International Confex, the premier exhibition for the UK events industry, has reported its most successful event to date under organiser Mash Media, growing its attendance by over a fifth.
The 2015 edition held at Olympia London, on 18-19 February, recorded a 23 per cent year-on-year increase, attracting 8,154 attendees (BPA audit pending) over the two days with a core visitor count of 6,777.
The news follows the successful co-location of International Confex with the Event Production Show and the Office Management and PA Show, which featured a strong line up of speakers, including Clare Balding, Greg Shaw, Gerald Ratner and Wayne Hemingway, as well as a comprehensive education programme.
Acquired in September 2013, this is the second show under the management of Mash Media and its first full cycle.
Event director Liz Agostini said: “These numbers bear out the instinctive feel on the show floor that International Confex was busier and buzzier than it has been for a very long time.
“Key industry figures have commented on the fact that the footfall continued right up until closing time on Day Two, with some industry stalwarts declaring it the best Confex they have ever been involved with.
“An increase of over a fifth in visitor numbers is however only a small part of the story and, most importantly, we have a full folder of glowing exhibitor testimonials which extol the quality of the visitorship and the volume of meaningful conversations and deals being done on the show floor.”
Exhibitor Paul Szomoru, head of business tourism at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, said: “We had a fantastic couple of days at Confex. We made the most of our opportunity to learn, engage, network and research with meetings and events professionals, as well as capture new business opportunities.”
Adam Aston, group sales director at Thorns commented: “In the 12 years that I have exhibited at Confex, I would say this has been the front runner. The show this year has offered both great quality and quantity of visitors.”
The Event Production Show also reported significant growth with a 22 per cent year-on-year increase in total visitors. The 2015 co-located show attracted 4,034 attendees (BPA audit pending) over the two days with a core visitor count of 4,614.
Agostini said the hard work has already begun in making the shows even better for 2016.
“If we can achieve this kind of uplift in a half term week, there is no reason why we shouldn’t feel bullish about increasing visitor numbers exponentially in 2016. We have learned a number of critical lessons this year on which elements worked really well and which not so well, and are listening to feedback from the industry to further evolve International Confex for next year and beyond,” she said.