Venue Show to become 'Confex Autumn'?

The National Venue Show (NVS) is set for a major repositioning next year – possibly including a new name – as it looks to drive visitor and exhibitor numbers and be more representative of today’s event industry. The plans will see owner CMP co-locate the event with Call Centre Expo and new show SME from next September and could also herald the name-change and a subsequent drive for a wider exhibitor and visitor base. According to Duncan Reid, event director of both NVS and London’s International Confex exhibition, the moves “will reflect the changes going on in the events industry as a whole”, so the show will represent the wider event marketing sector. This could see the introduction of new exhibition areas at NVS such as a specific ‘motivation’ section, building on the introduction this year of the ‘Exhibiting & Events Live’ area of the show. Talking of the co-location plans, Reid said: “We are targeting people who perhaps haven’t considered events as a marketing tool. If we can grow the audience for the event industry as a whole, it will create an upward spiral and so it makes sense.” Reid was speaking after last week’s National Venue Show in Birmingham, the first under CMP’s ownership. Official attendance figures have yet to be announced, but Reid professed to be happy with what he had witnessed. Despite this NVS could be renamed as Reid seeks to modernise its image and incorporate it further into the Confex branding. “We need to ask ourselves how aspirational the name National Venue Show is,” he said. “It could be that we reposition it along the lines of ‘Confex Autumn’. Confex is a very strong brand and has the neutrality to reflect today’s event industry.” Reid and CMP are currently considering plans to take the number of ‘Confex’ events to four: the February Confex show, the possibly renamed NVS and two networking events. The first of these, ‘Confex After Hours’ is set to take place on 7 November at London’s Paper club and is expected to see 500 people attend. The second consideration is for a summer evening networking event. Dates, venues and formats are still under discussion.

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