Venues and event organisers had the chance to quiz agents and build better connections at the Meetings Industry Association (mia)’s biannual Agents Day on Thursday 27 April.

Taking place at Mythe Barn in Leicestershire, the sell-out event was attended by 100 event professionals from across the country as well as 15 agents, representing Capita Travel and Events, Pandora Events, tobook Ltd, arrangeMY, Sundial SOS, Off Limits, Inntel, HRG and Primary Live.

The day started with an interactive Q&A session hosted by Petra Clayton of Custard Communications, giving guests the chance to put their burning questions to the panel of agents.

Over lunch agents circulated between tables to meet with as many venue representatives as possible, before moving onto the afternoon’s team building activity. The delegates took part in the soap box racing challenge, provided by Garlands Corporate, gathering materials to build their cars before taking part in a time-trial race.

Sian Sayward from Inntel took part in the Agents Day and sat on the panel for the Q&A. Speaking after the event, Sian said: “While I always find the mia Agents Days a key diary date, I thought that last week’s session was the best one yet. I enjoyed being involved in the panel session very much and found that although I was there to answer questions from the venues – which proved very interesting and worthwhile in itself – I also gained valuable insight from the other agents involved, all of which I can take back to the business.

“The format of the networking lunch enabled me to speak to a number of different venues and really talk about the issues and challenges they face and how we can support them, and I think finishing the day with the team building really helped to reinforce the message that agents and venues really are better off working together.”

Feedback from venue attendees included: “All of the agents in the Spotlight were honest and insightful which was very helpful. This was very valuable and it was great to hear different views from across the event spectrum. It was great to put faces to names and talk to people in the industry. All in all, it was a great day and I have come away with some useful points to go forward with.”

Jane Longhurst, chief executive of the mia added: “Our Agents Days are our most popular and best-attended events and April’s event at Mythe Barn was no exception. The day provided an excellent opportunity for venues and agents to network and discuss potential future partnerships, and the mia is proud to help facilitate that for its members. Our second Agents Day of 2017 will take place at Robinson College in Cambridge on 30 August and is expected to be another sell-out, so I would encourage anyone wishing to attend to book their places in advance.”

For more information about the mia and its upcoming events, visit



To see an image gallery from the Agents Day, click here.

About the mia

The mia is one of the fastest growing associations in the conference, meetings and events sector, founded by a proactive group of hotel and conference centre operators and booking agents to lead the conference, meetings and events industry, providing accreditation, industry awards, research and a voice to government. It has 530 accredited members.

The mia supports members by:

  • Providing extensive regional networking opportunities on a monthly basis.
  • Helping them to achieve the highest standards of facilities and service through achievement of AIM, the industry standard of quality and excellence.
  • Providing a library of best practice and quality standards guidelines.
  • Promoting AIM to industry buyers.
  • Delivering tangible benefits which support members in the achievement of their own business goals.
  • By the provision of information, education, research and advice all of which lead to improved business performance.
  • By sharing issues of sector importance with them.
  • By raising the profile of business tourism with government.



Mark Chambers, Group Managing Director, Eden Hotel Collection

Rowan Bennett (Development Board Chair), Head of Marketing & Events, Honourable Artillery Company
Kay England, Chief Executive, imago
Chris Morris, Managing Director, Twickenham Experience
Robin Purslow, Director, Eclipse
Martin Stephens, Director, Off Limits Corporate Events
Paul Szomoru (Destination Chair), Head of Business Tourism, Newcastle Gateshead Convention Bureau
Mark Taylor, Chief Executive, QEII Centre
David Vaughton, Director, EEF Venues

Andrew Mosley, Past Chair
Nick Milne, Hon. Secretary
Ivor Turner, Treasurer

Jane Longhurst


Jackson Clark, Managing Director, Patch Media
Tim Clark, Strategic Development Director,
Nicky Harding, Manager, Conference English Riviera
Richard Harrison, Head of Conferences, Warwick Conferences
Ellie Jones, Business Development Manager, Alton Towers Resort

For media enquiries, please contact Custard Communications on / or call 01483 740740.

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