BECA to support approval fee scheme despite misgivings

The British Exhibition Contractors Association (BECA) has reached an agreement with Centre Exhibitions over its system of recommendation for ITMA 2003 (Event, March).

BECA has agreed to support the scheme despite its view that introducing a commission fee for any work secured "fails to support professionalism within the exhibition industry or give priority to excellence of service to the exhibitor".

Centre Exhibitions has already attracted ten contractors into the initiative.

They have had to demonstrate their record and will now be asked to pay 10% commission on any work gained as a result of a personal recommendation by the organiser or through advertisements paid for in a range of pre-show promotional material.

BECA president Chris Criscione met Centre Exhibitions operations director Andrew Bird late last month to address the issue. The BECA logo has now been placed on the ITMA 2003 website to show unity and a commitment to work alongside the organiser and NEC.

"We have cleared the air with BECA and it understands that we are providing a route to market,

said Bird. "By adopting this system we can also recoup the costs spent on IT technology required to process around 35 forms per exhibitor at a show with 1,400 companies."

BECA director Lynn Felton said: "It is my first objective to ensure that we provide the services and support that members require. It is only with the full knowledge of members' concerns that we will be able to show our teeth and champion the cause of the contracting industry effectively."

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