The Meeting Show: The Show Must Go On!

Having provided consultancy to The Meetings Show since its sixth edition in 2018, Custard was delighted to, once again, lead the PR strategy for the UK’s leading exhibition for event, meetings and conference professionals in 2020.

During an unprecedented year, which saw the COVID-19 pandemic have a devastating impact on the entire sector, Custard successfully devised and managed a comprehensive PR strategy that was swiftly adapted to accommodate the ever-changing government guidelines and resulted in the show evolving from a live event due to take place in June to hybrid and then to a fully virtual format delivered in October.

More than 4,000 event professionals from around the world attended the critically acclaimed online show over the three days (19-21 October) that facilitated 1,400 qualified buyers exchanging over 52k messages and over 4k video calls with 250 exhibitors.


Working as a key partner, Custard created the communications strategy and aligned it to six core pillars with the objective of increasing visitors to the show’s website and driving registrations. Our role encompassed the following elements:

  • Brand management – reputational and issues management sensitively setting the tone for the format changes from, live to hybrid then a fully virtual show
  • Brand positioning, strengthening and messaging
  • Insight – providing industry knowledge on the key challenges, trends and hot topics to feature in the show’s content
  • Content – creating initiatives alongside high-quality copy for e-comms, media, social, website
  • Media relations – developing and placing exclusive and tailored features as well as generic content
  • Digital – setting and delivering the social strategy


  • Greatest share of voice – from Jan to mid-Nov 2020 The Meetings Show achieved a greater share of media coverage in comparison to it direct UK competitor shows
  • Quality coverage increased in key trade publications
  • Issues management – 100% positive coverage
  • Quality and quantity of media registrations increased
  • Emails – open rates increased by 5% and click through rates increased by 8% compared to previous years
  • Content – Tomorrow’s Talent – the show’s celebration of up and coming planners – alone created over 1.6k engagements and over 51k impressions on social media while driving over 2,600 page views on the show’s website
  • Drove 811 visits to the registration page via social media
  • LinkedIn follower growth soared by over 190%
  • Pride – one part of the strategy – generated over 10k impressions and 286 engagements and the alternative content received over 420 views on the website