International Confex to move to Excel London

UBM’s International Confex event will move
from Earls
Court to Excel London from
2012.

UBM portfolio director Jonny Sullens told
CN Excel’s strong facilities
including the recently launched International Conference Centre will help Confex expand its global visitor
base and hosted buyers programme.

“We’ve done this to grow the show. There are
areas in the current show, such as the international area, which I’m keen to
expand, and complementary markets that would sit well alongside Confex,” Sullens
said. “Excel gives us the flexibility to bolt on other significantly sized
products, which wasn’t there with Earls Court.”

Excel’s close proximity to London City Airport, coupled with forthcoming
transport developments such as Crossrail and the proposed cable car system, made it a strong location for
Confex, Sullens continued. Having several hotels on-site will also open up a
range of networking opportunities alongside the main programme.

“The events industry in a lot of ways is
moving east, and Excel and the International Conference Centre has put
London on the
map for hosting big association events we might not have been able to facilitate
before,” Sullens said. “With the Olympics, 2012 was the year to do it. The
improving infrastructure makes Excel a desirable location that’s easier to
access than before.”

As previously reported in
CN, Sullens has been in talks with Excel and EC&O for
several months
about hosting Confex.  News of the show’s relocation comes 12 months after Earls Court owner
Capco announced plans to redevelop the site into a residential and business
complex after the Olympics. An official planning application is expected to be
filed in May.

Sullens pointed out it could be several years
before planning permission on Earls
Court was approved and Capco began redevelopment of
the site.

“We knew we could have stayed for a few years
more,” he added.

Excel London MD David Pegler claimed many of
its clients in the corporation and association markets made up a high percentage
of Confex’s targeted audience.  

“This will ensure we can use our own
marketing to raise awareness of the show to these audiences,” he said.

Earls
Court and Olympia group MD Nigel
Nathan wished Confex all the best with the move.

“As one of London’s leading venues we are very proud of
the instrumental part we’ve played in the growth and success of International
Confex and look forward to seeing how the show develops in its new location,” he
stated.

UBM group director Simon Parker stressed the
organiser will continue to work with EC&O on several events include Total
Workplace Management, Energy Solutions and The Building Services Event,
Technology for Marketing, Internet World and Call Centre. UBM also runs Building
Schools Education Conference (BSEC) and Institution of Occupational Health and
Safety (IOSH) conference at Excel.

Confex was first held in 1984 in Olympia before moving to
Earls
Court 1 in 1996. This year’s show takes place from 1
to 3 March.

Last Month, UBM cancelled its midland-based
event industry show, Event UK, in favour of focusing its
attention exclusively on Confex. Event UK was acquired by UBM in 2006 and
rebranded from the National Venue Show in 2008. 

Check out CN’s interview with Confex director Jonny
Sullens in the February edition of Conference
News.
 

Are you happy to see
Confex move to Excel? Let us know your thoughts:
vcarley@mashmedia.net

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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