Pre-event planning Scientific Laboratory Supplies (SLS), a distributor of laboratory supplies in the UK, held the Scientific Laboratory Show and Conference two years ago at the East Midlands Conference Centre (EMCC) at the University of Nottingham. The three-day event was a success and SLS wanted to repeat the formula this year, with the aim of showing its customers who its suppliers were and to give them a chance to meet face-to-face and sample the products first-hand. It was also using the event to distribute an advance copy of its catalogue, which features 20,000 products from some of the world's leading scientific industry manufacturers.
Challenges SLS was co-hosting the event with life science business Sigma Aldrich, and had the unenviable task of preparing for a major conference with very little time. They only had access to the venue after 6pm on the evening before the conference started, due to another event finishing at 5pm. Around 65 suppliers had to be located in the conference centre and SLS had to ensure that all the stands and products were delivered and set up. The companies were also hosting a gala dinner on the first evening.
Solution With help from the staff at the EMCC, who tried to be as flexible as possible, the stands were set up and the venue was prepared by 10pm that evening. The following day, more than 600 people from the scientific community in the UK and abroad attended the opening of the show, which had billed itself as 'serious about science' and 'more than just a day out'. SLS organised transport for delegates from all over the country, who enjoyed a series of seminars and product demonstrations, as well as networking opportunities. Scientists shared best practice laboratory theory and discussed current and future industry developments.
Post-event analysis SLS sales office manager Helen Kirk says the venue was ideal due to its size, location and the friendly and helpful staff. "We held this event two years ago at the EMCC and it was a huge success, so we decided to return there this year," she says. "We have already booked another three-day event for May 2012 at the EMCC. We had more than 600 people through the door on the day and catered for 750 in total, including staff, suppliers and customers."FACTFILE
Client: Scientific Laboratory Supplies and Sigma Aldrich
Event: Conference and gala dinner
Group size: 600
Date: June 2010
Venue: East Midlands Conference Centre