by Emma Cartmell, managing director CHS Group
Paul Colston’s opening note in CN October brought up the thorny issue of auditing and whether unaudited figures can be trusted. Historically The Conference and Hospitality Show has not been audited. Mainly because we have never been asked to by any of our exhibitors. I’ve always believed that this is because we’re totally transparent and up front and we have a personal relationship with our clients that been built up over years of trust and experience.
There are too many companies out there (which I’m proud not to be one of) that give out wildly inaccurate figures and expect the industry to buy it. I agree with Paul – shows that announce outlandish figures will not be believed and will be the laughing stock of the industry. I think that organisers that do this are revealing that they do not actually know our industry very well; this may not be a small industry, but it is a very personable one – and industry professionals talk and share experiences. People meet regularly and the success (or not) of the latest industry show is always a hot topic.
Quite a few of the companies I know don’t care about the figures – they go by their own experience, gut instinct and their own feeling of whether the show went well for them or not.
But that said, if our industry is getting crowded with organisers who don’t care about trust or professionalism, then those of us who do care will have to distinguish ourselves. I’m now off to ring the ABC to arrange for CHS 2016 to be audited so that our open, honest and transparent reporting can be backed up with cold hard data.