100 top corporate event manager members of The Buyers' Networking Club and exhibitors who will be joining us at our next exciting BNC Event Show came along for our much-talked-about festive and fun-packed BNC Christmas Networking Party...
Thanks for having us Central Hall Westminster! Home of The BNC Event Show July 2018...
What a day we chose to celebrate the fantastic events industry: St Valentine’s Day! Like us, many of you wore your hearts on your sleeves to show your love for your job, your product, your venue and the vibrant world of events...
Powerful face-to-face networking and a serious amount of fun...
Our annual BNC Christmas Networking Party is known as the best in the business. Top people, Top networking at The Top of London's Highest Building....
We are really pleased to be at our new summer venue, Central Hall Westminster and we hope that we will be here for many years to come!
Want to know what people say about The BNC and our events?
With sold-out stands, over 1400 pre-registered visitors and a storm of excitement brewing on social media we knew we were in for a good day on 15th February, the day of our winter 2017 BNC Event Show....
To celebrate two decades of events industry networking, The BNC - Europe’s leading association for event professionals - relaunched its Corporate Networking Forums in style at the Dolce CampoReal, Lisbon...
The BNC once again launched into the festive season with a fantastic Christmas celebration for its top customers...
Event professionals from companies such as Hyundai, Sanofi Pasteur, Moneyfacts and the Cambridge Weight Plan made BNC history on Friday 14th October when they participated in the first ever BNC Gives Back Charity Day...
When The BNC was looking for a forward thinking venue that cares about people and the community The Barbican was top of its list as the key place to kick off its BNC Gives Back campaign...
The BNC made event industry history on 13th April when it held the very first corporate dinner at new super playground Kidzania...
When The BNC Directors were looking for a venue to relaunch the popular annual BNC Forum, they chose well in the country house quality offering of Cliveden – an historic, intriguing and indulgent retreat that is just a leap from London...
The BNC Transparency Action Group met formally for the first time on 28th September in the beautifully appointed Boardroom at The Dorchester Hotel, London...
From all of The BNC we'd like to thank you all for joining us for a fantastic evening at The Hoxton, Holborn, for The BNC Christmas Networking Party 2018!
100 top corporate event manager members of The Buyers' Networking Club and exhibitors who will be joining us at our next exciting BNC Event Show came along for our much-talked-about festive and fun-packed BNC Christmas Networking Party!!!
We hope you enjoyed yourselves and got into the Christmas spirit, especially thanks to our BNC Christmas Sing-Along!
The networking was certainly in full swing and we hope you liked the various entertainment, delicious food and drink, and the fun, quirky event space of The Hoxton, Holborn!
Please scroll down to see scores of fantastic photos and the hilarious festive images and GIFs and to find out what's next in The BNC calendar...
Thank you so much for last night! Had a wonderful time!
Looking forward to the next event!
I just wanted to say thanks so much for a lovely event last night! Food was delicious and all the activities were great!
Thanks again for a wonderful evening!
Dear Kim, Emily and Melissa and of course the rest of the ‘gang’ :)
Thank you so much for a lovely evening at the Hoxton last night. My first xmas party this year.
Thank you also for the lovely hamper. I tucked into it as soon as I got home. (I have sent a thank you email to Tia as well)
All the best, Merry Christmas and see you in February
Thanks so much for a lovely Christmas party yesterday evening at The Hoxton! I had a lot of fun and it really kicked off the festive period nicely for me. It was great to see the hotel too, which I’ve been meaning to get to for a while. I hope you both had a good evening.
Thanks also for the lovely hamper – I shall send a note to Russell at Cowdray House to thank him separately.
Great event last night, it was my first one and couldn’t be happier to be part of such an amazing thing!
I can’t wait to start attending as many 2019 event as possible with you all! J
Please can I find out some more regarding the BNC Corporate Networking Forum on the 4th-6th April.
Lovely to see you, what a fab evening!
Once again, thanks yet again for a truly wonderful evening. It was my first BNC Christmas Networking Party and I loved it. Managed to meet lots of new people as well as getting the opportunity to chat to those I already know.
If I don’t speak to you again, hope you all have a great Christmas and no doubt I will see you in the new year.
Thanks so much for a lovely evening, very enjoyable and valuable!
Have a great Christmas,
Thanks Emily for organising a great event. It was lovely to network with colleagues in the field.
Thank you so much for a wonderful night, I understand what a huge effort it is to put on evenings such as this. I enjoyed the evening and caught up with some great suppliers.
I mailed my contact at Park Plaza Hotels as soon as I got home last night and they have sent me out some follow up information.
Again thank you so much for a wonderful, interesting and useful evening.
Thanks for another great event Emily! Was lovely to see everyone again and I was thrilled to be able to take home a beautiful festive display from Pimlico Flowers
Thank you very much for inviting me, it was a lovely evening.
Best wishes and have a lovely xmas,
I just wanted to say how much all of us enjoyed yesterday! Thank you for a fabulous evening!
Congratulations to our Heads or Tails winner!
Julia White from the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead was the lucky one left standing at the end of a lively game of Heads or Tails and got to take home the beautiful Mulberry handbag. Congrats Julia!!
Commiserations to our runner-up Francesca, who didn’t leave empty handed. She took home a wonderful bouquet of flowers, courtesy of Pimlico Flowers.
We'd like to say a special thanks to...
THE HOXTON, HOLBORN
… for hosting us at their spectacular venue
SPENCER WOOD MAGIC
“More than just a magician…”
… for the beautiful flower displays
… for their great interactive gaming
… for their fantastic photo booth
… for providing us with the great photographer, Giulia, for the evening
What's up next in The BNC events calendar?
The next BNC Event Show is 20th February 2019 at The Brewery, Chiswell Street, EC1Y 4SD. Make sure you and your senior event colleagues are signed up via our website here.
The next BNC Corporate Networking Forum will be from 4th – 6th April 2019 at the Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa. If you’d like to find out more please email me back (Emily Everall, Event Manager, BNC Forums at email@example.com).
The BNC team wishes you wonderful Christmas and we look forward to seeing you again soon!
Kim, Alec, Charles, Annabel, Nathan, Melissa, Christie, Darlene, Francesca and Emily
Just wanted to say thank you for a great show! Always feels welcoming and friendly unlike a lot of the larger shows, thanks again
We would like to thank you for making it possible for us to have a stand at your wonderful show yesterday. It was so nice to be a part of it and was so impressed in the way that we were looked after, what with being fed all the time and all the help and kindness that you gave us setting up the day before and on the day.
The staff at the venue were also really friendly and helpful, especially with all our heavy items! We very much look forward to working with you again for the November networking event. Pimlico Flowers
Thanks again for a great show - I met with some new venues and it was very useful for me.
We have come away with 96 new leads once we had deleted the duplicates and tests, which is great.
A few have already booked site visits at the venue and hopefully something will convert into a confirmed booking. I will keep an eye on this over the coming months so we can measure how successful the show was for us and of course will share any news with you.
Similarly we will also be launching our two new outdoor event spaces at the end of September so I will send details for this too. I hope to speak soon and I am looking forward to our next BNC show! The National Gallery
Just wanted to say thank you for a lovely event as always. All the exhibitors are very friendly and helpful, and the BNC team put on a great day. Have a lovely rest of the week.
BBC World News
I stand by what I said before, your show is probably the best in the events industry to connect buyers to all types of venues, hotels and other suppliers. The quality of the corporate buyers is always quite high, interesting mix of third parties/agencies and also interesting venues and suppliers.
We have made hundreds of new contacts and already initiated a few interactions which is very promising. I want to thank you and the team for all the support in turning around our presence in the show with such short notice and also the support on the day. Cookery School
Congratulations on a great showcase last week, it was very helpful as ever.
Just wanted to thank you immensely for all the help with Sophie and my first BNC exhibit. We’ve got a long road ahead transforming Cineworld’s venue hire but the BNC Show and your efforts in supporting us honestly went a long way to demonstrating we are on the right path. It was a big risk exhibiting so early on in our time with the company (Sophie and I started 4 June!) but we are starting to see it pay off. It was a really enjoyable day and I look forward to being back in February for an even better exhibit.
It’s a shame that football never came home on the night, but we had smiles on our faces either way! Jonathan Woodhouse - Cineworld
I just wanted to say a big Thank You for all the hard work which I know went into the show yesterday. As always, it was very useful and great to meet some new suppliers as well as catch up with some of the usual faces.
Very much appreciated! Please pass on my thanks to the fabulous BNC Team.
McKinsey & Company
Thanks so much for having us, it was a great event and very well organised. We'll know for next time to be there bright and early ;) Really enjoyed the presentation too - the audience were engaged. Eventbrite
I really enjoyed the show this morning, it was great to meet face to face with suppliers and network plus learn about recent new openings/refurbishments.
Looking forward to the next show! CWT Meetings & Events
Thank you for helping Charles and I to exhibit at this year’s BNC Show. Once again, we had some decent leads showing interest and with some possible events but we will have to hope they follow through with them.
It is certainly a far better show with regards delegates and contacts than others at which we have exhibited. We need the enthusiasm for our services on the day to be turned into confirm bookings and new clients! Thanks again and we hope to see you next year as well. Incorporate Entertainment
Thanks for a great show last week – I value the opportunity to network with peers. I really enjoy the seminar programme you put together, it’s a shame I couldn’t make it to the marketing sessions.
Have a great summer! ICSC
We had a really great time on the day and already got few promising leads! Swingers
A big thank you for the excellent event this morning. I will be cancelling going to the Squaremeal event as this one is far superior…lots of ideas and old faces
Thank you for organising such a great show on Wednesday, it was my first BNC and I will most definitely be coming back.
Thank you for a great show today, I haven't been for a few years but actually made it today! It was a great opportunity to catch up with current suppliers and meet new suppliers. The event was well run and had the right number of varied suppliers so worked really well for us and what we were looking for.
We had a great day and hopefully have some exciting leads to work on. Appreciate all of your help.
The show was a great success and I am glad to be a part. I had some good meetings and connected with new international suppliers. Good luck for the next ones!
I have attended the BNC Show, many times over the years, albeit with different companies. Have to say, my gut feeling is that yesterdays was the best one todate – early days I know, but the volume of visitors was very high, especially in the morning and the quality of the visitors / buyers was excellent too. Great to work with you and all the team at BNC. All the best,
We really enjoyed the show yesterday and made some great contacts. Could you send me the details for the summer event please and I’ll see whether we can find the funds to participate. I certainly think it would be worthwhile.
Great show on Wednesday! Really strong crowd and only good vibes throughout the day :) Thank you so much for forwarding the leads, I shall follow up today - how exciting! It would be great to have you at the showcase next Wednesday, if not pls let's get a date in the diary for a catch up. Thank you for having us and pls send my regards to Alec and Kim,
Thank you so much for hosting such a fantastic show. It was my first time attending/exhibiting at The BNC Show and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience – I truly believe it will be significantly beneficial to us at De Vere with some fantastic new leads acquired throughout the day. The hospitality was exceptional and we were really well looked after. Thank you again, see you at the next one!
Another great event today, thank you very much! I could only stay for a few hours yet managed to meet so many new contacts and catch up with existing suppliers. Congrats to you and the team on another great show!
Thanks so much for a great event yesterday! As always, really worthwhile and thoroughly enjoyable.
I hope that the rest of the day went well yesterday. I enjoyed the panel and I hope that the audience got a lot out of it. I think that the general message was ‘take things into your own hands’! The show was super busy and even though I didn’t have much time I managed to catch up with everyone I wanted to and meet a good number of new and interesting suppliers.
Just a very quick one to say congratulations on another amazing show this week – it was fab! Thanks to you & Kimberley & the rest of the team for making it exceed expectations (as usual!)
Thanks so much for inviting me to the BNC events show in London on Wednesday. I had a great – and very productive – time and it was really lovely to meet you at last.
Thank you for putting on such a great show, it was really useful as always.
The BNC show was great (as always!), and the GDPR session in particular was really useful.
I just wanted to say congratulations on a great show yesterday. I’m sorry we didn’t get the opportunity to meet but appreciate you were rushed off your feet doing great work! We would be interested in exhibiting at the July show - please can you send details when you’ve had chance to recover
It was great to exhibit at the show yesterday. Thanks for all your and the team's help!
On behalf of all the team, a huge thank you for everything yesterday! It was a truly great show. Have a wonderful end to your week!
We had a great day and it was an amazing day of networking and relationship building!!! Congratulations for a successful show. Please send my thanks and love to the rest of the team!
Just a very quick note to say a huge thank you for looking after us so wonderfully on Wednesday. It was a beautifully executed event from entrance to exit. I think what stands out most is that the BNC team were visible throughout the day, which is often lacking in so many ways at other events. The staff, food and venue were wonderful. I have lots of (hopefully) fabulous leads to work on and am keeping my fingers firmly crossed on converting them into business. Two quotes have gone our already. I hope the event was a success for all.
Hi Team BNC
Just to say a huge thank you for all your efforts yesterday – I think one of the best BNC Shows to date! Thanks also for the opportunity to joining the wellness panel aka BNC’s version of ‘Loose Woman’ - it’s a topic I feel very strongly about & I’d like to say I ‘ve learnt the hard way myself but in reality I’m still learning! I’ve had lots of positive comments about the session already. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle really enjoyed their Valentine’s day too. Please pass my thanks on to the whole team
Firstly congratulations for putting on such a hugely successful event. The significant amount of hard work that went into it was apparent, made even harder I imagine by the audience you were targeting!
Secondly, thank you so much for inviting me. Not only did I learn valuable new ideas and information from my fellow buyers and suppliers, I had such fun doing it too! We’re all connecting and I’m sure the conversations will continue.
Bravo BNC! Hope to see you on 14th February. Warmest wishes, Jane
What a great networking trip! So nice meeting and laughs, and good friends.
We have very nice connection. Thanks a lot for your amazing smile and organisation.
BNC you rock it … Maud
A *MASSIVE THANK YOU* to you and all of the team who worked so hard this weekend to make the event such a huge success. For me, the opportunity to network with – and learn from – other senior-level buyers was brilliant – sometimes it’s so hard to see past your own office front door, and talking with, and sharing experiences with, buyers who have the same day-to- day experiences, regardless of company or event types, was invaluable.
Thanks again – see you on 14 Feb! Very best wishes, Clare
I hope you are well and safe after our amazing trip to the Canary Islands. Just wanted to pass on my huge congratulations to the team for putting on an expert forum and by far my favourite one to date. The group size was perfect for us allowing us to spend the right amount of time with suppliers and buyers alike. The hotel was fab and the service levels were exceptional. Emily was the jewel in the crown, all communication leading up to the event and during was really incredible and she always had a smile on her face. So much so I will replicate her itinerary for my future events. She really did cover everything and was the most gracious of hosts. Really appreciated the networking sessions too which allowed us time to see everything from both perspectives. Despite us not answering all the questions in the quiz!
Had a really productive time and met contacts old and new. All round 10 out 10 for the event!
Wishing you a fabulous rest of the week ahead. Thanks for a memorable trip and superb execution, Emily
Hi Emily, Hi Kim
Just to say a massive thank you for the networking weekend you have just organised. It was truly helpful and greatly appreciated.
Please pass on my thanks to Nathan, Alec, Charles, Kimberley and Chezzie.
See you on the 14th February, Helen
A massive thank you on a well organized, successful, positive and overall fantastic event. You and your team were amazing and set a standard in organizing events! But a particular hats off to you for being so calm, collected and smiley for the whole trip.
I made some great contacts and it has really motivated me to get more involved in the industry.
If you need any help with the 14th or anything ever, then please do ask,
Awesome event! You nailed it!
Thank you for organising a great BNC Forum – I hope you are feeling relaxed and rested after a couple of days of normality.
It was a great event at which I made useful contacts, both suppliers and buyers. I particularly enjoyed the Friday afternoon discussion session; it’s always so interesting to hear different/similar experiences across the industry (really pleased to hear that I’m not the only one who’s fallen foul of the ‘joint first hold’ issue). If you have any of these sessions running in the future I’d love to hear about them.
Got a few venue viewings booked in over the next couple of weeks so fingers crossed these turn out to be fruitful!
Thanks again Emily for everything – looking forward to seeing you again on the 14th!
All the best, Sophie
I’d also like to take this opportunity to say big thanks to Emily and the rest of the team organising the most memorable networking event I have ever attended. Really productive and well organised! I have learnt so much from the experienced buyers and get to understand more of how the suppliers work.
Great work to the BNC team!
Kind regards, Maxine
Thank you so much for organising such a wonderful trip! Liam and I enjoyed it immensely and made some great new contacts who we are looking forward to following up with soon and at the show.
Thanks again and see you in a couple weeks!
Kind regards, Jen
Thank you also for such a well-organised, insightful few days – I learned a lot and it was lovely to meet you, the BNC team and the suppliers and buyers.
Thank you also for the contact information, I will ensure I share this internally also.
About to register for 14th Feb, see you again soon! So nice to know who you are now!
Kind Regards, Annabel
Clap clap to you Emily and the wonderful team… oh that Victor Wood (Charles) cracked me up so much!
Hope you rested a wee bit xxxx
Thanks Emily. Still reeling from the event. Came back into work today and I swear I left my brain on the balcony in Tenerife!
A huge thank you to you all for the invite and for well organised event, I couldn’t fault any of it. I have met some amazing people, some I hope to do future business with and others I hope to stay in contact with.
The discussions were spot on and very interesting.
Again, thank you for letting me join you and I hope to see you on the 14th.
Enjoy the rest of your week, Candice
Thank you so much for the forum - I always tell people its one of the best things I did for my career and this one did not disappoint (as if it would!)
Can’t imagine how exhausted you guys are so I hope you’re getting some well-earned rest.
One random piece of feedback - I really liked the narrow tables at the morning meetings… made it feel more like a chat than a super formal meeting which was really nice.
Love to all the BNC team and see you soon! Sophie
Thank you so much for having me! I had such a fun weekend and met some great people. I look forward to seeing you in two weeks!
Thank you so, so much for such a fantastic forum. It was such an amazing few days and well worth it with such a great variety of connections.
I will definitely be looking to join along again, look forward to seeing you again in a few weeks
A huge thank you to you and the team for organising such a valuable, interesting and fun trip!
I found the networking sessions really useful, particularly the group sessions, and learnt a lot from meeting so many different people with such different backgrounds.
From knowing no-one on the trip beforehand, I’ve come away with new friends and industry contacts – so definitely worthwhile!
It was also brilliantly organised and ‘just the right amount’ of both ‘work’ and ‘free time’ – so thank you!
Would be great to catch up properly with you over a coffee in the next few weeks.
Thank you so much for your email. I also wanted to express a huge Thank You to you for all your hard work – I had an amazing time and so many interesting chats with everyone.
Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be part of this forum – I truly enjoyed it! See you on Valentine’s Day, Meike
A massive thank you for the last few days! The event was a real success with some great buyers. It was so well organised and the added sun just completed it all. Nice balance for work and relaxation. Emma
I just wanted to say thank you so much for having me at the Forum this weekend. That’s the first time I’ve attended anything like that and I must say how impressed I was with the whole organisation. I found the meetings and networking sessions very useful, and I’ve made some invaluable contacts and connections. It was such a fantastic setting to get everyone together and I’ve only heard good things from everyone I’ve spoken to as well. Such a lovely group of people to spend the past few days with.
A massive well done to you and the team for putting on such a good event and creating an amazing experience for us all. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it and looking forward to seeing you all at the February show.
I hope you are treating yourself to some well deserved (and much needed!) time off to relax.
Many thanks, Lauren
Thank you for trusting us to help you organize BNC Tenerife. It was a pleasure meeting the attendees and sharing not only know how, but many anecdotes and potential business ventures. Marcos
Jamie and I just wanted to extend our thanks for having us at the forum this weekend. We had a fantastic time and felt extremely well looked after. It was great to be a part of something that felt so productive and supportive to those working in events, and also to have the opportunity to meet suppliers who I’m sure we will be looking to work with in the very near future!
Thank you so much for all the hospitality and for putting together such a great event for all involved. Please extend our gratitude to your team, and we look forward to seeing you all in a few weeks at the Brewery!
Thank you so much for organising such a great trip. There was a great mix of people, both buyers and suppliers, which meant that there was always interesting conversation.
It was extremely well organised, which I know from experience is not an easy task.
Many thanks, Sarah
Thanks for sending this across. It was an excellent event, I made lots of potentially interesting contacts and I’m really glad I made the time to attend. I’ll see you at the show!
Kind regards, Melanie
The event was perfect! Well done again :)
We all made the most of the socializing to create great relationships with everyone, you guys included and, well.. it was great fun too!
Thank you for the list and can list wait to see you again at the Show!
Have a great week.
Kind regards, Luca
Jewels, cash, gold, a pirate’s wooden leg – that’s what some of us thought we’d discover along the foreshores of the Thames during our #GreatRiverRescue clean-up event.
Well, ok, maybe that was just me, but most who joined us for the day dreamed-up a scenario in their heads of uncovering some kind of cheeky little treasure that would make a great ‘tell-at-the-pub’ story.
We knew we’d find crisp packets, plastic bottles, old newspapers, and odd boots – plus other recognisable household items - but the curious creatures among us couldn’t help but think that in all that silt, sand and water there might be ‘something’ worth digging up and talking about.
We weren’t disappointed.
However, the ‘something’ turned out to be a shocker – and not of the good kind, either. Instead of treasure, we found ...................well, think the opposite of treasure and you’ll find the collective word for piles and piles of sodden, heavy, wet wipes clearly used and discarded without a thought. Over time they had tumbled through the system, fought in the waters and become tethered together by the iron-like fibres that weave these cloths into brilliantly strong bottom-cleaners for babies.
When you ‘innocently’ flush one teeny, tiny wet wipe thinking it will go ‘poof’ once the lid closes, you are unaware that through the dark and gloomy underworld of sewerageland these ickle wipes find one another and form an impossible chain that slinks through the pipes and expand. They can not be processed as toilet tissue can and so are expelled through the overflow pipe and reappear, lurking like tentacled monsters on the shores. Utterly disgusting.
And if that wasn’t enough of an assault on our beautiful waterways we also found sanitary towels that had being carelessly flushed away and flung out – not by residents of nearby million pound properties, surely, but by people who were quite clearly dragged up through the woods or who had just crash-landed here from another planet.
Who are these people who think these items are ‘flushable’. Bravo London for NOT throwing onto the streets and into the rivers the aforementioned crisp packets, plastic bottles, newspapers and old boots but shame on you for flushing quite obviously non-flushable items through our systems.
What an eye-opening lesson that was for our group of 30 eventprofs who had gathered one windy Friday morning for a networking session of a difference.
Under the #BNCGivesBack initiative they came dressed for river exploration and willing to join a formidable team of ‘River Rescuers’ alongside environmental experts from Thames21.
On went the steel toe-capped wellies and reinforced gloves and with black bags, spades and litter-pickers in hand they and The BNC staff team all set about clearing a stretch of the mighty River Thames just by Battersea Bridge.
Working in groups or getting stuck into an area on their own, our fearless bunch – which included suppliers from Richmond Hill Hotel, Jardin Blanc, Hotel Desk, The Stafford London and YEP Enterprise - weren’t afraid to dig deep and fill bag after bag with waste, making the riverbanks and foreshores beautiful once again. Give an events professional a job to do and they will get it done, goes the adage, and in this instance it was certainly true!
“This is very typical of what we find on a daily basis,” said one Thames21 representative as she clawed at heaps of wet wipes stuck hard to the sand. “It’s a big problem in London. We’re not exactly sure why but it is heartbreaking to see and makes so much work for our teams of volunteers.”
Thames21 works on a daily basis to keep our waters and wildlife free from litter and pollution and offer events like this to corporate groups who want a hands-on experience helping a charity and the environment at the same time.
“We can go out as frequently as people want,” says corporate partnerships officer Seren Nelson. “It takes about three weeks to organise an event for the average group size of 50-60 people and we offer all the gear and support you need.”
Seren worked alongside her Thames21 team at The BNC Gives Back charity day and says we did an amazing job. “Everyone worked really hard and we’ve had reports from the River Port Authority that your group collected just over a tonne of rubbish that day.”
BNC Director Kim Paulden, who, along with co-Director Alec Mumford, helped on the day says:
“We want to do more for charity and after organising fundraising raffles, advice clinics with charity event managers and donating bottles of toiletries to homeless charities we wanted a hands-on activity that people could do whilst chatting."
"Working with Thames21 has been a fantastic and educational experience and a great way to give back to the city that most of us do business in. I am so pleased with the results from the day and we look forward to doing another activity with them in July.”
Viki from Schroders agrees with Kim. “I will be telling everyone about this event one day in the old people’s home!” she jokes. “Seriously though, it was a great event for you to arrange for us Event Managers to give something back to the city we all love so much.”
Comments from social media on the day showed similar enthusaism for the city an the project:
"Huge thanks @bnceventshow for organising today’s Thames Clean Up with @thames21 totally eye opening. We cleaned up about a tonne & half of rubbish mostly face & baby wipes. Please, please don’t flush these! Londoners get involved & show your river some ❤️ "
"Today we're giving back to London in collaboration with the Buyers' Networking Club and @thames21. Our Senior Sales Manager Rachel masters the shovel and gets her hands dirty to clean the river banks of the Thames, together with fellow industry professionals. What a great Clean Team, or may we say Dream Team!"
As we gathered at the end of the day over hot tea and chocolate biscuits to reveal our ‘best find’ there was a little light at the end of the murky tunnel.
Some of our gang had uncovered - to their glee - lost wallets (empty), an ancient vase (possibly) and a moment of huge comedy came when one of our intrepid river rescuers, an event manager from Barclays, pulled out a pair of (surprisingly) clean and bright false teeth from the riverbed.
Another reason to keep talking about this brilliant day and this brilliant charity for quite some time.
This is just a small part of what the wonderful Thames21 charity does. Please find out more at:
We'd planned an awesome event, including all the trademarks of our now famous networking exhibition but this year we went that extra mile to showcase the best in the business by making use of new events space at London’s The Brewery which enabled us to welcome scores of new suppliers to The BNC Event Shows brand and to extend our welcome area.
We also built-in extra special touches as it was the occasion of our tenth – yes, 10th!!! - show and there was the opportunity to celebrate!
There was a Champagne party, free makeovers for guests, extra goodies to take home, over 25 giveaways and luxury prizes to be won plus a stellar line-up of excellent and awe-inspiring speakers including Simon Weston CBE and Brexit experts Nick de Bois and Simon Hughes.
Buyers involved too in gift-giving, too. Their mission, under the #BNCGivesBack campaign, was to bring in unopened toiletries for us to create hampers for cancer patients. Watching everyone happily donate bottles of lotions, perfumes, creams, make-up and bath sets was inspiring and is something we hope to repeat with every show.
“From start to finish it was a non-stop incredible day,” says The BNC’s Director Kim Paulden. “It was our best show to date and I am so pleased that we marked our tenth anniversary with gifts for others. I’m proud of this initiative and thank everyone who took part.”
Another thing we hope to repeat with every show is a phenomenal presence on Twitter! During early afternoon #BNCEventShow was the number two trending hashtag on London Twitter!
Tweets relating to fascinating seminars, informative stand holders and a fun atmosphere flooded the number one social media channel and we topped the likes of Robbie Williams as the hot topic of conversation for the day. Wow!
In a message to BNC members Kim says:
“Thank you for coming to our show and for being such fantastic buyers. You filled the aisles and took the time to speak to the exhibitors and enjoy the day who were thrilled with the energy, atmosphere and engagement levels you brought to the day.
“We organise our BNC Event Shows just for you and are so pleased when year after year the buzz gets greater, the aisles become busier and you - the buyers - go home happier after a few really well spent hours doing research, networking and learning new trends and tips of the trade.
“We're really proud of what we do but we owe it all to you - your enthusiasm and passion for events with quality suppliers at quality venues and destinations challenges us and impresses us and drives what we do. Thank You.”
Are you a full BNC member? Missed the show but would like some notes from seminars, or for us to connect you with exhibitors? Just drop us a line and we’ll sort it for you. Please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
To celebrate two decades of events industry networking, The BNC - Europe’s leading association for event professionals - relaunched its Corporate Networking Forums in style at the Dolce CampoReal, Lisbon...And to bring the event into the 21st century, and as a way of celebrating twenty incredible years, The BNC team added a charity element to the four-day trip and The BNC Gives Back Forum was born.
To qualify all participants had to already be doing, or commit to participate in, some form of individual or group charity work and whilst there, Portuguese DMC EMVIAGEM brought in local charities to join in the networking. At the end of the Forum all attendees agreed to a series of BNC charity initiatives that will be carried out through 2017 and beyond.
It is one of the oldest cities in the world and has practically the warmest winters in Europe! Flying time is just over two hours and there is no time difference!
The large bedrooms and amenities
The chairs in the conference room were c o m f y (it’s the small things!)
The covered courtyard breakout space was so Mediterranean and a welcoming place to sit in between sessions!
The ‘nourishment station’ as it was called was plentiful, stocking piles of delicious snacks that never ran out
The unique canapé options that were beautifully displayed and explained to us when asked (that’s really important!)
Service with a genuine smile – the Portuguese did this a lot (something other hotels and suppliers could learn from)
The thoughtfulness of our arrivals team –the hotel served homemade hot chocolate and melt-in-the-mouth biscuits, the perfect pick-me-up after travelling and it made the check-in process for 50+ people not so bad!
“There’s something really buzzing and ‘alive’ about Lisbon. It has a wonderful energy to it and it’s my favourite place for a short break. There is so much culture and history and the people are incredibly friendly and to top it off the hotels there are outstanding. That’s why I chose Lisbon as the destination for our BNC Gives Back Forum 2017. Our hosts were so accommodating and warm and welcoming, they made The BNC’s 20th Anniversary all the more special.”
“From the minute we arrived at Heathrow’s Terminal 2 our group started networking. I could hear them in the check-in queue! It was brilliant! They were a lively, engaging and incredibly friendly group of event professionals who clearly enjoyed each others’ company and the opportunity to learn more about a destination together and to meet suppliers in a less traditional set-up.
On our second day we had supplier-buyer meetings that went really well and then on the third day we broke off into groups to chat through industry issues and event management problems. Of course, there was lots of storytelling and recommendation sharing as well!
During the day we discussed all things events in conversations that included buyers, suppliers, our Portuguese hosts and charities from the local area.
Key topics were: Transparency, Contracts, Brexit and its Impact on the Events Industry, ROI, Creativity, After Dinner Entertainment Ideas, Health and Safety, Service Levels, Supplier-Buyer Communications and Relationships. We finished with a large group session on charity work and how we can all be more charitable in our own events, as a Club and as an industry as a whole.
Our group literally chatted non-stop throughout the four days: in the hotel’s elegant lounge bar, over breakfast, lunches and dinner in the beautiful Grande Escholha and Manjapão restaurants and then during pockets of free time where they went to the gym, the pool, out on bike rides and to nearby towns. The final excursion – an evening spent at the trendy Museu da Cerveja in the heart of Lisbon town saw the group really bond over a unique tasting and dining experience. By the end of the trip it was evident that solid connections had been made.”
On The BNC Gives Back initiative:
“We’re very lucky to work in the industry that we do,” says Kim Paulden, Director of The BNC and the driver behind The BNC Gives Back initiative.
“It’s a multi-million pound industry and we all arrange or attend very extravagant and privileged events.
To balance that, The BNC wants its members to come together to work towards good causes and to leave a lasting legacy wherever we are – at home or overseas.
I am so pleased with the efforts made by the BNC team and by our members and supplier contacts during the latter part of 2016 and with the Gives Back Forum in Lisbon. There’s a lot more to come as the initiative takes hold and grabs the hearts and imagination of many more BNC people.
It was an honour to meet with charities from Portugal and we hope that we helped them in some way. We will keep in touch and look forward to hearing their updates.”
What the buyers said
“Thank you for a wonderful four days that not only allowed me the opportunity to meet with some amazing people on a professional and personal level but to learn a great deal. I came away from the whole experience with so many tips and ideas. It’s given me back the confidence in my own abilities. Working for a membership organisation, creativity isn't needed and I’d forgotten that I'm creative because I don't get to be creative. Everything is done online these days and you don't get the human interaction that last week’s adventure gave us. You forget the value of face to face meetings even though our careers are about selling face to face meetings to delegates. It’s been an eye opener and will definitely change how I market my events moving forward. I also picked up some secret tricks to use when booking hotels for my holidays thanks to Rita from Sofitel.”
“Thanks so much for having me at the event, it was really useful and hopefully I have found a venue for our London event from it! I really appreciate all the organisation that you guys put into such a great event and look forward to seeing you at another event soon.”
“I just wanted to say thanks again for letting me be part of the forum. It was such a useful event - I still feel like my head's going to explode from learning so much and meeting so many great people, but it was definitely worth it! I'm sure you're well aware of this already, but in addition to being a fantastic networking opportunity it was also superbly organised - Emily is an absolute wonder!”
“I would just like to say a huge thank you for inviting me to the Forum, I had the best time and really picked up some amazing venue contacts. You did a great job in organising and the BNC family are a great team! They made me feel very welcome. I would love to stay in touch and shall be at the London show so hopefully see you then. If you do another Forum I would absolutely love to attend.”
Maria Lourenço, ABMAV
Patrícia Pinto, ABMAV
Telma Teixeira, ABLA
Elsa Pereira, ABLA
With thanks, to our wonderful hosts:
JOIN US NEXT TIME:
We have already sold over half of the supplier spaces and have taken some registrations from buyers for the 2018 overseas BNC Gives Back Forum! If you would like to find out more please contact email@example.com
By Melissa Paulden
Being creative and as curious as ever, The BNC Directors wanted to see if this 'zany' venue would appeal to big kids too, and it certainly did. Over 200 event professionals and suppliers joined together for The BNC Grand Dinner, an annual evening of 'thanks and celebration' for clients and guests of The BNC Event Shows.
Tucked away in an unassuming corner near M&S in London's Westfields, Kidzania is an oasis of fun for kids of all ages. There are 60 activities to explore over two floors in a 'kid sized' city starting with your 'arrival' through an airport departure lounge complete with check-in desks and boarding passes. Visitors to this multi-million pound complex then take a true exit from reality into a land where time suspends and dreams come true.
With 22 venues all over the world Kidzania has left nothing out in its planning. There are roads and buildings, a city square, shops and offices, a music studio, tv station, recycling plant, football stadium, theatre and more, – even the ceiling is covered with a blue and cloudy sky.
It's a place where kids can be kids – run around and be their own bosses, get messy with chocolate and do lots of dressing up but for grown ups the appeal is just as exciting: be who you always wanted to be, live out a fantasy of an alternative career as a weather presenter, rock star or fire fighter and let all of your stresses disappear as you indulge in childhood dreams. What a great place for a staff party, end of year thank you or incentive.
The evening started off with a drinks reception with a difference. With Champagne or cocktail in hand guests started their tour of this wonder-city, sampling what it's like to be a chocolatier in Cadbury's, reading an autocue as a live TV presenter in a fully equipped studio, learning how to be a drummer in the Roland Music Academy or acting the part as a member of British Airways' cabin crew academy. Ice cream making in the Walls factory had people queuing up in their dozens!
When playtime was over, the dinner bell rang and guests headed to the main square to eat 'al fresco' on tables of eight. Lots of networking took place over a Payne & Gunter triumphant three-course meal (the vegetarian was particularly outstanding) and on every table, we're sure, there was a 'what did you want to be when you were younger' kind of conversation that a place like Kidzania would inspire.
Speeches on the night from BNC Directors Kim Paulden and Alec Mumford talked of the new location of The BNC Summer Show (Gibson Hall, 6th July) and launch of a new initiative: The BNC Gives Back Corporate Networking Forum (January 17th-21st 2017 in Portugal) and guests were treated to complimentary tickets to a new production from The BNC Event Shows team – The London Motor Show (Battersea Evolution, 5th-8th May).
"The events industry is known for having a good time with Champagne so we wanted to do something different and really special," announced Kim Paulden of The BNC Gives Back Forum launch. "We're really excited about this: it's where buyers and suppliers will head to Portugal for three days of really great networking but before they join us, they must have completed some sort of charity work.
"We want to show that BNC members care about the world, care about people. The events industry is a very friendly industry and there are some amazing event managers who share knowledge with each other through The BNC. This is a great industry to be in and we hope you'll come on this journey with us."
After dinner the party headed to Kidzania's mini sports stadium to dance into the night to the live sound of the stunning Urban Soul Orchestra. With glasses in one hand and giant lollipops in the other (taken from the fun table centrepieces!), everyone had a great time.
The #BNCrecommends Kidzania – just one tip: plan lots of time to explore the city so that your guests don't stamp their feet, drop their shoulders and cry 'but whyyyyyy?' when you call them in for dinner.
The BNC is proud to announce that following a game of 'heads or tails' just under £500 was raised for Kidney Research UK, a charity close to the winner's (Laura Henwood from Event Prop Hire) heart.
Visit Belfast and Hotel Desk - A two-night trip to Belfast for two including flights and accommodation at one of the Hastings Hotels and the Galgorm Resort and Spa
Royal Garden Hotel - A night's stay in a Garden Suite for two with a traditional English breakfast
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts - A night's weekend stay for two including breakfast at the Andaz London Liverpool Street
Chocolate Tasting with Hotel Chocolat
By Melissa Paulden
By Melissa Paulden