United Networks of International Corporate Event Organizers celebrates its first European Congress

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The Geneva-based United Networks of International Corporate Event Organizers (UNICEO) recently celebrated its inaugural European Congress in the Hungarian capital. Held at the Kempinski Hotel Corvinus, located in central Budapest just metres from the emblematic Danube, the two-day congress brought together over 150 UNICEO members and keynote speakers. Numerous countries were represented from the UK to Russia, the UAE to China.

Entitled ‘‘Leading Events to the Future’, the Congress provided two full days of insight, knowledge and inspiration for participants with the aim of letting them experience the “Power of Collective Intelligence”.

Divided into four thematic sections, Measurement, Engagement, Technology and Innovation, and Leadership, the Congress programme adopted an innovative format with keynote sessions, panel discussions and Collective Intelligence Activities where participants were able to share ideas and pool resources while working on practical issues that are commonplace in their everyday roles as event organizers.

Measurement saw keynotes speakers offer insight into why live events are more important than ever before; how to tap into participants’ minds to reveal the extent of their engagement; and how to measure the success of social media. UNICEO members discovered how the avocado is the new superfood of storytelling, why 95% of conventional data collection is ineffective and the power of the #Paris2024 hashtag.

The engagement section focused on how to keep event participants’ minds from wandering to ensure they get maximum benefit from an event. UNICEO members were treated to a spectacular magic trick, tips from a panel of experts on how to engage very different event attendees plus a lively generational debate.

The morning of Technology and Innovation tackled diverse topics such as face recognition at event registration, the up-and-coming trend of gamification and how start-up technology will change big events such as the Olympics. UNICEO members also had the opportunity to visit the Tech Place where numerous companies offered innovative tricks and tools for events as we move into the future.

The final session looked at Leadership. UNICEO members discovered from a military General why style is important to be a true leader and from Marriott International why caring for your team and employees is essential to lead efficiently. Finally, participants´own leadership skills were tested to the limit in the last Collective Intelligence Activity where they had to manage a crisis.

Keynote speakers: The first UNICEO European Congress brought together some of the world’s most eminent event organizers and keynote speakers. Members heard from top professionals from companies across the board – Bayer, Cisco Systems, Heineken, HP, Marriott International, Microsoft, Schneider Electric and UBS, to name just a few. Speakers from all walks of life including military offered their insight and advice, all under the expert guidance of the Master of Ceremonies, Laura Schwartz. White House Director of Events under the Clinton administration, Schwartz also had plenty of best practice tips to pass on to UNICEO members. Opening was made by Bob Bejan, Head of Experiential Marketing and Events at Microsoft International.