is all about the future of events, so we draw on lots of data to work out what people are talking about and looking for - we want to make sure we are talking about the right things. Hire Space has worked on over 25,000 event briefs since the last EventLAB - we use the data from these to establish the types of events people love hosting, what they most require, what their frustrations are. We also surveyed our delegates from 2017 to discover the content they most engaged with and built on the most popular themes to develop this year’s event program.

Our production and marketing teams are tuned in to media discussion around events to produce the fortnightly EventLAB Podcast, so we’re always hearing the latest and greatest new ideas.

What will eventprofs learn at EventLAB this year?

We have a simple rule at EventLAB when deciding on content: is this pushing the boundaries, and offering a perspective which will make people think? This runs through everything we do and means that delegates will learn something no matter what they come to see - whether that’s event logistics, brand marketing, technology, sales, workplace culture or anything else.

Our workshops are CPD certified, so delegates can formally improve their skill sets, and our speakers are carefully selected to ensure we are giving a broad range of views and perspectives.

Is it free to attend?

Yes, it is. The exhibition, and most of the content, is free to attend for anyone who books business events on behalf of their company. There’s an additional fee for the CPD certified workshops, which delegates can book in advance when they register through our EventLAB 2018 Registration Portal.