Call for Speakers!

Call for Speakers!

i Aug 16th No Comments by

Do you have a relevant and thought provoking message to communicate to the UK & Ireland Events Industry?

If so, we’d love to hear from you.

We are choosing our speaking partners for the year ahead and we would love to hear from you.

Get in touch and we’ll connect with you.          Click here to submit your details.

Ashfield Meetings & Events wins ‘Most Effective Agency Collaboration’ for second year running at International Corporate Event (ICE) Awards

i Jul 24th No Comments by


It’s a win for the second year in a row for full service events management agency Ashfield Meetings & Events, as the healthcare industry meetings specialist celebrates being presented with the award for ‘Most Effective Agency Collaboration’ for ‘SanofiFEST’ – the company day for leading pharmaceutical company, Sanofi UK.

Part of UDG Healthcare, the Ashfield team, led by Account Director Heather Sharp, together with Sanofi’s Meetings & Events Executive, Lorraine Lawrence, were presented with the award at last week’s exciting ceremony at the Design Museum in London. Both commented on how thrilled they were to walk away with such an esteemed accolade for this unique and effective event.

“We collaborated with Ashfield Meetings & Events to deliver our Company Day, and they provided full service project management, including creative, content, production and logistics support,” explains Lorraine Lawrence. “Very early in the planning stages we highlighted that we were looking for a much more innovative event – a departure from the familiar. We wanted to create an environment that would inspire our employees to step outside their comfort zone and feel and act differently.”

Collaborating closely on how this might be done, following a series of working events a Sanofi Festival was conceptualised – ‘SanofiFEST.’

On the day, over 700 delegates arrived at the Beaumont Estate in Windsor to be greeted by an entrance lined with teardrop flags, colourful directional signage, bunting and obligatory festoon lights leading up to food trucks, retro camper vans and 4 large-scale impressive tent structures. Stilt walkers, acrobats and jugglers brought smiles to delegate faces and ensured there would be no mistaking the sort of day that lay ahead!

“This was a company day like no other,” adds Ashfield Account Director, Heather Sharp. “Delegates were able to hear and understand the direction of the business from senior leaders in the morning, and through activities that included circus skills, tent-building and a game to collect items for care packs for homeless people, they got to experience the values of the business – teamwork, courage, respect and integrity.”

Commended for the superiority of their award entry and ‘showing the impact of the content with some amazing ROI statistics’, the ICE judges decided unanimously that Ashfield and Sanofi should be the worthy winners.

“They quoted both the passion that drove them forward, but also made clear reference to the requirement for a ‘legacy.’ This was obviously not just a single event but there was a need for a lasting impression, reaching long after the conference,” said Adrian Evans, Director of Conference and Live Events for The NEC who both judged and sponsored the category.

Thrilled to achieve such recognition from ICE, Lorraine Lawrence summed up the success for both Ashfield and Sanofi.

“This was a true partnership and the result was a unique event that will resonate with our staff for the foreseeable future.”

For more information on how Ashfield delivers meetings and live events with certainty and impact, log on to

Inspo Club’ aims to ‘SPARK THINKING’ of Year 6 pupils in new primary school partnership

i Apr 30th No Comments by

SPARK THINKING – the global events and communications agency – has launched a joint initiative with a Nottingham-based primary school which aims to encourage the creative confidence of Year 6 pupils.

‘Inspo Club’ is a new-concept lunchtime club for children in their final year at Radcliffe on Trent Junior School, and is the brain-child of SPARK THINKING’s Head of Global Sales Support, Janina Monaghan, who describes it as ‘a place where they can unleash their creativity, collaborate with others and have fun!’

Year 6s will get the chance to talk about creativity and what it means to them, explore new technology, look at where ideas come from, bringing them to life through play, and generally be curious about the world around them!

“At SPARK THINKING, we place great emphasis on the benefits of thinking creatively, and continually encourage our staff to do this through initiatives and rituals designed to spark their imagination,” explains Janina. “I’m inspired every day by the talented people I work with and I want to be able to share what I learn – what better audience than the next generation?”

It was through one of these initiatives – SPARK Shorts, a lunchtime workshop where employees are encouraged to share creative experiences, hobbies or ideas with their colleagues – that Janina was inspired to take SPARK Shorts on tour into the classroom.

“Bringing SPARK Shorts on tour into a school in the form of ‘Inspo Club’ seemed a natural step, as it’s a way we, as a business can share our experiences and support young people,” says Janina. “But I’m confident we’ll gain as much, if not more, from the children themselves.”

Head teacher of Radcliffe on Trent Junior School, Clare Allsopp, shares Janina’s belief in the power of the children’s limitless imaginations.

“Children have a natural creativity and enquiring minds, which if encouraged and retained, will benefit their future careers and indeed their lives in immeasurable ways,” says head teacher Clare Allsopp.

SPARK THINKING’s Inspo Club will run for 6-weeks and will introduce the children to a broad spectrum of topics. To find out more about the pupils’ learning journey, go to or search for #SPARKInspo on Twitter and Instagram.

To find out more about the pupils’ learning journey, go to  or search for #SPARKInspo on Twitter and Instagram.

5 Ways You Should Be Using Music at Your Event

i Sep 27th No Comments by

SongDivision CEO, Andy Sharpe partnered with the Event Manager Blog to present ‘5 Ways You Should Be Using Music at Your Event’. Full of great advice backed by science, Andy shares tips on improving your event with music that won’t cost you a cent, but will have a significant impact.  Check it out at 

For further information on SongDivision, visit

A decade of success for Manchester Central

i May 30th No Comments by

Manchester Central is celebrating a decade of success since the venue rebranded.

The building originally served as a passenger rail station before reopening as the city’s dedicated exhibition venue in 1986; Manchester International Convention Centre was added in 2001 before the two venues were combined and renamed as Manchester Central in 2007.

Angie Robinson, outgoing CEO of Manchester Central, said: “It has been a truly successful decade for Manchester Central. Our financial results for 2016 were the strongest they’ve ever been, putting our experienced team of professionals in the prime position to further enhance Manchester Central’s offer throughout the next 10 years and continue to lead the industry.”

The venue is sharing highlights of the last 10 years using #MC10 on Twitter and Instagram.

Angie will be retiring from full-time employment in June and Shaun Hinds will take on the role of CEO at Manchester Central next month.

Introducing the 2016-17 Board of Directors

i Jul 6th No Comments by

The new MPI UK & Ireland board of directors is announced and starting their 2016-17 board (slate year) on 1 July 2016. The calendar of chapter events for the year promises a mix of educational and networking events.

Chapter President will be president Jane Baker (Commercial Director, 2Heads). Richard Parker (Healthcare American Express M&E) continues his board involvement as Past President.

Jane Baker comments: “The year ahead promises to be a very exciting one for MPI. As a result of membership feedback, we have a number of new global and local initiatives on track to launch in the coming months that will offer flexibility and added value for MPI members. The new UK & Ireland board includes 10 experienced industry professionals who will lead these developments. Additionally, this year’s board has a 50/50 gender split ensuring our leadership team reflects the fantastic diversity of the UK & Ireland events industry”.

Deborah Kelly, Business Development Manager, UK for London & Partners and newly appointed VP Communications for MPI, said: “We all have a part to play in developing our industry and making it even greater. I am grateful to be given the opportunity to contribute to the UK and Ireland Chapter of MPI and I look forward to working with all the board members to promote MPI’s activity to our members.”

The full board structure is detailed below and will be effective as of 1 July 2016.

  • President – Jane Baker, 2Heads
  • Past President – Richard Parker, American Express M&E
  • VP Education –Jackie Mulligan, UK Centre for Events Management
  • Deputy VP Education – Sue Massey, Grass Roots Meetings & Events
  • VP Finance – Tarquin Scadding-Hunt, MD Group
  • VP Communications – Deborah Kelly, London & Partners
  • VP Membership – Richard Allchild, IMEX Group
  • Deputy VP Membership – Adam Said, TFI Group
  • Deputy VP Communications – Judy Elvey, Cvent
  • Chapter Manager – Hamish Reid, Cordate Solutions

The Meetings Show to deliver CMP credits

i May 25th No Comments by

The Meetings Show’s education programme will help individuals earn or maintain the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) certification – the leading, industry wide professional qualification. The Meetings Show is achieving this by working with the Convention Industry Council to become a CMP Preferred Provider.

The Convention Industry Council’s Karen Kotowski comments: “We are delighted that the CMP qualification continues to gain so much traction and recognition around the world. It is the industry’s premiere qualification and a demonstration of the credibility of CIC’s education programme. The Meetings Show’s decision to be a CMP Preferred Provider places them amongst a core group of world leading education providers and we look forward to seeing the content they deliver in June.”

“The CMP qualification is arguably the most robust demonstration of an individual’s commitment to their personal development and professionalism and we are delighted to be providing a variety of sessions supporting them,” comments Steve Knight, The Meetings Show’s Event Director. “MPI UK & Ireland is a committed supporter of this scheme, I’m delighted that we are too, and I encourage other industry education providers to do the same. Education and learning are at the very heart of our offering as we bring people together to develop new opportunities and feed their minds. With more than 80 education sessions available at The Meetings Show, there really is something for everyone and we look forward to welcoming current and prospective CMPs to the show in June.”

Jane Baker, president elect of MPI UK & Ireland adds: “MPI, both globally and here in the UK and Ireland continually works to develop professionalism within the meetings industry, which is why we are such strong supporters of the CMP scheme. We welcome the fact that The Meetings Show has decided to accredit their education programme as it demonstrates their desire to deliver high end content of genuine value. We have worked closely with the Show over the last couple of years and continue to do so in 2016, encouraging our members to attend, join the education and develop themselves and their careers.”

To be approved for CMP credits each session is rigorously assessed by the Convention Industry Council to ensure quality and credibility of the content. Sessions have to be aligned with learning objectives in one of the following areas:

• Strategic Planning
• Project Management
• Risk Management
• Financial Management
• Human Resources
• Stakeholder Management
• Meeting or Event Design
• Site Management
• Marketing
• Professionalism

With more than 80 education sessions during the three days of The Meetings Show from 14-16 June at Olympia, as well as further content taking place as part of the Association Meetings Conference on 13 June at Church House, Westminster; there are a wealth of opportunities for those working towards or looking to maintain their CMP certification.

Organised by Centaur Live (a division of Centaur Media Plc), The Meetings Show is the premier event for the UK inbound and outbound meetings industry, taking place 14-16 June 2016 at Olympia, London. Organised by meeting professionals for meeting professionals it is focused around a large exhibition, networking opportunities and professional education.

Originally posted on the Soaring Worldwide website here: