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Forum Events

Forum Events debuts business networking solutions for the ‘new normal’

Forum Events & Media Group, organiser of B2B events including the Facilities Management Forum, has successfully held its first virtual networking events – with over 550 individual meetings taking place within the security industry over the course of two days via virtual events.

With live events unable to take place for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Forum has expanded its cutting-edge proprietary software to create a new interface with live video meetings. This has allowed the company to create a virtual Forum platform, taking the events experience virtual. These events allow procurement executives to source new solutions, and give suppliers the opportunity to discover new clients – and ultimately, keep industries talking.

Forum’s first virtual events were the Total Security Summit and the Security IT Summit, which both match procurement professionals with suppliers for a series of pre-arranged meetings. The Summits attracted security and cyber security professionals from the likes of Amazon, Asprey London, Associated British Foods, BNP Paribas, Department of Work & Pensions, Essex County Council, HSBC, JP Morgan, Legal and General, London Stansted Airport, Manchester Airport Group, Matalan, Marriott International, National Trust, NatWest Markets, Pret A Manger, Royal Mail, Sodexo, Tesco Mobile, United International Pictures, ViacomCBS and many more.

In addition to the virtual meetings, delegates had the opportunity to ‘attend’ streamed webinar sessions hosted by industry experts.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown restrictions associated with it have had a major impact on how we, as a nation, do business,” said Forum Events & Media Group Managing Director Sarah Beall. “Exhibitions are postponed, traditional conferences and networking events are on hold for the foreseeable future. But the wheels of commerce must keep turning and businesses need to connect, particularly during these unprecedented times as companies look for practical solutions to their challenges during the pandemic.

“Like many of our colleagues in the events sector, we have a goal to #GetBritainMeeting. The events industry is a £70 billion sector that employs 700,000 people and is currently on its knees, with no ‘go date’ yet from the Government about when we can host live events.

“The events industry is full of forward-thinking individuals who are more than capable of making controlled, organised events and exhibitions COVID-secure. But with no greenlight from the Government, we cannot sit back and wait. We are creative and innovative thinkers and, like many other events businesses, we have taken our events virtual.

“The success of our first virtual events has proved that business connections can still be made in an online environment. Over 550 meetings in two days shows the potential – and we’re looking forward to hearing back from our guests about the business deals that are made as a result of this event.”

Further virtual events are on the agenda at Forum, while going forward the company is also planning ‘hybrid’ events allowing delegates to choose whether they attend the events in person or via a digital option.

In addition, Forum Events & Media Group hosted two full-day conferences recently – the Hotel Designs LIVE event aimed at hoteliers, interior designers and architects; and the PA Life LIVE conference, which brought together Executive and Personal Assistants for a full day of learning. Both digital conferences also featured ‘supplier pitch’ sessions, allowing companies to present their products, services and solutions to the respective audiences. The Hotel Designs LIVE and PA Life LIVE digital conferences will return again in the autumn.

Energy Management Summit

Forum’s networking & meet-the-buyer events go virtual

Forum Events and Media Group, organiser of face-to-face meetings-based events like the Facilities Management Forum, Total Security Summit and the Energy Management Summit is launching a series of new Virtual Forums.

For over 20 years Forum has been bringing together procurement decision-makers with suppliers for pre-arranged meetings and networking at its Forums and Summits. These events have generated £millions of new business agreements between buyers and suppliers over the years.

With live events unable to take place for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Forum has expanded its cutting-edge proprietary software to create a new interface with live video meetings. This has allowed the company to create a virtual Forum platform, taking the events experience virtual. It will allow procurement executives to source new solutions, and give suppliers the opportunity to discover new clients – and ultimately, keep industries talking.

“During this unprecedented time, we have chosen to redirect our focus from live events to virtual so that we can still deliver expectations to our supporting exhibitors and create a platform to meet with high calibre decision makers face-to-face,” explained Forum Events and Media Group MD Sarah Beall.

“We cannot wait to welcome attendees back to our live events from September and have implemented a COVID-safe risk assessment at all our venues, ensuring the two-meter rule throughout, introducing temperature check and reduced numbers, but still creating the same professional and informal atmosphere of buyers and suppliers.”

“We are prepared and ready to kickstart our Forums from this month across four industries via our virtual platform. And we will continue to serve industries’ supply and demand by holding hybrid live and virtual events that are COVID-safe throughout the coming months.”

The first four virtual meeting events from Forum Events and Media Group will be:-

  • Total Security Summit – June 29th
  • Security IT Summit – June 30th
  • eTailing Summit – July 6th
  • Digital Marketing Solutions Summit – July 16th

Forum Events and Media Group is working alongside other UK events industry to promote the #GetBritainMeeting initiative aimed at kickstarting the events sector in a safe and sustainable way. The events industry employs some 700,000 people across the UK and contributes over £70 billion to the UK economy every year.

For more information, visit www.forumevents.co.uk.

New management team at Forum Events

Forum Events – the company behind the Facilities Management Forum – has a new management team to take the business forward.

Longtime Managing Director Sarah Beall (pictured) has joined the Board of Directors, sitting alongside Finance & Operations Director, Gill McCaughay, and New Business Director, Gill Woods.

Erstwhile Chairman Paul Rowney – who founded the company with McCaughay and Woods in 1997 – has retired from the business.

The news comes following a period of significant growth for Forum Events, and as it looks ahead to further expansion in 2018 and beyond. New events and initiatives are in the pipeline for this year and the company is currently bolstering its 70+ staff count.

“Sarah has contributed significantly to the growth of the business, so we’re delighted to welcome her to the Board,” said McCaughay.

Beall added: “Forum Events is positioned to expand further this year and beyond, with new events and new initiatives in the pipeline. It’s an exciting time to be joining the Board and helping to steer the business onwards and upwards.”

Forum Events pioneered the unique concept of face-to-face meetings events, based on matching the interests of procurement decision-makers with suppliers.

The event format brings companies together at ‘Forums’ and ‘Summits’ – bespoke events tailored to satisfy the needs of specific industry sectors.

Over the past 21 years the company has hosted over 500 events, attended by over 70,000 delegates, resulting in over 750,000 new business relationships.

In addition, Forum Events’ media division includes:

  • PA Life – The UK’s leading and award-winning media hub for savvy Personal and Executive Assistants. The portfolio includes a bi-monthly magazine, website, weekly newsletter, plus a series of live events.
  • Hotel Designs – A leading industry resource aimed directly at hoteliers, designers and architects from across the globe. The website and weekly newsletter is complemented by a series of networking and business-building events.
  • The Briefing Portfolio – Daily online Briefing content and fortnightly email newsletters for a number of sectors including FM, Care, Retail, Cyber Security, Call Centres, HR, Digital Marketing and Education.

For more information, visit www.forumevents.co.uk.

Graham Price

Forum Events is sad to report that former FM Forum event manager Graham Price passed away late last month.

Graham Price joined Forum Events in July 1999 and worked on the conception of the FM Forums. He left the business in 2013.

Running the Facilities Management Forum for over a decade, he sat right at the heart of the FM community, and his ebullient nature meant that he made many, many friends within the industry.

“Graham successfully launched the FM Forum and then took it to a bi-annual event. Given that we are now celebrating our 20th anniversary, it’s testament to his work,” said Forum Events MD Sarah Beall.

“He became something of a guru within the FM business, creating a massive network of FM professionals and companies, many of whom still support the FM Forum 20 years later.

“But alongside this incredible business acumen was his work mentoring more junior staff here at Forum. He helped many individuals here, including myself, to build their careers, many of whom are still here today and running the FM Forum in his name. He was a true gentleman, and very kind, and will be very much missed.”

Lloyds Energy to create 700 jobs in liquid gas trade

Lloyds Energy Group LLC has submitted a formal application to export Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to countries with a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US, creating a large number of jobs in the process.

Production involves extreme compression of natural gas, often methane, in order to improve the transportation process. The volume in a liquid state is 600 times less than in a gaseous form.

Exporting from their facility in Calhoun County, Texas, the project will be known as Point Comfort LNG and aims to significantly benefit the south central Texas coastal region, in part in the creation of around 700 direct, long-term jobs.

Lloyds Energy expects the project to also indirectly lead to thousands more jobs, as well as economic benefits and a predicted hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

“Lloyds Energy is strongly positioned to meet client demand, and submitting our Point Comfort LNG FTA application is an important first step towards making the final investment decision,” said Philip Holland, Lloyds Energy CEO. “The U.S. has an abundant supply of natural gas and the international market has a growing demand for cleaner, more-efficient fuel.”

 The company hopes to expand further into new territories, and with a potential new deal between the US and UK on the cards, many more could start setting their sights on Britain within the coming year.

Forum Insight: 10 ways to succeed at networking events…

Walking into an event room full of people you don’t know can be a scary experience. However, there are proven ways to conquer this fear and make networking an enjoyable and a useful process to do business. Here, we share 10 of the best practices to eradicate those networking nerves.

  1. Plan ahead: Try to obtain the attendee list in advance and highlight the people you would like to meet. On arrival, contact the event organiser and say who you are trying to connect with. If they get the chance, an introduction between yourself and the other party will be made upon arrival. It might also be beneficial to go to the registration area to ask if one of your selected visitors has arrived.
  1. Get there early: If you are one of the first to arrive, it is much easier to strike up a conversation with a small group of people.
  1. Most people are in the same position: If you do not know anyone else attending, it’s good to prepare a few opening questions: ‘Any particular presentation you’re looking forward to hearing today?’; ‘What brought you to this event?’
  1. Join a group: Approaching a group of attendees already in full conversation is a daunting prospect. So be bold, confident, and simply ask: “May I join the conversation? I’ve just arrived and I’m keen to learn what’s going on.”
  1. Build interesting conversation: Ask topical and relevant questions to the specific event. Be a good listener and don’t dominate the conversation with your own stories and business ideas.
  1. Be helpful: Share your knowledge of the industry, your contacts and sources of information. If people perceive you as an experienced and knowledgeable professional, they will want to keep in contact and maintain a relationship.
  1. Use your business card as a tactical weapon: I have a friend who renovates old wooden floors, so his business card is made of a thin piece of wood and has proven to be a guaranteed conversation starter. Be imaginative with the design and the job title displayed. Anything that says ‘sales’ or ‘business development’ could cause people to fear a sales pitch is on the way. So try and think of a job title that encourages a productive conversation.
  1. Receiving business cards: Be sure to make notes on the back to remind you of the conversation and the person. This could become much use in future interactions.
  1. Following up: If you engaged in constructive conversation with an attendee and have agreed to follow up after the event, then set a preferred method of contact and make sure to do so promptly.
  1. What not to do: Sales pitches, even if you’re asked ‘what does your company do’, keep your answer to a very brief explanation. Don’t ‘work the room’ rushing from group to group as this is not the way to form business relationships. It’s better to have had four good conversations than a dozen meaningless chats.

Words by Paul Rowney, director at Forum Events Ltd.

Looking for a new FM event to attend? You need the Facilities Management Forum…

With the next Facilities Management Forum taking place on January 30 & 31 at the Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted, we thought we’d give you a few reasons to book your place at the event nice and early.

Put simply, if you’re looking for a new and informative facilities management focused industry event, you’ve found it.

First and foremost, the Facilities Management Forum provides a platform for highly-targeted one-to-one meetings between industry professionals and trusted suppliers. But it also comes with a full programme of educational seminars, allowing all attendees to increase their industry knowledge and develop their skill sets while on site…

Plus, there’s full hospitality throughout, including lunches, drinks reception and an evening gala dinner, offering copious networking opportunities to build new business relationships.

But we think the enduring success of the event is best summed up by industry suppliers who have attended previously:

“Every Forum we have attended has been extremely beneficial resulting in either direct sales or further discussion.”

Kinnarps (UK) Ltd

“The Forum is an excellent two weeks of work in two days. Where else would you be able to do this?”

BELFOR

“LCC have been attending FM Forums for a number of years. They are a great networking opportunity and a good source of new business.”

LCC SUPPORT SERVICES

“Always well organised with helpful staff and always a good number of quality potential clients.”

INTERFACEFLOR

“An effective way to meet many buyers in a short time. If you look at cost per meeting it is very good value for money”

Delabie

 

So there you have it. More bespoke than a conference and more focused than an expo, the Facilities Management Forum is the only event you need to attend in 2017.

The next Facilities Management Forum takes place on January 30 & 31, 2017 at the Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted.

For more information or to book your place, call Luke Webster on 01992 374074 or email l.webster@forumevents.co.uk.

Alternatively, visit www.facilitiesmanagementforum.co.uk.  

Attending the Facilities Management Forum? Here are our top tips for industry networking!

If you’re coming to the next Facilities Management Forum (or if you’ve been to one before) you’ll know just how many opportunities there are to network with your industry peers.

The networking areas are where, as industry suppliers or buyers, you can follow up on conversations you’ve had during the one-to-one meetings that form the core of the two days.

Or, you know, talk about the football.

Either way, business is more often than not about building relationships.

We create networking environments that are informal and free of any pressure – whether that’s during the plentiful coffee breaks, over the delicious lunches and gala dinner, or playing roulette as part of the evening entertainment.

To help you get the most out of these opportunities, we’ve pulled together a few top tips for becoming the consummate networker:

Always be yourself: You’re among friends at the Facilities Management Forum, so there’s no need to feel nervous about walking into a big room of people. Our staff will be on hand to help with introductions and grease those social wheels (do come and say ‘hello’!), plus the evening entertainment lineup means fun and relaxation are the name of the game (did we mention the roulette?).

Have a think about what you want to achieve: Who’s in the room? Is there anyone you met earlier in the day that you’d like to follow up with? Whether you’re a supplier or a buyer, you’ve come to the Facilities Management Forum with some specific goals in mind – the networking periods are a chance to help solidify those new partnerships.

Be curious: The Facilities Management Forum seminars are a great place for developing your industry knowledge and learning new skills. And they always create points of discussion. So why not see what everyone else thought of the talks, or swap some ideas on the latest technological developments and trends in the industry? And if you’re new to the industry, there will be seasoned veterans ready and willing to impart their wisdom!

Don’t forget your business cards! You didn’t think we could get through a whole article about networking without mentioning business cards, did you? It’s an old chestnut, but one worth re-roasting. This author has forgotten his cards more times than he cares to remember – it happens. Always keep a few spread between your wallet/purse, pockets and bag – then you’ll be able to produce one when you most need it. But don’t blanket bomb – just because you have 100 cards to give out, it doesn’t mean you have to!

Always follow up: You’ve given your cards out, but hopefully you’ve picked some up too! So make sure that when you get back to the office you log into LinkedIn or fire off some emails to your new contacts while everything’s still fresh in the mind.

Follow the above tips and you won’t go far wrong. Just don’t spend too long in the bar at the end of Day One – you’ll need to be bright as a button for all the networking we have lined up on Day Two!

 

For more information on the Facilities Management Forum, call Luke Webster on
01992 374074 or email
l.webster@forumevents.co.uk

Or visit www.facilitiesmanagementforum.co.uk

Forum Insight: Business-proof your company and personal social media…

Of course, garnering a substantial social media following is important to all industry professionals and companies as a whole; however, a select few are still not implementing the basics to optimising their social presence. More than likely, your profiles will be the first thing new users look at to find out more information, and often dictate how your business, and you as an individual, appear in search results. 

Here, we breakdown the essential elements to maximising the potential of your social accounts, and why this is important for generating new business and creating a lasting impression…

  1. clear job title: How many times have you searched for someone’s profile, only to find the individual considers themselves to be a sales manager, commercial development director, project coordinator, and all of the above? May sound simple, but you’ll be surprised by the number of job titles people list as their current employment; therefore, to make life easier for all parties involved, just stick to one! Short, concise descriptions of your role within a company instead of laying out extensive, essay-style paragraphs will also help users and clients to stay engaged.
     
  2. Keep updating your accounts: Posting daily, or even multiple times a day, is crucial to sustaining a loyal following as well as how others will perceive both your company and your role. Granted – it’s tough work keeping on top of an average of four social accounts, nevertheless, as multiple marketing industry reports suggest, consistent use of social media can boost a company’s site SEO and allows instant communication with your clients. To share out the workload, why not create a weekly schedule where every member of your marketing team is responsible for a particular day of the week. 
     
  3. Select a professional image: I’m sure you’ve all heard this before, but your choice of profile image for both a personal and business account greatly impacts a client’s perception of you; and, with my recent experience of following up with leads after a networking event, some are still choosing to ignore this basic component. Don’t just leave it as a generic grey box; and definitely don’t upload a picture of you and your friends on a night out along the Magaluf strip – for a business, a logo image will allow clients to instantly find you among the other accounts with a similar name. For personal, stick with a simple yet professional, smiley and welcoming headshot.  
     
  4. Include ALL direct contact information: Don’t forget to include information on how people can get in touch with you. Include your preferred contact methods, such as phone, Skype, email, website,  The inclusion of both a professional and personal blog presents itself as a way of existing and potential clients to learn more about you. 
  1. Recommendations: If a social platform provides the opportunity (particularly LinkedIn) it’s a good idea to take full advantage of their ‘Recommendations’ feature. Don’t feel embarrassed to ask a bunch of your loyal clients and even some colleagues to write short recommendation paragraphs for you – but expect to give a little guidance on what they need to write, and be open to doing the same for them. 

Forums vs Expos – how to maximise your precious time out of the office…

With a majority of ‘expert’ advice on Expos being somewhat outdated or, like with many businesses, asserting too much emphasis on easy routes rather than methods that actually work, it’s no wonder people get frustrated and disconcerted when they are looking to effectively network and source new connections without it lessening quality time spent in the office.

Amplified by the dominant presence of social media quick fixes such as: setting up a LinkedIn profile; increasing your Twitter presence; scheduling a large number of email marketing campaigns; and collecting as many business cards as possible at industry events – are key solution in helping you to be astute in intelligently selecting what methods best suit you and your way of working.

Expos can also have a somewhat ‘lazy’ association to it: people picture the huge halls and countless stands as a way of picking up leads and justifying their time out of the office, but realistically a large percentage of exhibitors won’t be of necessary relevance, or the person you need to speak to has decided not to attend at the last minute.

So set aside any previous experiences you may have with networking and Expos, and garner some quality connections by attending one of our Forum Events. Our formula ensures that buyers can increase their knowledge of how, why and where to invest without hanging around waiting for the wrong supplier; as well as ensuring that all suppliers are provided with qualified leads and valuable business is made as a result.

Events relevant to you may include the Facilities Management Forum taking place on January 30-31, 2017. Contact the team today…

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