Orson Francescone, head of events at Haymarket, on the upcoming launch of the Festival of Work, a show with a festival feel and a B2B heart.
A central concern of the Festival of Work, a new launch for the HR, learning and development (L&D) industries, is looking at the human future of the working world in a world increasingly dominated by the latest tech.
Orson Francescone, head of events at organiser Haymarket Media, tells EN: “The world of work is undergoing a revolution brought about by technological innovation such as artificial intelligence, and in which the role of humans will inevitably and drastically change.
“Working with our partners at the CIPD, the leading professional body for HR and people development, we wanted to address these changes and how businesses can equip themselves to cope with them with a new landmark event.”
The show will see the co-location of two of the CIPD’s most successful annual events (the Learning & Development Show and the HR Software and Recruitment Show), which will be central elements of the new festival, along with new launch The Future of Work Show. Franscecone explains the reasoning behind the ‘festival’ label for the trade event.
“While meditation zones, innovation and start-up villages, an amazing opening ceremony and on-floor experiences like no other will give the event that special ‘Festival feel’, the show is still at its heart very much a B2B one,” he tells EN.
The show will include six content streams covering everything from the future of leadership and talent to the future of learning and HR tech and digital working, plus a sizeable plenary theatre for the opening and closing keynote sessions. With Francesone’s background as a conference organiser, and Haymarket’s creative director Simon Kanter working closely alongside him, it’s no surprise that content will be taking a central role.
“The role of content has been crucial in order to capture every link in the industry’s supply chain and provide our delegates with the most innovative and cutting-edge conference,” agrees Francescone. “Not only will this be the country’s largest HR and L&D event by quite a mile, but it will also appeal to senior business leaders who need to grapple with the challenges of the future world of work.”
Like many modern trade shows, the Festival of Work will also be facilitating visitor and exhibitor meetings and interactions.
“Through our partners at Sector Global we have launched Festival Connect, a unique personalised technology and concierge service that will enable our 300-plus exhibitors to maximise their ROI by connecting with their prospective buyers and arranging on-site meetings,” explains Francescone.
The final piece of the Festival of Work puzzle is the ever-challenging question of event marketing, especially in the age of GDPR.
“Reaching new audiences is what we event organisers wake up with in our mind and fall asleep with every day,” Francescone tells EN. “I am constantly looking at new ways of optimising our marketing effort. I am a huge believer that having a marketing machine firing on all cylinders can prove to be the most effective competitive advantage in our industry. With an amazing team behind me and working with our partners at The Social Effect, a digital social media agency specialising in trade shows, we have rolled out one of the most intricate and targeted digital media campaigns and the results have been very exciting!”
The Festival of Work comes to Olympia London on 12-13 June 2019.