The long-awaited results show a modest increase of 13 visitors on the 2005 event. However, show director Duncan Reid is confident that the figures suggest the CMP Information team has stemmed the visitor decline experienced since 2003.
"We are really pleased. When I joined last year we had six months to stop the decline in visitor figures, which had reached around 10% a year," said Reid. "We invested in the show and our focus remained to work on not just the number of visitors, but the quality also. I feel the visitor attendance has plateaued but I think next year we will see growth in visitor numbers that we'll build on again in 2008."
The audit also shows a 16% increase in association visitors. Reid added: "We feel we're around 98% there with the association market. However, in the two remaining sectors there is huge potential for growth. Agencies and corporates remain an untapped market and these form part of our mid- and long-term strategies. It won't be until 2007 that our work with the agency sector will really come to fruition. With the corporate sector there remains a considerable amount of work to be done."
Plans for the 2007 event are underway and involve a tracking scheme to ease visitors' seminar choices.
Next year's event will return to Earls Court from 20-22 February 2007 and follows CMPi's recently acquired National Venue Show at the NEC from 19-21 September.