Fifty new exhibitors have signed up for this year's Meetings &
Incentive Travel (M&IT) Show at Excel from 20-21 June.
Venues set to make their debut at the event include Aston Villa Football
Club, The Brewery in east London, Central Hall Westminster and Edinburgh
Conference Centre. More unusual venues making their first appearance
include Leeds Castle in Kent, London Aquarium, London Zoo and Royal
Wildlife Camp in Nepal. Also new for 2001 is the Cookery Demonstration
Theatre, which will let catering and hotel firms demonstrate their
Good early response
The first e-mail to VIP buyers has already attracted more than 1,200
pre-registrations - 14% up on the same mailing last year. The first in a
series of personalised postal mailings to VIP buyers has also had good
early response. More than 300,000 invitations will be distributed during
the run-up to the show.
Harrogate International Centre (HIC) will be at the show to promote its
eight exhibition halls, which offer a combined 16,500 sq m. But the
centrepiece of HIC's presence will focus on the new hall M, which was
completed on schedule in December 2000 at a cost of pounds 2.6m. It has
already won 20 bookings. The hall's high ceiling means HIC can now
accommodate double-deck stands. The centre has also signed a partnership
with Crown Catering which boosted investment in catering facilities,
including the completion of new kitchens. HIC will also use the show to
promote an on-line hotel booking facility.
Historic Royal Palaces will be at M&IT to promote corporate hospitality
packages at Hampton Court Palace, Tower of London, Kensington Palace and
Banqueting Hall, as well as the music festival that is being held at
Hampton Court from 7-16 June.
Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) will use the show to
announce major upgrade plans. By mid-2002 the facility plans to be able
to accommodate 2,000 delegates.
"Three years of research and planning have been invested in the pounds
18m scheme," says AECC managing director Clarke Milloy. The development
includes two new halls, each offering capacity for 700 theatre-style,
expansion of the tiered theatre from 300 to 500 seats, an increase in
the number of breakout rooms to 25, upgraded IT and audio-visual
facilities, and a dramatic new frontage and atrium.
Telford International Centre (TIC) will be at M&IT as it prepares to
embark on a pounds 7m redevelopment at the end of the month. The
overhaul will provide a dedicated conference and banqueting suite with
capacity for up to 750, multipurpose rooms holding 1,000 theatre-style
and a series of breakout rooms.
Phase two and three of the redevelopment are planned over the next few
years, and will include the completion of the new exterior of the
buildings, plus improvements to public circulation areas - including a
new main entrance.
The final stage will be a fourth exhibition hall taking the centre to
15,000 sq m. The venue also benefits from an on-site Holiday Inn.
Face the consequences
TIC sales and marketing manager Matthew Lambert says: "We know we cannot
afford to stand still if we want to continue to be successful. All our
key competitors are spending money on improving their facilities and we
have to respond or face the consequences.
"The redevelopment will give us the opportunity to raise Telford's
profile against competitors such as Manchester, Birmingham, London and
Glasgow for major blue-chip business."
Birmingham's NEC Group will be promoting its conference and meeting
facilities which offer 100 options including facilities in the NEC,
National Indoor Arena and International Convention Centre.
The country's newest facility - Manchester International Convention
Centre - will also be present. The facility, which only opened last
month, has an auditorium seating 800 facing a 250 sq m presentation
stage with lighting, sound and the latest technology. Adjoining the
auditorium is the 1,900 sq m Great Northern Hall. Breakout rooms are
The 6,000 sq m Main Galleries of the Commonwealth Conference & Events
Centre in Kensington, London will be at M&IT giving details of its major
external restoration taking place in the summer. The highly unusual
Grade II listed building will get a new copper roof and its blue glass
external facade will also be replaced.
The Barbican Centre will be promoting the refurbishment of Barbican Hall
which closed at the end of May for four months. The pounds 6m investment
involves changing the air-conditioning units, significant changes to the
stage to improve acoustics and installation of a new lighting system.