Despite ailing visitor figures in recent years, CMPi has invested an undisclosed sum in increased staffing, extensive research and greater marketing activity for next year's show, scheduled to take place at Earls Court from 21-23 February.
Show director Duncan Reid said: "It's now about looking outside the market and finding additional visitors that should be attending the show. We don't want the show to be good, we now want it to be great."
The Confex operations and marketing team has tripled in size since last year, allowing the management to concentrate on strategic decisions and launching new initiatives. The aim is to attract premier UK buyers and encourage interaction between buyer and supplier. Another priority is to form alliances with key industry organisations.
In July and August, focus groups gathered feedback from visitors, exhibitors and non-attendees. Respondents requested a more dynamic and fun event that could provide greater networking opportunities. Visitor movement was also highlighted with the need for buyers to be encouraged to move around the show.
In an attempt to broaden the target market, 8,000 relevant contacts have been sourced from the CMPi's wider databases.
More than 3,000 association contacts have also been recruited via telemarketing and an additional 40,000 corporate buyers are now being validated.
"Confex has historically charged for seminars. We're now offering these for free and introducing the conference to the show floor, providing visitors with the wealth of education and information they expect," added Reid.