International Confex 2014 closed at Olympia London 13 March with the show floor’s rediscovered buzz ringing in visitors’ ears.
Keynote speakers Karren Brady and Kanya King set the tone both mornings of the show, with standing room only and a PCMA-powered set of education sessions were popular with visitors seeking CPD points.
Although the bright, vibrant design of the show floor drew much praise, show success is all about business for the 300-plus exhibitors and the show that Nick de Bois, MP had called in his opening speech “the place where the industry meets” delivered a plethora of new enquiries and business across the spectrum.
Ben Gray, Director of Chooseyourvenue.com said his stand had seen “a non-stop stream of quality visitors and numerous enquiries from UK and international buyers”.
“We met many of our existing clients by prior appointment and saw first-time contacts from Sweden, Paris and major corporates, including Mazda. The show exceeded our expectations. It’s great to be part of the great new energy generated by Mash Media and we look forward to next year.”
Rekha Haughton, Director of Brunel University’s new events venues, a business now worth £7m and open all-year round for events, said: “We brought the message to Confex of plans for a new 200-bed four-star hotel on site and information about our new language school business, now worth £1.5m. Our stand was mobbed and we had an initial verbal confirmation from a walk-up on the first day for a £12k piece of conference business.”
The venue also reported enquiries from international buyers following the venue’s work hosting a Korean delegation during the London 2012 Olympics.
Paul Lorimer, Director of Sales at Manchester Central, said: “Confex needed the industry to rally behind the show and the industry certainly responded. It was evident that the events industry has much affection and sentiment for Confex. I’m so pleased it was a success. We were pleased with the networking opportunities and relationships established during the show, which I am sure will translate into future event partnerships. It was a great showcase for our venue.”
Rachael Bartlett, Head of Sales and Marketing at Warwick Conferences said: “We found the show had a real ‘buzz’ about it. We have had over £200,000 worth of enquiries so far and many more quality leads to pursue. We found the show was well organised, the speakers were all appropriate and added great value to get the right people to the show. We are so thrilled we were the first to rebook for next year.”
Alex Mackee, Conference Sales Manager at NewcastleGateshead, highlighted the “positive atmosphere”.
“The show has been refreshed and it’s a great venue. There was a good level of visitors and a renewed buzz to the whole exhibition. Our venues and partners all had positive enquiries and firm leads during the show,” she added.
Angela Hodson, Venue Sales Manager at Emirates Old Trafford (on the Marketing Manchester stand), said: “It was really positive for us, the show had a great buzz to it. We have had some good quality leads and found that the networking area opened up good opportunities with a colleague picking up three enquiries while there. We were maybe a little apprehensive at first, as the show is under new ownership, but we are very glad we exhibited.”
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