Top three insights on International Confex 2023

Top three insights on International Confex 2023

Who knew that the first people we would bump into at International Confex were the wonderful team from Tony’s Chocoloney? This was such a great sight as we love aligning with brands that represent our core HHc values, so what a brilliant way to start two intense but rewarding days exhibiting at Excel.

For those of you not so familiar with Confex, it’s a two-day get-together for all the event industries players and clients which also coincides with a couple of other key tradeshows* at London Excel. 

This year the stars aligned for the first time and both of us were free for the two days of the event, which enabled us to host our very first tradeshow stand (not bad after 10 years of successful trading) as part of the leading events industry association – The Delegate Wranglers.

So what did we learn from exhibiting at our first tradeshow that might be of interest to you?

  1. Visiting a tradeshow – If you are planning to visit a tradeshow, make sure you have made a plan in advance of which businesses you definitely want to speak to, but also allow enough time for serendipity.  You never know who you might meet and what you might learn. If you’re on a mission to whizz around the show, you can often miss those moments that bring the greatest opportunity and reward. It’s worth noting also that it’s not always the biggest and the flashiest stands that hold the most opportunity – we met some amazing businesses at the show with whom we will definitely be collaborating but who could easily have missed. Also, look for stands where businesses are co-exhibiting as often they have prior experience of collaborating together which could be of real value to you and save you time and money. For example, the stand we were part of, we have collaborated with a number of the businesses on the stand previously, so it’s very easy for us to work with them on client events as there is an existing relationship and familiarity.
  2. Industry trends – the buzz in the room made it clear that in-person events are really the place to be post-pandemic and if that’s not possible, then virtual is a strong alternative. What is increasingly clear from the various conversations we were having is that “horrible hybrid” is clearly not delivering on any level and therefore most event organisers are keen to make it a thing of the past. 
  3. Where are the meeting and event emcees, hosts and facilitators? We were approached repeatedly over the course of the event by event organisers as well as business owners out of real curiosity. It became increasingly clear to us that there is a need for our skill set and experience of hosting and facilitating events including meetings and workshops as well as big-ticket events such as conferences, awards ceremonies and galas (both live and virtual) to name a few. Yet we were the only such organisation to have a presence. There were businesses representing speakers and celebrities, but that’s not our bag – we are all about making the client look good (and not about ourselves). So whilst it’s good news that there is strong potential for our services, it does leave us wondering how many organisations understand the true value of bringing in external facilitators and hosts with our skills and experience vs talking heads?!

Going forward (having bathed our sore feet and nurtured our hoarse throats), we are raring to go and make the most of the relationships we’ve initiated. After all, 30% of the work is preparing for and participating in the tradeshow, while 70% of the work is in the follow-up; nurturing and developing the seeds into mutually beneficial, long-term relationships. 

So that was our Confex. An altogether positive experience for us and who knows if the stars align again next year, you may find us back on The Delegate Wranglers stand, especially if we are neighbours of Sip n Swig again, where they were serving up Stagg Gin and more! 

*PA Show and Event Production Show (insert links)

James Hasler and Rebecca Hill are professional event moderators, facilitators, emcees and hosts with experience in running events of all kinds, both in person and virtually. 

If you want to learn more about our services, then please contact us at james@haslerhillconsulting.co.uk or call James directly on 0044 (0)7773 229909.



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