International Confex ran from 25-26 February, in its new home of ExCeL London.
This year’s Confex featured a strong lineup of educational sessions, including Figen Murray and former National Counter-Terrorism Co-ordinator Nick Aldworth discussing the importance of venue security. The pair are advocating for new security regulations with Martyn’s Law, after Murray’s son Martyn Hett was killed in the 2017 Manchester Arena bombings.
Secret Cinema founder Fabien Riggall also delivered a keynote about the power of immersive events, and how they can be an antidote to our increasingly digital lives. Riggall said: “The pre-narrative experience is key in a digital world, where everybody is shouting as loud as they possibly can. Every aspect of your event has to have a character – your toilets have to be in character.”
Among the other highlights were the launch of the UK chapter of the Women in Exhibitions network, run by Soraya Gadelrab, Portfolio Director – Food, Drink & Hospitality at Montgomery Group. The new chapter, already operating in key countries in Europe, promises to address the balance of women and men in senior positions across the industry, as well as offer support and advice to women wanting to develop their careers.
Alongside the educational content, visitors had the chance to meet a huge variety of exhibitors, offering everything from mind-controlled beer taps to colourful furniture for events. Venues, suppliers, organisers and everyone in between had an opportunity to show off their latest products and services to a varied crowd of event professionals.