The Meetings Show has revealed a series of new initiatives as part of its ongoing commitment to provide a platform for the next generation of talent and play an integral role in safeguarding the future of the events industry. 
Skills shortages continue to cause issues within the meetings and events industry. According to the results of a survey by event technology association PLASA and #WeMakeEvents, 69% of businesses in the live events sector are experiencing a skills shortage and 74% lack confidence in the availability of skilled workers in the future. 
In partnership with Event First Steps, The Meetings Show is creating a dedicated programme for students and individuals looking to get into the events industry at this year’s show, taking place at London ExCeL on 29-30 June 2022.
The new initiative – The Meetings Show Next Generation - with Event First Steps, an organisation that helps industry newcomers build their networks, learn from industry heavyweights and forge own career path, will see students invited to spend an afternoon at The Meetings Show on Wednesday 29 June.
As part of the dedicated programme, they will be given the opportunity to meet with exhibitors to learn more about the types of companies and job roles available across the sector, attend a curated panel session, and join the Event First Steps post-show networking event.
The Meetings Show has also pledged to support the REACH Events Scholarship programme, launched in 2021 to increase diversity in the events, MICE and hospitality sectors. 
Created by an industry task force led by Robert Kenward, founder of The Hub and Diversity Alliance, REACH aims to increase representation of young people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds on events management degree programmes, by providing students with a £5,000 a year scholarship to support with living expenses.
The Meetings Show will support a student through the three-year REACH programme and is hosting an event at 4.30pm on Wednesday 29 June at this year’s event to help promote the initiative and encourage support across the wider industry.
Furthering its support for the future of the industry, The Meetings Show is partnering with Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) to support the Events Industry Apprentice Scheme, which was recently reignited. 
Jack Marczewski, event director, The Meetings Show, said: “With staff and talent shortages one of the biggest challenges in the industry right now, it’s more important than ever that we nurture and support emerging talent and encourage diversity by backing initiatives like Event First Steps, REACH and the Events Industry Apprentice Scheme. 
“These new partnerships and initiatives build on our existing Tomorrow’s Talent programme, now in its fourth year, which shines the spotlight on future leaders.”
The Meetings Show recently unveiled the 10 winners of its Tomorrow’s Talent initiative, run in partnership with M&IT and sponsored by Visit Belfast in 2022. Tomorrow’s Talent champions exceptional emerging talent within the industry to help nurture and support the leaders of the future.
Spaces for the Event First Steps are limited, so if you are interested in attending The Meetings Show to understand how to take your first steps in the world of meetings and events, register your interest here qualify, you must apply with a student email address.