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An Association Conference that Delivered

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To say that the industry has association fatigue currently is an understatement. With the emergence of social communities and free education from the likes of #eventplannertalks, Event Huddle and Citizen Event, traditional membership and trade bodies have their work cut out to convince well-informed industry professionals of the value of their membership.

The opposite was the case at the HBAA Annual Forum in Manchester last week. 230 + venues and agencies gathered in this fine city to enjoy a programme of content focused on 2020 Vision. Topics were discussed and issues raised around tackling the talent gap, one of the session’s I moderated. This has drawn out some critical questions that wider industry needs to respond to. From lethargy in action for change in professionalization, through to apprenticeships versus graduates, middle management training and development, the GIG economy and the big problem of SME’s nurturing and retaining talent. Highlighting their professionalism, the HBAA are looking to develop this subject further through debate and workshops that will create movement and action rather than just conversation.

As an ambassador for the UK Event Wellbeing Week in September, the need for #EventWell17 is more apparent than ever after hearing from venues and agencies, both large and small during the campfire sessions. Eventwell17 is needed as a signpost for organisations to create a paradigm shift in their outlook to this major contributor to ill health in the UK.

This conference would rate 5 stars in terms of event delivery, content, delegate satisfaction (from those I spoke with and that was a lot!) and should be considered a great success for the association.

Samme Allen

Managing Director, Sequoia Partnership

Moderator, panellist and campfire leader – HBAA Forum 17