Exhibitors send fewer staff to Event UK

Event UK’s initial pre audited attendance
figure, released after the 2009 show at The NEC 22-23 September, claims visitor
numbers are up 198 on
last year, with 2,998.

This figure, however, masks a total
attendance drop when stand personnel are included. Last year the audited total
was 3,856 compared to 2009’s figure of 3,668.

Event director Duncan Reid says he is
“delighted” with the event “held amidst the deepest recession for decades”.
“Sure, we lost 400 or so exhibition personnel but made up 198 visitors.”

Reid believes the product “can continue to
grow long term and bring people back in 2010 and
beyond”.

“Event UK,”
says Reid, “has shown that the industry is resilient and the audience is
committed to maintaining high standards and continues to innovate come what may.
Despite depleting budgets, events remain high on the business agenda as one of
the most sure ways to gain ROI, staff engagement and brand
awareness.”

The education programme proved popular and
both keynote speakers, Harvey Goldsmiths and Rachel Elnaugh packed the seminar
theatres.

Many hotel groups were absent this year, a
sign, says Reid, that the leisure industry had been “hit hard”. He tells
conference-news that total stand
space taken this year has “dropped about 10 per cent”.

Reid adds: “Coming into the show we were not
really sure what to expect, as the past four or five months have been tricky.”
He points out that “more regional development agency money is, however,
percolating through to the destinations”. This, he says, helped some regions
attend and do well at the show.

“We invested heavily in the show format and
look forward to a bounce back in 2010,” Reid adds, hoping to bring in more
buyers via a familiarisation trip next year.

Event UK is
booked to return to The NEC, 21-22 September 2010.

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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