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The Venues & Destinations Summit offers personal assistants and event planners the ideal opportunity to source ideas for new locations during a single day out of the office. Molly Dyson finds out what’s in store

Most busy PAs will at some point in their career face the difficult situation of needing to source a new venue for a big event while trying to stay on top of all their usual tasks. Trolling the internet for ideas is a big time-waster that often leads to very few results, while large exhibitions can be overwhelming and tiring. On the other hand, the annual Venues & Destinations Summit provides the opportunity to sit down face-to-face with suppliers from around the world under one roof.

This year’s summit promises to give delegates a wide variety of suppliers to speak with, including Club Med, Virgin Limited Edition, Robinson College and Group 7 Events. PAs that have already signed up to attend this free one-day event come from a range of backgrounds and companies such as the NSPCC, American Express, Lenovo, the BBC and HSBC.

In addition to the unparalleled opportunities to attend a personalised schedule of face-to-face meetings, delegates can take the day out of the office to learn new skills and get a few helpful tips from industry experts through a series of tailored seminars. This year’s speakers include training consultant Candy Bowman, Steven Mackenzie of etouches, PA coach Sue France and Azimuth Marketing Communications’ Jonathan Cohen.

Topics for the seminars are truly varied, with sessions such as “Communicating with empathy – rapport building”, “Event technology trends”, “Neuroscience – maximise your brain for excellence” and “Destination – the backdrop for the event or the start of the corporate journey.”

There will be plenty of networking opportunities for those attending too. As well as coffee breaks, you’ll be treated to a complimentary networking buffet lunch that will give you the chance to speak with like-minded professionals who can share their knowledge and experience with you.

Feedback from both delegates and suppliers at past events has been positive, giving testimony to the effectiveness of the format. Lifestyle PA London says the day is “a great opportunity to speak face-to-face with relevant suppliers to cut out the many emails, telephone calls and legwork” involved in venue sourcing.

A representative of MSE Meetingrooms calls it a “great event that allows quality time for both buyers and suppliers,” adding that the day is “hassle free”. Meanwhile, an attendee from Club Med says summit organiser Forum Events “has been great in understanding our needs and looking after us” and comments that there is a “great onsite events team”.

The PA from Credit Suisse sums up the day well, saying: “It’s extremely worthwhile being able to network in a very informal way, meeting suppliers that could potentially help your company in the future. I highly recommend it.”

Essential details
Venues & Destinations Summit 2015
Date: 7 October
Venue: Hilton London Wembley
For more information, visit To register to attend as a delegate, contact Laura Spratt at, or call 01992 374053. For supplier information, contact Lucy Kingsbury at, or call 01992 374059