The Future of Events Panel

What’s it all about?

On April 24th EventLAB at Hire Space hosted a panel discussion exploring “The Future of Events”.

In this discussion, we looked at:

  1. What is visitor empowerment doing to the event dynamic?
  2. What effect is the growth of online communities having on visitor engagement? What does this mean for event organisers?
  3. How will the use of technology and innovation, shape the event experience of the future?

With special thanks to:




Emma Hudson, Freelance Journalist and Former Editor for Access All Areas

Emma Hudson is a writer and journalist, focusing on live events, culture, entertainment and lifestyle. She has written for publications including Access All Areas, Emerald Street and

Emma also specialises in content creation and management, working with individual clients to produce copy for bespoke marketing campaigns. Currently, she is freelancing and can be found tweeting at @ehuddie and on her website




Caleb Parker, Technology and Innovation Chair, HBAA

Caleb Parker is an American entrepreneur in London. He’s a founder, director, startup advisor, investor and tv show host, with a keen focus on innovation and technology, and interests in the MICE sector and commercial real estate.

Caleb has been a guest lecturer on topics such as entrepreneurship, the sharing economy and the future of work at academic institutions and large corporation including Georgetown University, George Mason University, London School of Economics, and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), as well as numerous trade conferences.

He currently serves as: Show Host of The Future in 15 Show, Co-Founder & CEO for Bold, the Zipcar for small meetings, Board Member for meeting & events agency, Select Event Solutions, Advisor to multiple startups and Tech Chair for HBAA.

He is the former CEO of (2013-2016), the world’s largest online marketplace to search, book and pay instantly for small meeting rooms in over 130 countries. Prior to joining, Caleb co-founded a technology startup in 2012 to create the first global distribution system for on-demand offices & small meeting spaces.

Follow: @caleb_parker


Emma Howe, Sales & Events Director, London Union | Street Feast

Emma Howe joined Street Feast the end of 2016 to implement the events division, making the spaces accessible for large scale events. Over the past 18 months Street Feast have hosted an array of events for some of the worlds biggest brands and 2017 continues to grow. The pioneering Street Feast model takes underused and neglected spaces in London and turns them into vibrant street food markets, hosting a line-up of superb street food traders and bars in all their venues. Over the past three years, Street Feast has created event spaces in warehouses, former carparks and abandoned office blocks.

Emma Howe has 15 years experience in the hospitality and sales industry, prior to Street Feast was Head of Sales at Late Night London (owned by Novus Leisure). In this role, Emma worked across the company’s 45 venues, developing the sales & events strategy. In 2014, Emma entered the top ten of the Event 100 Club and in 2017 was recognised as an Events Hot 50 Awards winner.


Richard Groves, Group New Business Development Director, SMART Group

Richard had a peripatetic early career in bars, the wine trade and as a directors’ dining room chef, before working for a medium size special event caterer in the City. He started his own catering company, Richard Groves Catering & Events in 1987.  13 years later after building a large portfolio of venues and clients, he merged with two of his clients, Business Pursuits and the Ultimate Experience, to form the Concerto Group.

Over the next decade , RGC&E was rebranded as create food and party design which was voted in the top three most influential catering companies in London with turnover growing on average £1 million per year and peaking at  over £14 million.

Richard joined the Smart Group in June 2014 as Group New Business Development Director, working across the Smart portfolio and particularly venue catering specialist Moving Venue and hospitality and outside event caterer – Smart Hospitality.  

Richard is a past President of ILEA, (formerly the International Special Event Society, ISES),and is a London & Partners Ambassador.

Richard @RichardEGroves
Twitter Smart Group @SmartGroupHQ Twitter Instagram Facebook LinkedIn


Adele de Fontbrune, Director, The Arrangers and The Wedding Arrangers

Former Hire Space employee and now Managing Director of The Arrangers and The Wedding Arrangers, Adele delivers creative, bespoke events by focusing on using independent suppliers and aiming to ‘keep it local’.

Adele is passionate about social enterprise, entrepreneurship and new technologies, and freelances on international accelerators to help entrepreneurs scale their ventures.

Adele @adeledefont
Twitter Instagram

The Arrangers @thearrangersldn


Julian Saipe, CEO, Zafferano

Julian began his career as an opera singer and performed at the Royal Opera House for over eight years. He also sung on the film soundtracks to Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and many others. In 1996 he founded Big Voice Productions which produces opera for corporate and charity events.

In 2003 Julian became Managing Director of Zafferano and trebled the company’s turnover within 2 years. His passion for food, putting on a great show, and iconic and live performance venues has established Zafferano as one of London’s catering elite. Julian has successfully led many tenders winning catering contracts for Zafferano at over 40 unique London venues.

In other areas of food service Julian has run large scale visitor attraction events at the Natural History Museum, the Serpentine Pavilion and Trade Shows.

Julian is also in demand as a public speaker has presented globally on food innovation, experiential marketing, and mindful eating.