Confex 'disappointed' by new meetings show announcement

International Confex group director Jonny Sullens is disappointed by Centaur Exhibitions' decision to announce its new UK meetings show on the first day of International Confex yesterday.

Ex EIBTM boss announces UK meetings exhibition
Ex EIBTM boss announces UK meetings exhibition

Bad timing

"It's disappointing from an industry point of view because rather than lots of disparate events, we have been trying to move towards one key event. As we saw with the UK Venue Show last month, it wasn't very well supported," said Sullens.

"From a personal point of view, it's disappointing when you work hard all year and someone tries to piggyback on all that hard work and success."

He also questioned the need to try and stretch people's budgets even further in this environment. "If we're trying to be a cohesive industry and present a united front to the government, I think that should extend to trade shows as well."

Expertise

But Centaur Exhibitions Andrew Evans said that The Meetings Show UK was created because there is a gap in the market for a UK-based travel and meetings show.

He told C&IT that hosted buyers will be of crucial importance to its new meetings exhibition, which is will take place from 9-11 July 2013 at Olympia, London, and has enlisted the expertise of ex-Reed Travel Exhibitions group exhibitions director Paul Kennedy MBE - who was behind travel shows including EIBTM, CIBTM and GIBTM.

"Centaur underwent a wholesale restructure last year, during which it was decided that we would pursue an aggressive investment strategy in our exhibitions business. There is no distinct rival in the UK, but it was logical to seek out Paul’s advice as he has great experience in this sector," he added.

He went on to stress the importance of a well-targeted hosted buyer and education programme.

The Meetings Show UK will accommodate 1,000 hosted senior buyers, including 750 from Europe, and feature UK and international sectors including destinations, venues and hotels.

 



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