Women in Events: Interview with Donna Bushell, Confex

Event spoke exclusively with Donna Bushell, event director for International Confex, which took place at Olympia London last week (12-13 March).

Donna Bushell shares her views on International Confex 2014
Donna Bushell shares her views on International Confex 2014

What have been the biggest things you've learned from Confex 2014?

Working closely with the industry and listening to them was really important to help turn Confex around. With the short time we had to make this event work, I had to get the right team and attitude in place quickly to enable the end result.

What feedback have you have received about Confex 2014?

The feedback has been really positive and extremely flattering. Exhibitors, speakers and visitors have been giving us glowing feedback and commenting on how Confex this year was the best in many years.

Is there anything you would definitely want to change for Confex 2015?

To have more time to put the event together. A whole year will be so much easier than having less than six months from when we purchased Confex. We have some exciting plans for 2015 with the collocation of the Event Production Show and the potential for content that would be of interest to both sets of visitors. We are conducting research and focus groups over the coming months which will enable us to implement a strong sales and marketing strategy to take the show forwards.

Were there any elements of the show that proved really popular?

The seminar programmes proved very popular and we invested a great deal of time putting more than 170 speakers into a programme that would attract the right type of buyers into the show. Our keynote speakers Karren Brady and Kanya King really were outstanding and the time they also spent at the show talking to visitors and exhibitors proved really popular, as well as a number of selfies being taken. A flashmob at the end of day one went down really well, as did the networking opportunities.

What lies ahead for Confex?

We have now put Confex firmly back on the map, so we will be continuing to work closely with the industry and will be looking to grow the event, visitor programmes and feature content for 2015 and beyond. Collocating EPS will bring another dimension that will enable us to add even more exciting features and content to Confex, thus enabling us to offer even more to the buyers that attend the show.

Comment below to let us know what you think.

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