A Q&A with Kim Paulden

A Q&A with Kim Paulden, one of The BNC Show's Directors, about life, the pandemic, being Back at the Brewery and BNC Shows moving forward.

How have you been since The BNC were last at The Brewery? It’s been a long two years but staying positive has been a great help.

You and Alec are both such busy people – how did you fill your time during the down period of lockdown? It was really hard. Not being very good at DIY or anything with my hands, I concentrated on coaching kids’ basketball at a local school in Yateley.

What did you miss about events during the Covid19 pandemic? Human contact. I could never live in the middle of a forest! I have to see people every day. This industry is built on people, connections, and it’s such a friendly, upbeat industry. It was hard not seeing friendly faces of colleagues, Club members, friends and clients. But, we’re thankful we’re all ok.

How did you connect with events people during that time? Luckily we have The BNC Networking Club, which I started in 1997. It is basically a way exchanging information about events – corporate to corporate. It is very similar to Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Trip Advisor. I started it before Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Trip Advisor ever existed!

So during the lockdowns we issued our regular e-networking and newsletters plus had virtual campfires on specific topics from running hybdrid award ceremonies to contract negotiation. We even had our iconic BNC Christmas Networking Party online with Song Division.

How do you think people, companies are now? It is like Spring. You can see the green shoots appearing again.

You did a Show last year – how did that go in a different venue? It was very successful and a nice venue to work with. When you try something new it’s always a risk but our BNC community is so loyal and they supported the Show and I am thankful that.

How was the new location received by suppliers and buyers? They really liked it as it is easy to get to and not too big, full of history and atmosphere yet light and bright and a fantastic events team to take care of everything. We’re back there again on 21st September 2022.

How did you feel after The Show? I probably went through the same emotions that we all do post-event: Thankful! Happy! Tired! Celebratory! Buzzing and ready for the next one.

And the decision to go ahead with two shows this year must have been exciting for you. Very exciting. Two years ago we didn’t even know if we had a company to come back to, an industry to return to. It was scary times. But here we are and it’s just great to be back at The Brewery.

Was it an easy decision to come back to The Brewery? No - the Brewery has always done us proud. We choose the venue because it has so much going for it not just in terms of location but it has the wow factor, a good number of rooms, a really supportive AV team plus outstanding catering. The events team are second to none – I highly recommend them.

Tell me some of the things suppliers and buyers have been saying about being back at The BNC Show. What are they looking forward to? Ultimately it’s face to face - no more zooms! And they are desperate to find out WHAT’s NEW and EMERGING in the events industry and they’ll find this out on the day – through our suppliers and through peer-to-peer learning and networking.

What’s new for The Show this year? It is really more spacious, more room in the aisles. And we have a tea/coffee room solely for networking agents and corporates together.

What BNC Show trademark elements are still in place? Quality, Quality, Quality - of the buyers and suppliers.

What message would you give to people still hesitant about holding events/coming out to events in public? If you want to wear a mask please do, you must feel comfortable. We have altered the lay out of the Show to keep social distancing as much as we can and if you have any concerns about anything – leading up to or on the day – please ask one of our friendly team for help.