The UK's leading exhibition for event, meeting and conference profs, The Meetings Show, is returning for its seventh year with their industry leading hosted buyer programme.
Bringing together buyers from the corporate, association, agency and public sectors, the show has gone from strength to strength and this year is expected to be no exception.
Luke Roberts, hosted buyer account manager for The Meetings Show, answers some of the most common questions about what to expect as a hosted buyer and how the new programme can enhance your exhibition experience.
How much time do I have to commit?
One of the most common concerns from meetings and events professionals is that being a hosted buyer is too much of a time commitment, and they don’t want to find themselves trapped into an agreement to spend a long time out of the office.
With The Meetings Show, this really isn’t the case – we completely understand that plans change and that’s why we run a flexible hosted buyer programme that allows you to make changes nearer the time. If you sign up for the three-day programme but later find out you’re going to be too busy for three days out of the office, you can drop down to one day without losing your place on the programme. Similarly, if you think one day isn’t going to be long enough at the show, you can increase to two or three days; just speak to the team and let us know what you need.
Will all my time be taken up with appointments if I’m a hosted buyer?
There is a misconception that being a hosted buyer means your diary is jam-packed full of appointments for the entire time you’re at the show, but this is definitely not true.
Hosted buyers at The Meetings Show are required to attend six 15-minute appointments a day – that’s just an hour and a half out of a show that’s open for eight hours. You can do all of your appointments and still have plenty of time for walking the show floor, attending education sessions and catching up with industry friends, or if you need to get back to the office you can easily fit all of your appointments into just a morning or afternoon. On the three-day programme, you also have one day with no appointments at all when you can attend the Pre-Show Conference and Hosted Buyer Welcome Reception, so that day is all about networking and education.
Will I have to meet with exhibitors I’m not really interested in
At The Meetings Show, hosted buyers choose all of their own appointments – you’re not forced into anything! If you don’t need to meet with lots of suppliers, you can choose the one-day attendance option where the minimum number required is just six.
Who you meet with is all down to you too, as you manage your own appointment diary. This means you can use your time productively and only see people you genuinely are interested in – we don’t want to waste anyone’s time.
Can more than one person from my company be a hosted buyer?
All of The Meetings Show’s hosted buyers are pre-qualified, which means we need to find out about the company they work for, the type of events they organise and what budget they have, but more than one person from the same organisation can apply.
If there are multiple people within your organisation who are all involved with planning meetings and events, you can still all apply for the programme as long as you’re individually responsible for planning different events. So just because your colleague has already signed up, don’t think that you can’t too; if you both attend you can meet with twice as many exhibitors, attend twice as many education sessions, and introduce each other to more industry contacts at the show.
In 2019, we’re also introducing a new option for hosted agency buyers to bring a junior member of their team to shadow them on the second day of the show. This will give junior event planners a chance to attend appointments and experience the benefits of being a hosted buyer, in the company of a more experienced colleague.
Do I have to attend for all three days?
The Meetings Show has three attendance options for hosted buyers: one day, two days or three days and there are still benefits to attending one or two days as a hosted buyer, rather than a visitor.
Particularly for local and London-based buyers, the one-day attendance option can offer the most effective use of time. You can fit all of your appointments into one day out of the office. With all our attendance day options you will still get access to the evening and post-show events, hosted buyer lounge and more importanty, full support of our team in planning your diaries.
Hosted buyer registration for The Meetings Show 2019, which takes place on 26 & 27 June at Olympia London, is now open. To apply, visit www.themeetingsshow.com/visit/hosted-buyer-programme.