The 26th International Confex delivered a five per cent rise in visitor numbers (subject to audit), the organisers claim.
Initial figures released said 11,143 visitors came to the three-day show at Earls Court, up from 10,649. Total attendance was put at 15,030, up from 14,807 last year.
“In the months leading up to Confex there has been a climate of fear paralysing the industry but a significant amount of business has been conducted at the show and I can see a real confidence returning to the market,” says event director Duncan Reid.
He adds: “Over the last three years Confex has enjoyed double digit year on year growth and in the current economic climate, where staying the same is moving forward, a five per cent increase is a fantastic achievement.
“There was a real feeling of exhibitors looking to maximise the potential of the show and that they were serious about doing business having brought only their best sales professionals to Confex.”
A sign of the economic times, perhaps, the advice centre and CV clinic was fully booked for the entire three days, with double the number of appointments received for 2008.
Confex Group’s Event UK will be stressing the message of the show’s role “as the ‘buy British’ standard for the UK events industry”.
Organisers are holding the event in VisitBritain’s National Meetings Week. The partnership also intends building on the show’s public facing campaign – The Next Big Thing.
Event UK is in its second year since rebranding away from the National Venue Show and moves back a week: it will take place 22– 23 September, in Birmingham’s NEC.