Editor's Blog

When in Rome

The Eternal City became the Eventprofs City for one weekend only as the Site + MPI Global Forum 2018 hit Rome.

It was the first time the two had joined forces – and if the success of this year’s Italian adventure is anything to go by, it won’t be the last.

Taking place at the Waldorf Astoria Cavalieri, perched atop one of Rome’s famous hills, the conference was a four day hive of activity, buzzing with education, networking and general good vibes.

The benefits of co-location were immediately obvious in the education sessions; the sheer range of speakers and sessions was much wider than usual, leaving attendees spoilt for choice. And the value for members of being part of a larger event and meeting more people than usual played a factor.

Highlights included a tech trends session from self-styled Social Media Chef Miguel Neves, during which I found myself somehow called upon to defend the merits of Channel Four show Gogglebox to some disbelieving Americans. And Aoife Delaney’s personal story of her experience returning to the industry after time away to have a baby was honest, inspiring - and worthy of much wider discussion.

Matthew Marcial, MPI’s VP of education and events, said: “It was a great opportunity to bring both organisations together. We’ll see some synergies and long-term relationships. We’re keeping the door open for future collaborations.”

I got a sense that organisers were slightly surprised by the turnout of around 600, but it was definitely a case of the more the merrier.

Speaking of merrier, the MPI Rendezvous at nightclub-on-a-boat Baja was a real hit, as attendees took the opportunity to cut loose and dance the night away. Clearly, no one there was doing Dry January.

Rome made a fantastic host city, but the hotel's edge of town location made sightseeing that little bit harder. Some tours wouldn't have gone amiss, but it's a minor quibble, as I still managed to sneak in a trip to the Trevi Fountain (pictured).

The final day saw Site unveil Bangkok as the location of next year’s Global Forum, and with MPI due to stay in Europe, another joint event won’t be possible straight away. But given the undoubted success of Rome 2018, I wouldn’t be remotely surprised if Site and MPI tried to ensure that their paths crossed again sooner rather than later.

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