The Academic Venue Show, which took place at the ILEC Conference Centre in London yesterday (14 May), saw over 50 member venues showcasing their event facilities to attendees.
While official visitor figures have yet to be released, show organisers Venuemasters’ CEO Terry Billingham said he was hoping for 250-300 visitors to the one-day event.
Speaking to CN, Billingham said: “We are delighted with the response to the show. We saw a lot of old faces, but also met a lot of new people. The instant feedback on Twitter from exhibitors and visitors has been great.”
The targeted show means venues have already cleared the first hurdle in regards to explaining exactly what academic venues can offer, and as such exhibitors said the show was one not to miss.
“Last year we did some good business at the show and it was very useful for us,” Sophie Moyses, Business Marketing Officer at Sheffield Hallam University, told CN. “The Academic Venue Show is one we’ve got to be part of as it is targeted specifically at buyers looking for academic venues.”
Hayley Morgan, Business Development Manager at imago, added that the show was always beneficial for them and last year they experienced around 30 reasonable opportunities, a figure they hope to build on this year.
“Buyers come to the show to look for academic venues, and for us at Burleigh Court, the fact we offer something a little bit different to your typical university, is particularly beneficial.”
Carol Shearman from Henley Conferences, part of the University of Reading, added that for them the show offers an opportunity to help raise the profile of the venue.
During the show, The University of South Wales reported five enquires in 15 minutes, while Jane James from The University of Manchester Conferences and Venues reported speaking with buyers who were looking to hold a meeting specifically in Manchester and with specific dates in mind.
The show featured two live seminar sessions, including Susan Hallam, MD of Hallam Internet Ltd, who gave her tips on digital marketing, and Paralympian Ade Adepitan (pictured), who shared his experiences of overcoming life’s challenges.
Adepitan told CN he hoped to instill in delegates the need to not be afraid to take on challenges of any sort. Adepitan’s overriding advice for delegates facing challenges when organising events was the need for preparation.
“Understand the task in hand and work towards the big goal, but what is most important is what you are doing now not what is ahead. Don’t spend too much time thinking of the end result, work step-by-step. When I was trying to make the Paralympic Basketball team I focused on each hour of training, on each shot I played, not the end goal.”
Billingham told CN that subject to feedback from exhibitors and buyers, the show would return to the ILEC Conference Centre in 2015.
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