Olivia’s insight into the M&IT Agency Challenge 2018

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Olivia Unsworth, Junior Event Manager here at Venues and Events International attended the recent M&IT Challenge at Celtic Manor and took away so much from the event, she wanted to share. Check out her latest blog…

Now back to work and fully recovered from the busy but fabulous few days I spent at the Celtic Manor Resort last week for the M&IT Agency Challenge 2018, I wanted to share my insight into everything I learnt/experienced.

I have to start this off with a huge congratulations and thanks to all the team at M&IT and CAT publications for making sure the event was so seamless, enjoyable but thoroughly professional. The event ran like clockwork and I’m sure this is something all agents that attended can applaud the team for.

Having to travel only the short distance from Swindon to Newport, straight down the M4, I travelled up on Wednesday morning. However, I know guests that travelled from further afield had a networking dinner the night prior which looked and sounded amazing. When I arrived, I stored my luggage safely and grabbed a coffee for that mid-morning pick-me-up before finding my table as according to the colour on my badge – orange team for the win!

The day began with presentations and short quizzes from different suppliers including but not limited to the ICC Wales, Flanders Meeting and Convention Centre Antwerp and the Barbican. All presentations were engaging and interesting, I learnt something about every destination/venue that I didn’t know before. I was most impressed by Flanders Meeting and Convention Centre Antwerp or should I say ‘the room with a zoo’, a convention centre set in the middle of a zoo – how about that for a breakout session!?

We then went into our first challenge – the video challenge – I will try to skim over this one as quickly as I can because I’m not sure our video will be making the Oscars anytime soon (sorry orange team!). In short, each team was given the World Cup 2030 pitch as the theme and we had to make a short video incorporating this. It was then onto a networking lunch before more presentations and quizzes. The lunch was delicious and super healthy – it will be the delegate lunch that will be served at the new ICC Wales opening July 2019. It was great to experience and try this for myself so that should I propose the ICC Wales to any of my clients, I know first-hand how fantastic it is.

The day was finished with a networking BBQ dinner which was very relaxed but again, the food was great and I got to speak to and share tips with some fantastic event professionals.

Thursday began with more presentations before a final challenge, ours was the chocolate challenge where each person had to design chocolates but we were measured on every aspect from presentation to hygiene! It was then back to the main room for presentations/quizzes before a networking lunch and finally, 1:1 appointments. This, for me, was the most beneficial part of the whole event. Getting to speak with suppliers 1:1 was great as we could speak about specific enquiries we currently have or think would work.

The event finished with a fabulous gala dinner at the Twenty Ten Clubhouse, we were greeted with interesting cocktails amongst the breath-taking views of the surrounding golf pitch.

On the whole, the M&IT Agency Challenge 2018 really was a fantastic few days. My industry knowledge was enhanced tremendously and I made some really great relationships that I know will make both mine and my client’s life a whole lot easier in the future.


Events such as the M&IT Agency Challenge help the team broaden their knowledge, providing them with new ideas for event concepts. To see what the team can deliver in creating memorable events, check out our latest case studies.