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Industry blacklist emailed to conference attendees

List of "scammer" attendees at industry events sent out to attendees of Association Meetings Conference as a 'warning'

A name and shame list of accused bogus industry professionals has been emailed to attendees of last month's Association Meetings Conference, with a warning not to invite them to future events.

The list - distributed from a Gmail account and seemingly collated from a selection of blogs - lists the characteristics, contact details and attendance history of 31 people who are alleged to have no valuable connection to the events industry.

The Association Meetings Conference has distanced itself from the email, saying it was in "no way" associated with it.

The anonymous email was sent out on Monday, saying: "As attendees of  last month’s Association Meetings Conference in London, we thought you should be made aware of this. Many of you no doubt came across these people while in town and the rest of you will encounter them in the near future. This is just a public information announcement to the meetings and events industry so that the right people are allowed into your events and more importantly, the wrong people are kept out. The following are the wrong people. Use the information wisely and let all of your colleagues and contacts know."

The people named on the list, which M&IT has chosen not to reveal, are given nicknames such as 'gatecrasher', 'lunatic', 'beer stealer', 'homeless', 'the Guzzler' and 'retiree'. In describing one allegedly fraudulent events professional, the email said: "This old timer is still operating in and around London and Europe. Well into her 80’s and constantly applying for FAM trips, this pensioner doesn’t work in events or book anything, except maybe a taxi en route to her latest FAM trip!  All she does is go to showcases and try to get on FAM trips.  Please, for the love of god, stop inviting this geriatric."

A spokesperson for the Association Meetings Conference said: "The 'industry blacklist' email, as referred to by M&IT, was not sent by the organisers of the Association Meetings Conference and the sender of the email is in no way associated with the conference. As a leading industry event, we carefully qualify the event professionals who attend and regularly audit our database to ensure it is accurate and up to date." 

The spokesperson added that no-one identified in the blacklist attended the Association Meetings Conference.

For those working in the industry it will come as no surprise that events are gate-crashed and clearly there are serial offenders out there. However, we’re not sure if naming and shaming is the answer; rather it’s up to you to validate your guest list. Saying that, please let us know your thoughts on the matter and if you’d care to share your tips on dealing with unwanted guests then drop us a line or leave a comment below. 

  • Venue Sales 24/09/2017

    It’s interesting to see people on here attacking the messenger rather than the message. Is that because they know that what is said it in fact true and therefore there’s no way to argue against it? To set the record straight, this list has several industry authors—anyone who’s read it can tell you this, yet is remarkably detailed (not to mention accurate). As a venue, we had our own “list” of people we were either unsure about or outright convinced were not genuine event planners and this list has only confirmed our own observations. What’s more, we are perfectly sane, rationally minded, event professionals. If it’s anyone who has “mental health issues” it’s those who have so deluded themselves into thinking they’re actually going to book a meeting room, hotel, or cruise, when they’ve never booked anything in their entire lives! In fact, the overwhelming entitlement felt by these psychopaths to attend any event of their choosing, by hook or crook, indicates acute narcissistic tendencies. So if you’ve found yourself on this list, then you have only yourself to blame. You were a ligger before this list was created and you’ll be a ligger long after. The only difference is you’ll be ligging at less and less events, but you won't be ligging at ours. That’s what’s got the liggers, liars, and frauds riled up.

  • Anonymous user 19/09/2017

    The troll in question, who clearly cannot be working in the events industry if they have so much time to research and compile a list of gatecrashers. On the contrary, it's more likely that the anonymous source is also a seasoned gatecrasher with a personal agenda or as is sadly more commonly the case, mental health issues; namely narcissistic, psychopathic or sadistic tendencies.

    While I appreciate the industry needs to adapt to ensure only those that have been invited to an event are in attendance, it is however; problematic when the source cannot be verified and thus accepting information containing vile comments as a basis upon which to bring about the change.

  • Jennfier Bivens 18/09/2017

    I think you should do a feature on fam trips as there are many liggers on these trips and organisers need to know who they are. These people have no business being on these trips. They have no business at all! Please stop inviting these frauds! They will NEVER ever give you ANY business.

  • Felicity Hart 03/08/2017

    Graham, that's the best thing I've read all week. Let's hope the rest of them get the message and slink off. Unlikely, but there's always hope.

  • Graham Burroughs 03/08/2017

    If this is to be believed, then it would appear that at least one very well known gatecrasher has hung up his lanyard!

    Maybe there's no connection to this list, but good riddance to this pest and all of his associates too.

  • Jack Ward of JWA 24/07/2017

    The only anonymity I have a problem with is not knowing who's on the list. If you don't know who's on it, how are you supposed to manage your guest lists? There are very good reasons why the authors may need to remain private (they'd likely be sacked), but very few for recipients not releasing the names of the offenders. It defeats the purpose of having the list.

  • Sylvain Bouteiller 20/07/2017

    This is the most talked about topic of the last 10 days. Normally, like all of you , I am way too busy to write and these days too busy to find new clients. I will make an exception. There are some fundamental issues there. The first issue is that it is "anonymous". I really don't like this in general full stop. We live in a democratic country and the author should be direct with his or her frustrations. I condemn "anonymity" , we meant to be men and women, not mice (can you see the pun there).The second issue is that this list or any list , if it is what people want to do, should be between the suppliers and the Hoteliers.A list of 31? only 31? I am sure there are more than one hundred in general.It is a question of "screening" the invitees , it is never easy with partners or +1, I know , there are ways of doing it even if this cannot be done at 100% especially for an evening showcase. Suppliers will lose the cost of a few Gin and tonic and canapes. Where it is more costly , it is with Familiarisation/Educational trips (yes Fam for short) and Forums.Which these should be respected even more and it is also down to the needs of the buyers and what returns Hoteliers and buyers will get from these. Saying this, these days some companies are screening the relevant buyers much better than 10 years ago. I still remember years ago a lady not turning up for her first day meetings at all (when the suppliers paid thousands of pounds to meet with agents), after a party night, paid you guessed it , by the forum organiser and the suppliers themselves. It turned out that her company initials were something like Not Such a Company or something similar , please do not quote me on this it was a long time ago and I am old now.This lady was sent back to the UK , illico presto. Even the organisers of this forum, one of the most serious company in our industry, was duped by this lady. Incredible what some people would do for free drinks, food, accommodation, flights ...My point is that no one is safe even with screening severely. I personally think that if there are some "recidivists", it should be shared between suppliers and Hoteliers and at their discretion and with professionalism to make the relevant actions
    . It is not really our business for us buyers, I know we all love a gossip. No one is whiter than white,no one is perfect, I am not, but I have a dislike for "anonymity" full stop which is possibly as bad than the list itself. Any comments are welcome...directly.
    We are all lucky to work in this industry, yes lucky, sometimes I feel it is abused but we are sometimes as guilty even if it is in a small dose.

  • Showcase Guestlist 19/07/2017

    Jane has a point, but I'm guessing those on the list already know who they are. Just try coming to our event next week, we're ready for you. Not on the list? No entry!

  • Jane Donnelly 19/07/2017

    Not in favour of lists like these. Unless we know who's on them, how are we supposed to play our part? I think it should be published and those on it publicly named and shamed. Let them justify why they want to come to an event and not the other way around. Otherwise what's the point?

  • Venue Supplier 17/07/2017

    As an original recipient, we’re not in favour of publishing this list, because for the first time, organisers have a chance to take meaningful industry wide action. Obviously these names were chosen and distributed for a reason. We’re told these are the worst offenders, not only in their own right, but terms of publicising (forwarding of emails) and bringing to your events the wrong crowd.

    So here’s our suggestion to organisers who have received this list. Just take the names out of your database, even temporarily. Don’t accept registrations from these people either as RSVPs or plus 1s just and see what happens. If the number of freeloaders and timewasters at your events decreases, then you’ll know who the “guilty” parties are. If you find other attendees trying to bring these people as plus 1s, then you know who the “weak links” in your guess lists are. Those you can deal with by either removal, or by taking them aside and explaining the situation.

    We are employing an immediate moratorium, albeit temporary, on all listed names and we shall see what happens. If successful, then we shall consider some form of permanent embargo. We’d urge all recipients to do the same. We believe failure to act will be more harmful than taking a sensible, measured approach, like the one outlined above.

  • Anonymous user 17/07/2017

    "A spokesperson for the Association Meetings Conference added that no-one identified in the blacklist attended the Association Meetings Conference." That's rather carefully worded because at the evening reception, there were at least two members of the list in attendance. If organisers had had the list, they never would have let these people in. I'm sure the reason they didn't attend the actual conference (if that's the case), is that there was no alcohol there!

  • Meeting Booker 14/07/2017

    So we got the list this afternoon. There are 31 entries and 35 names (some entries list people in groups). Name calling aside, it does appear to be well researched and largely corresponds to our own list. There’s a “’holistic events consultant”, and “art dealer”, a “Feng Shui” expert, a “weasely looking man” and his “dull and slightly retarded partner.” There are one or two employees of blue chip companies (but they don’t work in the events department) and a handful of PA/ EAs, but the bulk are freelancers or people who don’t have companies at all.

  • Hollie Day of Freelance 13/07/2017

    The fam trip thing is so true. Oftentimes, you end up on one of these alongside a raft of people, with dubious credentials at best, who it would seem are just there to get their jollies! Some most unsavoury characters indeed!

  • Julian Bray of Media Associates 13/07/2017

    While not supporting the freeloaders or those who blag FAM trips, you have to wonder at people who make it a full time occupation just to get invited. At one time FAM trips were of value - a time before the internet - and there was no other way to experience the destination. Air travel is so cheap its often more practical to set up your own visit, see a few contacts and fly in and out on the same day. So no one will really know you were out of the office...... meanwhile my diary is clear and if you wish to bribe me with a case of Moet, my door is always open

  • Event Organiser 13/07/2017

    Was at an event last night and there were only two people who shouldn't have been there. They stood stood out like sore thumbs and the organiser asked them to leave. At the same event last year, there were at least a dozen, so professional or not, I'm in favour of this because it works.

  • Ima Chicken 12/07/2017

    Come on, it's not like it wouldn't be helpful to know who the freeloaders are! We would share information about scam events, why not scam attendees>

  • Cherry Brandy 12/07/2017

    The thing with these types of emails is that it's so hard to validate the information. If what's written is false, misleading, or incomplete, then it can be extremely damaging to the individual/ organisation and almost impossible to recover from. That said, I think I recognise the "geriatric" so maybe there's some truth to this. As for "lunatic" there are many.

  • Anonymous user 12/07/2017

    There are too many freeloaders, 'consultants' and snake-oil salesmen around and most suppliers have their own blacklists which weed them out, but if you're new to the business then you may not be wise to these people and their nefarious ways!

    I'd also suggest that as this is one of the most discussed posts on Meetpie for sometime it's clearly struck a chord with colleagues across the industry and should therefore be debated further.

  • Anonymous user 11/07/2017

    As a consultant in this industry selling my wares to venues based on years of venue experience, I am not convinced that the best way to drum
    up business is to highlight the fact that I thought timewasters paid for by my venue were "hilarious". You won't see me hoisting my petard.

  • Anonymous user 11/07/2017

    Wow this person/people must have a lot of time on their hands! Obviously not busy winning new business or working on events to bring to the suppliers who so kindly host them. I wish I had a few spare hours in the day to trawl endlessly through other people’s blogs and tweets, but then again if I did I’d spend my time more productively. Hosts are responsible for who they invite to events/fams, if they get their fingers burnt by the odd freeloader it is down to them to learn from their mistakes and compile a different invite list next time. Simple.

  • Event Professional 11/07/2017

    A cowardly action by a troll hiding behind on line anonymity which is sadly an increasing epidemic in all areas of modern society. I recognise that this is a problem sometimes but surely to curb it all it takes is a little more vetting of the invite list and a more rigorous door policy? There are so many opportunities to attend events and fams, and with many taking place on the same evenings/weekends there is bound to be a competitive push by hosts to maximise the number of attendees which can lead to the focus being on quantity rather than quality. For fams whilst a large majority are bona fide clients/agents I am sure, there are a few who could easily be mistaken for Judith Chalmers. However surely this is for the hosts to decide who would be a valuable attendee, and if they get it wrong then they learn by their mistakes for next time?

  • Samme Allen of Sequoia Partnership 11/07/2017

    We used to have people come to the Barbican events who I'm sure weren't event profs, however they duly came on the site inspections and became an extension of the sales team! They were hilarious.
    But qualify your data is the key recommendation from this article.

  • Hugo Ponsonby Smythe of PS Taker Ltd 11/07/2017

    If this means I won't get my Jimmy Choos and free lipstick giveaway at the BNC Show then expect a letter.

  • Alice Walker 11/07/2017

    Attended an event recently where limited drinks tokens were used. Those who had come expecting an evening of free drinking were left sorely disappointed and scrounging for tokens. This is the way forward. No flowing fizz? That should weed out the greedy and the undesirables.

  • Chetan Shah of micebook 11/07/2017

    We encountered the same for our recent micebook "Preview" event and then subsequently have had a follow up from the gmail address naming some other people. I agree that is up to each organisation to vet their attendees but also if there are some serial fraudsters then it would be good to know...

  • David Hackett of Meetings Guru Limited 11/07/2017

    How nice to know that my contribution to the events industry is now being recognised 🤓 . Four decades in the industry and I am now purportedly without value because I don't (often) book groups directly - despite that I am still frequently able to help and direct re destinations/ hotels/ suppliers and relationships.

  • Anonymous user 11/07/2017

    I received this email even though I did not attend the Associations Meetings Conference and I have to say it did raise an eyebrow. Whilst I understand that non-qualified delegates can be an issue, the language used in this email was beyond inappropriate and sending it from a Gmail account to a non-BCC list of attendees does not exactly highlight professionalism in itself!

  • Anonymous user 11/07/2017

    I would love to take a look at that list and compere it to mine which I have been compiling over the last few years ! The ones that reply too easily are the ones that require additional qualification and investigation ... let's root these fraudsters out !

  • Anonymous user 10/07/2017

    How to deal with unwanted guests - easy. Tell them it is now a cash bar.

  • Hugo Ponsonby Smythe of PS Taker Ltd 10/07/2017

    There's another list with all the industry consultants on it who don't actually have any business to bring to the table either.

    There's about 1,287,412 on that.

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