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On Monday 13 January 2020, the Event Marketing Association (EMA-UK) hosted its first member event for the year at Church House Westminster.

The interactive panel discussion moderated by Martin Fullard from Conference News focused on the State of the Industry and trends for the coming year. Panel members included Alistair Turner of Eight PR and author of the IBTM Trends report, industry veteran Kim Myhre and Anna Fox from Liberty Global.

The evening, which took place in the Bishop Partridge Hall, saw EMA-UK members and partners attend, along with a small group of EVCOM members as part of the closer collaboration between the two associations.

General Manager of EMA-UK, James Hitchen, drew attention to the diverse events programme of EMA-UK during his welcome speech. He also mentioned the new series of events that the EMA-UK recently launched for 2020 called Wellbeing by Eventprofs 4 Eventprofs due to launch at the end of January. For more information please visit the EMA-UK website –

The discussion started with an interesting point about how the demands of audiences for events are changing. Turner added that with most attendees digitally enabled, the role of event organisers has shifted from planning to instead providing an experience, driven by what motivates the audience.

Fox reflected on 2019 stating that venues were more willing to negotiate, which allowed events to be opened to additional levels of management.

Discussions turned to sustainability and wellbeing. Whilst actions to cut down on wastage were plentiful, the panel agreed that bigger issues are at play such as corporate travel which was highlighted as the largest contributor to the carbon footprint. Myhre warned against greenwashing, asked if we are “talking trash about talking trash” and commented that in some cases being sustainable can be much more expensive.

Another subject raised by the panel was event security. Potential new legislation called Martyn’s law is currently before parliament and may have interesting implications for the industry if it is to become law. The potential new legislation was developed as a result of the tragedy that occurred in 2017 at Manchester Arena.

The panel then spoke about event content and design with a special mention to the virtual experience economy that we now live in and how events are changing and need to change to stay relevant. Possible ideas that were mentioned included self-curating by the audience, regional roadshows to make it more local and harnessing the human aspect of technology.

Visit the company page of Church House Westminster on LinkedIn for a video of the evening.

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