From Sales Recruitment to Festival Tech: A Wrap-Up of Confex 2018

Aside from exhibiting and sponsoring the VIP lounge, we had a strong presence across the speaker programme at this year’s International Confex.

Our people participated in a number of sessions across the two days, and you’ll find a soundbite from each below.

What does it take to be a great salesperson?

On day one of the show Jackie Brown, Director of Business Development - Expositions sat on a panel that delved into the topic of women in sales roles within our industry. She explained that whether female or male - being a good communicator, having empathy in terms of being attuned to clients’ objectives and pain points, and the ability to collaborate are the key traits that make a great salesperson. When it comes to recruiting great salespeople, she advised we look at the talent we have within and implement a robust succession planning programme, one where we can train, support and mentor those who aspire to move up the ranks within the sales function.

Jackie also took Mash Media on a tour of the four Freeman stands at Confex - each of which corresponded to a particular stage of our proprietary design thinking cycle. Watch the film here.

Stepping it up a notch to... event tech 3.0 

AI and machine learning are the way of the future, explained Adam Jones, our Director - Digital Products in his panel session. Adam noted that ShowPlans isn’t so much about selling a product or space, it’s about selling data, and he highlighted the value of machines in this realm. Rather than having to manually compile and analyse data that can tell us about our clients’ behaviours when using our event floor plan products, Adam explained we can format it so that machines can identify these trends for us. He also noted their value in terms of personalising events - machines can monitor behaviours through data analysis and in turn each individual might receive a welcome bag that is most appropriate to them.  

A look at the future of festival tech

Over at the adjoining Event Production Show, Tom Vamos, our Digital Development Manager discussed the different tech at play in the festival space. He talked the audience through geolocation software, explaining how segmented geo-locating can be used to track people as they make their way around an event. Say, for example, festival-goers are queuing in line for a drink. Geolocation tech can speak to the organiser’s event app and send those waiting in line a message which lets them know that there is another bar nearby with no queue: a perfect example of how we can leverage tech to enhance the guest experience.

The increasing value of face-to-face   

As we become more screen intense, face-to-face interaction has become much more valuable, explained Niru Desai, VP, Strategy at FreemanXP during the first keynote session of day two. She stressed that we don’t play in the space of events, but of experiences, and digital integration is key here. She went on to discuss how digital connections have made way for the ‘on live’ experience, whereby physical events leverage tech to create more memorable and emotive experiences for audiences. Niru also noted events are powerful because they allow us to observe peoples’ behaviours and connect those behaviours to certain emotions - unlike a survey where our responses might not always be 100% honest or capture our feelings as accurately.

What’s trending in digital and event tech?

Drawing on the Freeman Trend Lab, an insight incubator designed to re-imagine opportunities and address the challenges of an ever-changing world, Tom Vamos, Digital Development Manager and Jordan Waid, VP, Brand Experience revealed their top digital trends for 2018 during a presentation on day two.  

We’ve packaged these trends up into a downloadable PDF, which you can access here.



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