By Becky Vance, Digital Manager

As official sponsors of the Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) press office, the Wildwood team was out in force at ISE 2020, from the 10th to 14th February. We have several clients on the show floor, so the team were busy accompanying media to stands, talking business, and making new contacts. But for me, one of the most satisfying parts of ISE was seeing the turnout and value gained from our client’s networking events.

To give context, ISE is the world’s largest audiovisual show, with 52,000 individual visitors stepping foot on the show floor over four days in 2020. With a range like that, it would be foolish to overlook the potential that networking can bring.

Networking can start conversations

When I say networking, I’m not talking about a reception with nibbles and drinks – although this method can be effective – I’m referring to a higher level of networking to attract new people who may not have heard of your brand before.

For example, at ISE 2020 we worked with one of our clients, the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA™) to arrange their Women’s Council event on the Wednesday of the Show, which consisted of two panel discussions, a guest appearance from Hon. Ms Chacon, the Minister of Enterprise and Knowledge, Government of Catalonia, and information on partner Women in AV’s (WAVE) mentoring scheme. This was followed by an hour-long networking reception to end the day.

With the programme focused on diversity and inclusion, our two panels discussed their route into AV, how they’ve developed their roles and what they’re doing to encourage younger women to get into the industry.

The event was hosted on ISE’s Main Stage rather than the clients stand, making it feel less about a brand and more like an education offering, which in turn attracted a brilliant turnout. There was only standing room available even before the event started!

The audience were engaged in the talks, asking questions to the panel and sharing their own experiences. Timings worked brilliantly too – hosting an event like this near the end of the day means people are relaxed and willing to stick around for a bit longer to network.

How it could work for you

These types of events work well in a conference setting, where people are already gathered for business and looking to learn new things. It’s an opportunity to talk about wider ventures and build a network, rather than push product. It helps to be seen as a company that cares about its community.

Ideas for event focus’ could be:

  • Professional development workshops – motivating sessions for mindfulness, presentation skills, productivity etc.
  • Feedback sessions – new product feedback or industry trend analysis
  • Workforce development – how to attract new skillsets and diverse workers to your company
  • Creative day – asking attendees to meet and mix minds on a topic with ‘yes, and’
  • Quiz night – a way to bring friends of and new people together to make connections without business talk

Wildwood can help

At Wildwood, we have close contacts across the AV, Technology, Housebuilding and Design industries. We often source speakers and notable industry influencers for clients that will attract a crowd.

Our team also has a lengthy experience in event co-ordination and management. We’ll help you book in space, source speakers and organise the programme, and when it comes to the day, we can make sure the logistics all run smoothly. Plus – with a PR team at your disposal, we have links with media to make sure your turnout is a roaring success.

Sound good? Get in touch with us to discuss your next event.

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