Initial speaker line-up revealed for MEET South West 2020 – with sessions on tech trends and ‘losing sponsors’

The first four speakers for MEET South West 2020, the region’s only trade show dedicated to the event industry, have been announced – with their sessions ranging from staying distinctive in a busy market to ‘the best ways to lose sponsors’.

Lined up for the event are Destination Bristol Head of Tourism Kathryn Davis, Lis Anderson, Director of Bristol PR firm AMBITIOUS, Mike Piddock, Founder and CEO of Glisser, an award-winning audience engagement software, and Rob Eveleigh, managing director of Bristol-based professional conference organiser Brightelm.

MEET South West 2020, which takes place in Bristol next January, follows the success of this year’s inaugural show. More than 350 event professionals attended to hear expert speakers provide practical insight to support them in delivering better events.

It also hosted more than 60 firms ranging from venues to suppliers, event agencies and entertainment agencies in its exhibition.

Organisers of MEET South West 2020, which will take place on Friday January 31 at the Mercure Bristol Grand, promise it will be bigger and better, showcasing 80 of the region’s leading event industry businesses and feature more than 10 hours of tailored educational content to help organisers deliver more engaging events.

Kathryn Davis, who has spent almost all of her professional life working in tourism, hospitality and leisure, will speak on remaining distinctive in a busy market and how the South West can champion the business events industry.

Kathryn, who is also interim CEO of Visit Bath, is a member of the Tourism Management Institute and a regular speaker at industry events. Last year she was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Tourism at the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism awards.

Lis Anderson is an experienced PR communications consultancy MD with 20-plus years in the creative digital media industry spanning the communications mix. Her team at AMBITIOUS is also responsible for organising the Bristol edition of Social Media Week, a global conferencing platform involving more than 25 cities worldwide. Her session will look at how to tapping into your network can drive more event registrations.

Before founding Glisser, Mike Piddock worked at Octopus Investments, a London fund manager and venture capital company, which ran more than 200 events as year. His sessions will look at the top 10 tech trends in events for 2020

Rob Eveleigh has more than 20 years’ experience of working in hospitality related roles, the last 12 of which has focused on delivering event programmes for trade and professional associations. He will explore specific ways in which you can alienate both sponsors and exhibitors quickly and efficiently.

MEET South West 2020 is being supported by partners including Destination Bristol, Visit Bath and VisitWiltshire as well as The Great West Way. Bristol Business News will continue in its role as media partner.

MEET South West is produced by a trio of West of England event professionals – Franco de la Croix-Vaubois, founder of the Event Organisers Network and managing director of Frog Events; Thomas Heiser, managing director of Focal Point Event Management; and corporate events manager Paola Davis.