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Smart Venue

The Gallery Rooms, ExCeL London
2:00 – 8:00

The Summit

It’s been a hell of a year for the UK events market, and unsurprisingly venues seem to find themselves in the centre of all the action yet again. New tech, changing organiser expectations and different threats have washed throughout the MICE community and all of these elements combined have resulted in a different set of requirements for venue managers to adhere to.

Conference News and EventBooking are here to demonstrate key things to consider when attempting to maintain growth for your venue and in an increasingly vibrant but crowded market.

The Smart Venue Summit is an afternoon session full of content and discussion opportunities, dedicated to bringing professional peers from venues of all shapes and sizes together, in order to inform understanding of advancements and learn from those with first-hand experience.

Spaces are limited and early booking is highly recommended. Book now!


Who should attend?

Whether your responsible for sales, marketing, operations, Tech or event, our sessions are geared towards every team within an event venue’s set up.


Deep Walia
Founder & CEO - DIGICOOL

Every organisation dreams of enjoying perfect customer engagement – and Deep Walia has created DIGICOOL help deliver just that. Deep founded DIGICOOL eight years ago after recognising that there was a growing need in the market for a strong digital partner to link customers and the experience they expect, using services ranging from branding and identity to website design and development, UX/UI and marketing materials. After studying Business and Financial Services at London Guildhall University, Deep explored the exciting London property market for several years.

Today, Deep’s global team serves businesses around the world in sectors including events, technology, air shows – for example, Farnborough International – and the luxury market. He says: “I’m always driven by the need to be optimal, swift and competitive, and I combine boundless optimism with a promise to listen."

Steve Mackenzie
President - EventBooking

Steve is the President at EventBooking, the world’s very first cloud-based venue management and booking software, based in Knoxville, Tennessee. He has 35 years of experience within the Hospitality and Events industry, 29 of these on the event technology side. Originally from New Zealand, he also lived for 18 years in Australia before moving to the States in 2004.

Before joining EventBooking, he has worked in senior management roles with other event tech companies such as Micros, Ungerboeck Software International, ASP Events and etouches (now Aventri).

Steve has spoken at conferences in over 20 countries about trends in event technology. He’s a graduate of the US Venue Management School, has been an instructor at the VMA’s Venue Management School in Australia since 2011, and at the IAVM Venue Management School since 2017.

Mathew Beech
Client Marketing Director - Patch

Mathew Beech is a Client Marketing Director at event and venue industry marketing and comms agency Patch. Mathew’s has worked with over 50 venues in his career covering nearly all varieties of of event space including Royal Palaces, some of London’s best-known landmarks, sporting venues, academic venues, purpose built conference centres and disused industrial and retail units converted into event space.

With over 10 years’ event industry marketing experience he’s a specialist in strategy, media relations, social media and digital marketing and has Google certification in analytics. Some of his recent achievements include helping a new client hit their income budget for the first time in fifteen years, achieving more organic impressions on social media in 24 hours than a brand had generated for the past 18 months and helping one of his venue clients win Story Events award for best social media marketing at a show.

Jan Denning
Owner - The Hospitality Partnership

Ed Poland
Co-Founder - Hirespace

Chi Zhang
Vice-President of Growth - Ice Gateway


Driving MICE Sales – A different approach

2:00 - 2:35

The Hospitality Partnership

Thinking differently to the traditional way of doing sales… Venue budgets are ever tightening and the challenge for salespeople to find time to actually sell is a continued struggle. The conference, meeting and event sector is one that is forecast to grow and flourish and becomes more and more competitive, how is your share of this market? We look at a different approach of pro-active sales, one that offers consistency in the market place and is effective both financially and resource wise, and importantly, is measurable.

Chatbots – powerful, affordable and essential

2:40 - 3:15


These days we all expect to lay our hands instantaneously on information and answers. A chatbot on your website ensures your prospective clients are instantly engaged, they make your site wholly customer centric and personalised, open up the conversation and shorten the sales cycle. If you haven’t already got a chatbot on board, find out how quickly and easily you can adopt one.

Ice Gateway – Events 2030: How IoT solutions will shape the event industry

3:15 - 3:25

Ice Gateway

The digital revolution has been advancing for decades and is changing almost every industry, including events. Some events continue to develop, others disappear, e.g. the CeBIT. How to make events in 2030 secure and also attractive for the data-driven world is a challenge. Will virtual events replace real events? On the other hand, personnel costs are increasing every year, can events afford simply getting more and more expensive? Or is there another way? You will find the answer in this session.

Rapid Response - how can event venues accommodate for the increasing demand for instant information in a crowded supplier marketplace?

3:45 - 4:20


In a market where buyers have more choice of venues and suppliers than ever before, the ease with which they can obtain quick information has become a leading factor in determining where their business goes. This panel looks at simple ways for venues to prosper in this environment.
The session will focus on; why buyers value live availability and instant responses, how technology has developed to facilitate this changing landscape and how venues can take advantage and win the business.

Being Smart AND Safe with Technology for your Venue

4:25 - 5:00


In today's world, technology has not only changed the way we deliver events but also the way we keep our guests safe and secure. We’ll take a look at what is happening around the globe in terms of the latest venue technology and also the implications this has on security and safety.

The role of traditional marketing in a successful digital strategy

5:05 - 5:40

Patch Media

A quest for efficiency. A belief that if it can't be tracked, it can't be trusted. An addiction to last-click attribution. These have all become motivators for Heads of Marketing to move their spend into digital and performance marketing, yet in the process they've neglected brand building and ignored the knock on effect it has on digital. Brands in all markets are discovering they need to change their mindset from marketing efficiency to marketing effectiveness if they want to be successful.
This talk explores the role conventional advertising plays in a digital and search marketing strategy, the importance of multi-channel attribution and monitoring how activity in one area impacts other areas' performance.


Space is limited at this year’s summit so make sure you book your tickets before they go!

Early bird ticket (before 31st January) – £149

Standard Ticket (after 31st January) – £199