For 3 days, the incredible team at Standout Magazine invited us along to the Event Buyers Live event at Heythrop Park in the Cotswolds. The event is a jam packed 50 hours of networking, informative talks and roundtable discussions alongside gala dinners and various entertainment.
Tuesday 19th February
The event started casually on Tuesday afternoon with a private drinks and dining event for all the invited clients only. This was hosted in the Orangery and consisted of an opening speech by the estate management, ending with a tailored digital quiz, where tables battled it out for the grand prize.
Wednesday 20th February
The following morning, after a well-deserved breakfast, we were ushered into the conference room, to receive a presently relevant speech on Brexit for the Event Industry. This was hosted by fittingly by Conservative MP, Ian Duncan Smith, who discussed issues on increased taxation, shipping between ports and the value of the events industry, explaining its worth over industries such as automotives (which are more heavily discussed in the media, as detrimental to our GDP).
Swiftly after the speech, all the guests continued into the large marquee meeting space on the grounds to begin participating in supplier meetings or roundtable discussions. My first activity was a roundtable discussion with Dick Tee, from Enteetainment. Dick’s previous experience extends over 35 years, now production managing shows such as Radio 1’s Big Weekend, Reading Festival, BBC Proms and EDC. The discussion was based around event technology where we talked about our experiences, challenges and solutions with event technology. We touched on future technologies and operating systems to streamline organisation, alongside budget cuts, and time pressures.
After lunch, the day progressed with a bunch of quick fire supplier meetings. I was introduced to a wide variety of suppliers that I wasn’t aware of, and managed to fit in some intermediary meetings of non-scheduled suppliers, creating some excellent partnerships for production and health and safety.
After our last meeting, we had a short break before being welcomed to the Gala dinner with a prosecco fuelled drinks reception. The drinks were followed by an impressive, musically timed fireworks display, hosted by ‘Fantastic Fireworks’. The venue then hosted a beautiful dinner held in the Orangery. We were then graced with the questionable‘Hound Dogs’, who played an Elvis inspired set of Rockabilly.
Thursday 21st February
Heavy heads, and late arrivals filled the marquee on Thursday morning for the final round of supplier meetings. The event ended with an inspirational speech by Piers Linney, who’s previously starred in Dragons Den. The speech explained how to build and expand your business effectively which left a positive, motivating mind-set in everyone’s mind, before heading home.
Thanks Standout for a great mid-week getaway, see you next year Event Buyers Live!
By Luca Onisto