The first ever Event UK, 16–17 September, claims to have made a successful transformation from its previous incarnation as the National Venue Show, with show director Duncan Reid saying: “In terms of visitor figures, we were seven per cent up on ’pure’ visitors to the event (subject to audit), which is a great achievement for a new show”.
Reid added that total attendance this year hit 4,041 (again subject to audit) and is confident to have “created a product that can grow in the long term and bring people back in 2009 and beyond as we improve the event in line with Confex Group standards.”
Reid also claimed the show attracted 300-plus exhibitors, whose stands, he said, “were more engaging and created a positive environment for visitors to actually buy UK meetings and events. This support is also reflected in our 21 per cent rise in exhibitor bookings for next year’s show”.
Reid said the figures place Event UK as the biggest industry show outside of London “twice the size of its nearest competitor”.
“Event UK has been created as a ’buy British’ standard for the meetings and events industry,” said Reid. “It is this positioning that has bought a lot more industry engagement; be it from industry figures, organisation and associations, as well as great support from the media.
Reid also hailed the contribution of a “first class education programme which filled the seminar rooms for each session. This further underlines the importance of quality education and the strength of our Confex Knowledge brand”.
“When we first took over the National Venue Show we put together a three-year plan to change and grow the product and we’ve made excellent progress. Our exhibitors have helped us create a show the industry believes in and we have an expanding base of pure visitors that will help deliver big returns on this support.”