Analysis: RSVP 05 strikes the right chord

The trend for corporate events is growing and nowhere was this better reflected than at the RSVP show.

More than 40% of visitors to this year's RSVP show, which took place at Olympia from 6-7 April, had a corporate party and event spend of over £500,000 according to organiser Single Market Events.

At least 5,400 planners of creative events visited the two-day show, a rise of 10% on last year. Single Market Events managing director Tim Etchells puts this down to a trend for staff incentives and the fact that British industry spends an estimated £2.5bn on corporate event activity each year.

"Huge global companies such as BP, Walt Disney and IBM visited the show. There was also an increase in event buyers from smaller companies interested in throwing more extravagant staff parties," he says.

The Ultimate Experience managing director Mike Kershaw agrees: "Staff celebrations are showing no signs of losing their popularity and each year we are seeing more companies organising events for staff, especially now that more companies have dedicated event organisers within their HR and PR departments."

On both days of the exhibition a number of seminars organised by Mask Event Design and Production, in association with Hawthorn Electrical, took place on subjects such as organising memorable events, hiring event management companies and turning charity events into corporate 'must-haves'.

Mask also showcased its 'Pop Arty' themed Christmas party packages - destined for The Atlantis Gallery - by staging the after-show exhibitor party complete with Andy Warhol-style bar and wall images.

"The feedback regarding the seminars was really positive as people felt there was an excellent mix of educational elements, advice and inspiration," says show manager Susie Cliff.

One Great George Street marketing manager Sarah Wasser says: "This year was our first experience of the show and I was not disappointed. There were things happening all of the time, from canape demonstrations to music acts and acrobats. We generated a lot of interest and leads, which we are really pleased with."

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