Last week I attended EIBTM in Barcelona. It is a huge exhibition and conference for the events industry. There are hundreds and hundreds of exhibitions and the same number of training sessions taking place over the three days. Here is a little picture I took of the show to give you an idea of the scale… this shows only a quarter of the show!I’m quite lucky because I work in the events industry so my colleagues understand that I want to attend events that will support my professional development. I also attend a lot of events for my work itself particularly when I am asked to source venues and meet new suppliers. This means that I am not always in the office. As I said this is completely accepted in my current role but in previous jobs this scenario certainly would not have been the case.

It is difficult for assistants to justify why they need to leave the office for a day or two to attend such events as EIBTM but the benefits are so great that I think we should encourage our managers to actually unlock us from our desks at least a few times a year! As we are all thinking about our objectives for next year I think this is the perfect time to have a look at next year’s events calendar and get some of the shows in your diary.

The events industry has loads and loads of exhibitions, the marketing industry has a few and of course there are always exhibitions for the hospitality industry and travel sector. All of which are relevant to our industry too! There is certainly an increase in exhibitions specifically for assistants. They are normally free to attend, many of the shows offer a hosted buyer scheme which includes free transport and accommodation for overseas exhibitions and most have a training programme along with the exhibition itself. I attended a few training sessions while at EIBTM and even though I am an EA I definitely took something away from each speaker. So all in all it was well worth it… it didn’t hurt that it is was in Barcelona either! Here is another blog about EIBTM from an event organisers perspective you can see me at the back of one of the pictures enjoying the networking / tapas and alcohol consuming.

As an aside, here is a little presentation I did for the show which details my reasons why event organisers should bring their next event to Barcelona. I live here so hands up I am totally bias!