Last week marked that time of year again, when event bods across the industry, from all over the UK, head over to London’s Olympia to check out what’s new and exciting in the world of events at International Confex and the Event Production Show.
For me, the two expos epitomise everything I love about events – the sheer variety and wonderful unpredictability of it all. Giant Robots and pirouetting ballerinas roaming amongst venue exhibitors, floating spheres and suspended trees, plant hire vehicles parked up alongside themed ‘Alice in Wonderland’ pop up areas… It’s a fantastic representation of the vast range of expertise and creativity within our industry, and always a great opportunity to meet new suppliers.
Of course, if I was to talk about all the interesting exhibitors we met then I’d be here all day, so instead, here’s a run down of our top 5 from Confex and EPS:
Founded by a couple of inventors, Guineapig create ‘introvert inspired inventions’ which take the form of quirky, cool installations and focal points which aim to create an intimate, calm connection with guests, even in the frenetic bustle of crowds at an expo. We loved their Dancing Spheres that float and dance in time with the bpm of the music playing.
- Festival chairs
Perfectly simple and undeniably cool, these portable, fully brandable, flat-packed cardboard stools can be instantly folded out to create your own seat wherever and whenever you want. By the end of a long day on my feet, I found myself already wishing I had my own!
- Give as you Live
An altruistic take on sites such as Quidco and Top Cashback, the premise behind this site is that you select a charity, from a choice of thousands of UK-registered options, and every time you shop with one of the 4,100 online partner stores, you donate money to charity for free. If used for business purchases, you can even get complimentary CSR reports, and with huge names taking part such as Tesco, Amazon, BT, M&S and many more, this is a great way to give something back.
- Event Block Hire
Essentially, these are giant colourful lego-style blocks which you can use to create cool seating areas, bars, divide spaces, or just make cool giant shapes. Simple and great fun!
- Lick me, I’m delicious
These steampunk-esque machines don’t only look great at an event, they also produce weird and wonderful, fantastic edible experiences for guests. The instant chocolate ‘logopop’ lollies were delicious, as the name promised, but the real eye opener for us was the cookie flavoured edible mist. Has to be tried to be believed!