“The Meetings Show UK has delivered the largest gathering of Hosted Buyer clans ever seen in the UK,” the Show’s Strategic Advisor Paul Kennedy, told CN on Day 2 of the three-day event at London’s Olympia.
Although the Hosted Buyer numbers fell short of original projections, Show organiser Centaur Exhibitions MD Andrew Evans, speaking exclusively to CN, said the company was fully committed to a project that had made “a frontal assault on the sector and tried to break new ground”.
In terms of investment and show preparation, Evans said: “There is not much we could have done more than we have done. There has been no compromise and no area where we haven’t stood by our investment pledge. The total Hosted Buyer numbers were not the numbers we originally set out to achieve, but it was not for lack of trying.
The event, he added, had put together an exhibition base that hadn’t been assembled in a long time.
“The education sessions offered 190 meetings permutations and many sessions were packed out,” said Kennedy.
In terms of location, Evans underlined Centaur was “committed to running the Meetings Show UK in West London and we think this venue is perfectly suited for it.
“The Show will also solidify opinion about options the market. We invested a small fortune in putting together a quality show.” He admitted there were still issues to iron out, and said his team was already working to do that.
“We are trying to service customers in a way other organisers haven’t so far in the UK and we have delivered a foundation.”
He added the team “would probably celebrate the Show’s true success in year two, but we have certainly set a new benchmark.”
The organiser claimed that the Unique Venues of London stand had booked 115 pre-scheduled appointments with buyers for an outlay on a 10sqm stand, while Hilton Worldwide’s core diary showed 78 appointments and Radisson Blu over 50.
Midlands-based booking agent Ellis Salsby told CN he was pleased to take advantage of the Hosted Buyer programme. “It makes a difference,” he said, “and I have had several useful meetings”.
The show is on track to deliver 6,700 pre-schedule meetings and 500 individual fully Hosted Buyers. Kennedy emphasised the two-night stays had meant the figure equated to some 850 pre-qualifed senior hosted buyers.
The Meetings Show UK runs until 11 July at Olympia.
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