The first live event for the business events industry to meet corporate clients since the imposition of restrictions in March, took place on Tuesday (8th September) in Brisbane and has been enthusiastically received by buyers & suppliers all keen to get back to meeting people face to face again.
The Executive PA Summit took place at the Emporium Hotel South Bank and the event organisers and the venue, showed corporate clients how to execute a successful business event while conforming to COVID safe requirements.
All social distancing rules were observed, with round tables for ten used in the presentation rooms and 5 people per table, lunch & refreshments served by staff, and the one to one meetings naturally lending themselves to distancing requirements. Even the ‘after event’ networking drinks, which took place at the hotel’s recently refurbished rooftop bar, was an easy affair with delegates and suppliers seated. Most of the day was face to face, with just two presentations made remotely and three ‘out of state’ suppliers who had their meetings via laptops.
Katie Griffiths from Emporium Hotel South Bank said “Ah its fantastic. I’m definitely a people person, needing to be face to face and having meetings with clients. Everyone I’ve spoken with has provided positive feedback on the day – great flow and all my meetings have been really productive.
Michelle Hanson of Brisbane Airport Hotels Group was also glad to get back to meeting clients. “Amazing – firstly to be able to speak with clients and then being able to see them safe to face. Its great, yes I’ve missed that. Speed dating, which I really like, great meetings so far and potential for business down the track”
Heath Batterman of Destination North Coast gave an interesting insight “I believe there’s a pent-up demand for events. I have a possible quarter of a million dollars’ worth of business, just from this morning’s meetings. I also believe there’s a component of demand related to what people currently can’t do that maybe they have on their bucket list. And when restrictions lift, they are going to do it.’ – “This has quite possibly, been the best event for the meetings industry that I’ve attended.”
Simon Piltz from Be Challenged took part in the meetings and also presented to the buyers. “Face to face is phenomenal.” He said “It’s what people have missed and you can feel the enjoyment that people are getting just by connecting and communicating with each other. The format works really well. You’ve got 15 minutes to form a connection and find out what the client needs. And there’s a good mix – some clients we know and some we’ve never met, so lots of opportunity. We’ll be back [to the next summit] for sure.”
Trish Kearns from QUT Venue Collection also found the day to be productive “I just love getting back to face to face communication. I’ve been to a lot of pop events and exhibitions, where people just walk past you, so its great to have the introductions and connection. We’ll definitely be doing business down the track as a result.”
The next Summit to take place in Brisbane is the Event Organisers Summit on the 29th October, for in house event managers, PCOs agencies, associations, marketing managers and those EAs with larger events budgets.