Magic moments at EMEC Brighton

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Magic moments at EMEC Brighton

By Meeting Professionals International | Feb 6, 2023

Samme Allen, an award-winning professional emcee, speaker and presenter, was the emcee for MPI’s last in-person European Meetings & Events Conference (EMEC) in 2019. She will be the anchor for MPItv, along with hosting the opening plenary panel, at EMEC Brighton, 26-28 March.

Allen now offers global, sustainable event support services including meeting design consultation as CEO of Through its Academy, also offers communications and moderator training for internal stakeholders and CEOs.

We spoke with Allen about her company, the importance of event emcees and why she’s excited about EMEC Brighton.
Samme 2023

Who are and why did you decide to launch this business? represents the elite voice of the professional conference emcee, moderator and facilitator, driving better engagement and experiences in the B2B global meetings world.

Launched in January 2022 during the height of the global pandemic, delivers in-person, virtual or hybrid professional emcees, moderators and facilitators anywhere in the world their clients need them, ensuring a seamless and sustainable solution to professional event hosting.

Having had a successful career in events and then turning professional emcee in 2018, there was always something missing for me.

Ready to brighten your world in the hippest city in the world? Learn more about the register for EMEC Brighton, 26-28 March.

I wanted to scale up the business but as we know, with only one asset, that’s a challenge. I wanted a community to learn, develop and share best practice in this field, and I wanted to have a more positive impact on the climate. I couldn’t find a community for professional emcees or moderators anywhere around the world. We were at the periphery of the speaker bureau or speaker association, and there was nowhere championing this elite profession. So, I decided to create this community.

We now have individually selected and assessed professionals across the community, from San Francisco to Sydney, and help clients source their emcee/moderator or facilitator for meetings, conferences and events from six to 60,000 people. We can search our talent database for professionals based on location, language, industry or sector experience as well as event type and budget.

The vision is to see a world where boring meetings are the only things that become extinct, and in our first year alone, have saved over 10T of carbon placing emcees from the locality rather than flying them business class to a destination.

What should meeting planners consider when they are thinking about hiring/integrating emcees for their events? 

A professional emcee is the glue that holds the meeting together and truly drives engagement brand messaging in the right way. An experienced emcee will connect the many threads of the conference or event, weaving together aspects of the meeting—content, speakers, audience, partners—to create a cohesive event rather than a meeting with many parts.

As the crucial link between meeting owners, event organisers, the production team, speakers and delegates, our role is to ensure that there are solid takeaways, that themes and messages are reinforced as well as providing consistent facilitation of the event to keep conversations focused, productive, engaging and advancing.
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From solving unscripted challenges or creating energy with non-engaging panels to providing different formats to support nervous speakers and dealing with technology breaking down, the professional emcee will work with meeting planners to ensure that any onsite problems are dealt with smoothly without any extra work for you, and without any change to a delegate experience. Our experience means that our clients and their stakeholders can be empowered to do what they do best. We can provide engagement tips, better ways to create presentations or speaker coaching along with effective meeting design and agenda refreshes to reflect the participant energy and engagement levels throughout the programme.

We facilitate memorable audience moments all in line with the event objectives.

What are the key attributes that you would expect from your emcees?

We have a vigorous vetting process and onboarding programme for our emcees. Whilst we are a truly diverse community and encourage people from all backgrounds and protected characteristics to apply for membership, there are key attributes that we expect from all. Our emcees agree and sign up to our code of ethics to protect both the community and client. Integrity, fairness and consistency along with continuous development all feature highly. We expect a proven and distinguished track record of success with clients, and a commitment to creating a positive impact on the planet.

What’s your favourite part about being the CEO of a unique business in the meeting industry? 

We are solving a pain point for industry clients and colleagues. A recent client decided to split their usual 700-person annual conference across six different destinations and needed six professional moderators to facilitate these hubs. We were the only resource that could support this. When one of these moderators, less than a week out, sadly broke her pelvis and couldn’t work, we filled her position within one hour, and the meeting owners were never even aware of the problem until we had solved it! The client sends one invoice, has one point of contact and we do all the rest. What’s not to love about supporting our industry?

The reduction in carbon from using more local talent and our journey to becoming a B Corp-certified business is also something I’m hugely excited about.

Lastly, creating the place where these unsung heroes of the meetings world can learn, share best practise and be provided with additional business, sales and marketing is why it is worth the sleepless nights as a small business entrepreneur.
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What have you learned about the meeting industry after transitioning to the emcee side of the business? 

A phrase many of my clients and our associates know as mine is, “You don’t know, what you don’t know.”

We have helped so many of clients with more than hosting their conferences. From driving more dynamic formats of engagement, designing impactful agendas with client objectives front and centre through to coaching on presentation and performance for bigger impact, the professional emcees can do all this and more. We work week in, week out with a huge number of participants and we know what works for audiences. This experience is to be capitalized on and fills that often easy to miss gap in resource, so ask us to fill that.

Why are you and the team excited about EMEC in Brighton? And why should attendees be excited?

It is so exciting that EMEC is finally reaching the UK shores and Brighton this year. I live just up the road, a short train ride away, so it really is a local experience. I am proud to showcase my home county to fellow members from across Europe and the around the world. This will be first time being part of the hosted buyer programme, and we are looking forward to listening to our customers’ pain points and hopefully providing lots of innovative solutions to these. I am excited about being the anchor for MPItv, sharing those magic moments with our wider audiences, asking the challenging questions to MPI and industry leaders and, of course, networking with my industry family. Be prepared to be hugged!

Attendees should sign up and get themselves to Brighton where they can experience a different learning journey, an opportunity to network with the global meetings industry and, of course, to enjoy the beautiful sea air. And if you are like me, remember to pack your wetsuit, and I’ll see you in the ocean!



Meeting Professionals International

Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is the largest meeting and event industry association worldwide. The organization provides innovative and relevant education, networking opportunities and business exchanges, and acts as a prominent voice for the promotion and growth of the industry. MPI has a global community of 60,000 meeting and event professionals including nearly 13,000 engaged members. It has It has nearly 70 chapters, clubs and members in more than 75 countries worldwide. "When we meet, we change the world."