Brightelm: The Evolve Conference & their Industry Partnerships

31st Jan, 2024

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Brightelm is a British specialist agency providing support across all aspects of events for association and membership bodies. In February, they will be holding the Evolve Conference with a diverse and informative programme, covering emerging technologies, sustainable event planning, advanced marketing strategies and much more. The agency’s director told us about the many partnerships they forged for the event.

Association events specialists Brightelm will debut "Evolve", a unique conference designed specifically to share best practice processes and innovative approaches used to empower event organisers to face the tough times ahead. This one-day conference will take place on 9 February at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London with the aim of equipping all those involved in running events with the knowledge, tools and inspiration needed by delegates representing different sectors. The fundamentals of the programme will be a combination of learning, training and discussion, but with an emphasis on creating meaningful connections. Featuring a diverse programme of facilitators and speakers, the innovative agenda is designed for three levels of association professionals: leaders, managers and beginners.

“Those responsible for organising events for associations must have broad shoulders. They report to CEOs and Boards and are challenged in many ways, not least because they operate in three sectors: the trade or subject their organisation represents; the association industry and the events industry. Many feel isolated and find it difficult to find colleagues who share the same challenges. This is a community in its own right and few others are bringing it together in a truly meaningful way,” Rob Eveleigh (on the right), founder and managing director of Brightelm, tells us. Originally initiated by Rob and later joined by other experienced industry leaders, the event was designed to empower participants with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the changing landscape of the events industry. The programme featured a comprehensive agenda covering a wide range of topics such as emerging technologies, attendee experiences, sustainable and green events, data analytics to drive event ROI, event marketing in the digital age, inclusive and diverse events, and best practices in event logistics and operations.

But as Rob says, it went well beyond that: “What the “events industry” thinks versus the reality of priorities for associations are often different. Sustainability is a common theme in events industry conferences but the specific challenge for associations will be helping delegates obtain a slice of their employer’s carbon budget in order to attend their event. On the other hand, many associations want to use technology better but struggle to identify suppliers which can help them. “Integration” and “user experience” are the buzz words around these conversations at the moment but there don’t seem to be any event tech suppliers, currently, that are doing both really well. I think this will evolve quickly over the next few years and we will start to see some improvements.”

Topics will be covered through interactive experiential workshops, panel discussions, keynote presentations and innovative facilitated networking sessions, and attendees will have the opportunity to interact with other event organisers, share ideas and establish meaningful connections that will enhance their professional growth. “Commercial sales (sponsorship, exhibition, advertising) is always on the agenda, but the specifics about how to increase revenue against a trend of seemingly shrinking budgets and data-based marketing decisions,” he adds.

Partnerships and Sponsors

In order to raise awareness of the Evolve conference among event teams, Brightelm has also announced two further partnerships - Memcom and the attendee experience co (atex). “When I founded the agency, I chose to work exclusively with associations because I wanted to help bring about positive change, and I get to do that through the work we do in events. Brightelm is more of an event agency for associations, we offer similar services to PCOs but tend to work on a service-by-service basis with our clients. Our conversations with clients tend to start with “How can we best help you?” rather than “We’ll run your conference for you”.

With the integration of the extensive leadership network for the membership sector, Memcom, the conference will bring even more impact, promoting high-level discussions and providing networking for new and emerging leaders in the professional association sector. “The values of Memcom are to collaborate, innovate and impact change in society, which sit nicely alongside Brightelm’s values of ‘Meetings with Purpose’. Memcom also has specific strengths in recruitment in the membership sector and will be onsite offering career support to attendees,” Eveleigh clarifies.

Julian Smith, Memcom's Executive Director of Partnerships, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration for this conference: "This partnership exemplifies our commitment to providing membership professionals with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in their careers. At Memcom, our recruitment activities centre on helping the industry gain access to talent and we remain committed to helping individuals develop their skills to become leaders of the future."

The partnership with atex, a pioneer in content solutions, will offer attendees a content experience focused on innovation and future vision, with cutting-edge strategies and technologies for association management and engagement. “Associations and events are inextricably linked organisms, which is why most employ their own events teams which have their own unique skillset. For many organisations events are their lifeblood, and the best way to interact with, and prove purpose for, their members. Our collaboration with atex aligns perfectly with this vision, as they bring their expertise in content innovation to the forefront, enhancing the overall conference experience," says Eveleigh. “Our mission at atex is to change the world of how we gather, and we see the Evolve Conference as a pivotal opportunity to contribute to shaping the future of the association events industry,” expressed Samme Allen (on the left), CEO of atex.

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