International Confex is once again celebrating its evolution as the UK’s biggest events exhibition. The show inspired more visitors in 2016 with a leading programme of speakers and first class exhibitors that underlined its ambition to be an Ideas Factory.
The exhibition, co-located at Olympia London this week with the Event Production Show, the PA Show and Event Tech 16, is now also the industry’s biggest gathering of event tech exhibitors, and brought about an experience that was 50% bigger than last year. The shows’ co-location also brought about the most inclusive exhibition experience in the market, spanning every sector of the far reaching events industry.
Further inspiration came in the form of Lily Cole’s Day 2 keynote that topped a packed educational conference programme for the industry. Cole spoke about her own social initiatives and how she is inspiring industries around the world. She said: “There is a definite move towards experience over ownership. We need to share experiences more.” Impossible.com is her own social community initiative that encourages global sharing of ‘time, skills and objects’; a subject close to Cole’s heart.
Cole’s presentation also followed an address she gave at the House of Commons on 23 February 2016, where she launched Project Literacy’s ‘Alphabet of Literacy’ campaign and urged MPs to tackle the ‘global literacy crisis’. The UN estimates that there are 757m illiterate people in the world and in the UK alone one in five children leave primary school with very low levels of literacy.
Educational show features included the AEO Sales Conference, Day 2 of EventTech 16 talks, and the culmination of the Eventice and MyEvent.Vision, programmes. The day saw added beauty with the arrival of Miss England on the Southport Conferences stand.
“It’s been another amazing show and we’re really proud of the rich content and engagement our exhibitors have helped us create for our growing number of visitors,” said event director Liz Agostini. “We’re really creating something here for the industry, it’s a great showcase of the very best of the industry and a massive injection of confidence and business in UK events.”
“The return of even more international exhibitors added more options to our visitors and added theatre to the exhibition,” Agostini added. “The networking at the end of each day meant a nice mix of business and relaxing.”