The Academic Venue Show took place at the ILEC Conference Centre in London yesterday (22 May), with 54 member venues exhibiting from across the UK, Ireland and Spain.
Show organisers Venuemasters’ CEO Terry Billingham said initial figures indicated that 300 visitors attended the event.
Speaking to CN at the show, Sheffield Hallam University’s Events Manager, Becky Stanyard, said: “In the first hour of the show we had already received several good enquiries. Exhibiting at the Academic Venue Show is a chance for us to build our brand, as well as get business to the venue.
“Being such a focused show is a great benefit to us and means we don’t have to sell the academic venue first, the visitors and organisers who are coming here are specifically looking for academic venues.”
Sam Booth, Head of Conferences and Events at Keele University, added: “We know when we come to the Academic Venue Show we will get good, quality visitors and in the first 10 minutes we had already made contact with two potential clients. For us, the show is about picking up past relationships and building new ones.”
The Institute of Education, which is part of the University of London, exhibited at the show for the first time this year and Business Development and Events Manager, Richard Bull, said it was a great chance for them to increase the exposure of the venue. “We came to the show to get ourselves out there in the market place, as well as for potential business leads.
Sally Gunnell was a guest speaker at the event, and had plenty of tips for sustaining excellence. The show also offered seminars on social media and ’improving personal productivity’.
Billingham told CN feedback from exhibitors and visitors had been positive, and the new venue had been well received following the show’s move from The Emirates Stadium. “The benefit of holding the event at ILEC is that the exhibition space is bigger and it means we can have everything on one level. At the Emirates the seminars were on a different level to the showfloor. It has worked much better this year to have just one area and having the hotel next door has also been a great benefit.”
Billingham added that the main task ahead is to build further on the show and push past 54 exhibitors.