Preview: London's twin attractions

For two days at the end of this month, the capital hosts the Exhibiting Show and the London Venue Expo. The director of both explains to Claire Bond why, between them, these very different events should appeal to everyone.

THE EXHIBITING SHOW

The Exhibiting Show returns to Excel from 29-30 June, with more than 120 companies offering expert knowledge, advice and services. The show's objective is to educate the industry on effective exhibiting, with the organiser, Exposure Event Creations, looking to build on the foundations of last year's inaugural event.

"This year's programme is based entirely on the feedback and research from last year's event," says show director Simon Burton. "It is clear that the visitors to the show are not inexperienced in exhibiting. They just want to be taken to the next level and find some added creativity and inspiration for their own events."

The core exhibitors last year were split between agency/event organisers (38%), corporate representatives (25%) and association business (11%).

Exhibitors' job titles ranged from managing director to marketing executive, although 20% of attendees were those with decision-making control over companies.

Feedback from the 1,592 visitors to last year's show was overwhelmingly positive, with 89% of those surveyed indicating that exhibitions are worthwhile and 71% suggesting its business was experiencing growth.

Nomadic Display is returning this year following a successful show in 2004 that produced more than 400 business leads. "The show produced great revenue for us including a £150,000 order for the Anne Frank Trust which we have only just signed a year later," says Nomadic managing director Laura Moody.

Recent tie-ins with international trade bodies such as TS2, the Exhibit Designers and Producers Association (EDPA), the Trade Show Exhibitors Association (TSEA) and the International Federation of Exhibition and Events Services (IFES) has helped to expand the international exhibitor base.

Burton says: "There was an international focus last year, and this year we've built on that with exhibitors from America, France and Holland. In 2004 the features that touched on exhibiting internationally proved very popular."

A dedicated conference entitled Exhibiting Internationally will run alongside the show on 29 June.

Numerous exhibitors will be joining the ranks this year. Exhibition stand specialist NCompass will be attending for the first time with its own stand as well as building the Event and RSVP magazine presence. "We didn't want to miss out this year," says NCompass managing director Neil Gotting.

"We will be launching a new enhanced marketing initiative for the exhibition industry as well as continuing to promote the brand in its entirety. We recently rebranded and so are bringing all the facets together to promote the group as a whole."

A new feature area will focus visitors' plans before they enter the show.

Called the Launchpad, it will allow them to set objectives for their day by assessing show literature and speaking with advisers.

In addition, a number of features will be returning from last year's show. The Demo area, built by Arena Seating and MICE Artisan, will feature demonstrations by companies such as Twangling Jack, Anderton Tiger and Nimlok. The Networking Bar, supplied by Early Action Group, will provide a breakout area for the seminar sessions and will run regular five-minute networking sessions. Mobile Promotions will also be hosting part of the conference programme in one of its new Rainbow 20 trailers.

While declining to be drawn on projected attendance figures, Burton insists that the mainstay of the show will remain unchanged: "The main focus is to produce another quality and positive event for exhibitors. It's never about the numbers but about an event with high quality interaction for people looking for new ideas and inspiration. You won't see the results at the next show, you see it when the visitors to the show next exhibit and the success can be seen through the measurement of their next events."

LONDON VENUE EXPO

Dedicated to promoting London venues - from exhibition and conference centres to private dining and meeting facilities - this highly anticipated debut showcase remains the only event specific to venues within the M25 boundary.

The organiser, Exposure Event Creations, is confident that it can tap into the capital's events market, which attracts £3.3bn worth of business each year.

"Quite simply, where else would you want to hold events?" says show director Simon Burton. "Event organisers have been keen to get involved, particularly as some have found venues exhibiting that they don't already know."

Although London Venue Expo will run concurrently with its stablemate, the Exhibiting Show, the two events have been promoted individually and remain entirely separate entities.

"It has been essential to market the shows as separate events," adds Burton. "It's about the experience. If you're planning on visiting a show, knowing why you are going is very important. The reasons for going to the Exhibiting Show and the London Venue Expo are fundamentally different. However, there will inevitably be some cross-over and visitors may well find something unexpected that they hadn't considered at the alternative show."

Several high profile industry bodies have shown support for the show, including a headline marketing partnership with tourism unit Visit London.

David Hornby, Visit London's commercial director, says: "Visit London will be using this event as part of its strategy in promoting London and is committed to making this partnership work for both the show and London's unique business venues."

The two-day seminar programme has been created in conjunction with the UK Chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI UK) with a number of the trade associations' Platinum speakers discussing topics such as 'turning vision into reality' and 'email techniques in a global marketplace'.

As well as the regular seminars, the show is set to provide a multitude of workshops and feature areas in an attempt to engage the audience further.

The opportunity to 'speed date' with four venues in 20 minutes affords visitors the chance to get straight to the point with the exhibitors.

Events portal londonlaunch.com will also be hosting a dedicated events clinic offering hands on advice to organisers.

Meanwhile the Eat London section will be doubling as a live food and drink demonstration area.

Etc Venues is one of 200 exhibitors set to attend the show and will be using the event to launch its latest venue, Prospero House in south east London, while building on the promotion of its five existing venues.

The communications manager for Etc Venues, Diane Jones, says: "We're promoting Etc Venues as a group and felt we are relevant to London Venue Expo because we have specialist knowledge in the area. We also have a growing relationship with Visit London, which we want to continue to expand."

Other venues set to promote their wares at the end of the month include hotel groups such as Apex Hotels and the restaurant outfit Masala Group.

Marketing consortia such as the Westminster Collection and Unique Venues of London will also be co-promoting their selection of venues at the show.

SEMINAR PROGRAMME

Exhibiting Show

WEDNESDAY 29 JUNE

Seminar Theatre A

10.30 Face to face experiences - finding the real value of live

events

Presenter: Richard Foulkes, director of special events, Imagination

11.45 But I don't like mauve

Presenter: Gary Clement-Boggis, creative director, Nimlok

13.30 Follow up those leads!

Presenters: Nigel Woods, chief executive, Need More Sales and Andy

Szebeni, sales trainer, Need More Sales

14.45 The science of evangelism

Presenter: Russell Prue, industry evangelist

Seminar Theatre B

10.30 Next generation exhibiting - the ultimate learning environment

Presenters: Jeremy Williams, Julian Midwinter, Photosound

Communications

11.45 Integrated marketing

Presenter: Doug Ducate, Centre for Exhibition Industry Research

13.30 The meaning of live

Presenter: Sarah Farrugia, Farrugia Leo Research & Consultancy

14.45 Mobile events - you don't have to be in an exhibition hall to be

exhibiting

Presenter: Robin Carlisle, managing director, Mobile Promotions

THURSDAY 30 JUNE

Seminar Theatre A

10.30 Exhibitology - the people process

Presenter: John Blaskey, managing director, The Exhibiting Agency

11.45 Evaluating exhibitions - what is the true value of

exhibitions?

Presenter: Peter Heath, PEAK event analysts

13.30 Attraction strategies

Presenter: Alexis Garnaut-Miller, European Institute of Neuro Linguistic

Programming

14.45 30 ideas in 30 minutes, panel debate

Seminar Theatre B

10.30 Choreographing chaos - creative ways to communicate passion and

energy

Presenter: Michael McNulty, partner, The Performance Business

11.45 Think different, act different, be creative - deliver results

through creativity

Presenter: Representative from Mayridge Development Services

13.30 Marketing internally - the live solution

Presenter: Representative from Opus

14.45 The psychology of selling

Presenter: Simon Naudi, Answers Training

SEMINAR PROGRAMME

London Venue Expo Waterfront Rooms

WEDNESDAY 29 JUNE

09.30 Strategies of master negotiators

Presenter: Dr Brad McRae

09.30 The music of client relationships

Presenter: Robert Van Arlen, motivational speaker

09.30 How to hit the numbers - coaching your sales team to higher

profits and performance

Presenter: Laura Benjamin

11.30 Critical email techniques in a global marketplace

Presenter: Sue Hershkowitz-Coore, CSP, author of Power Sales Writing

11.30 Knowing me, knowing you - making the most of personality

differences

Presenter: Ann Holmes, BA CMM

11.30 Cross-cultural competence in the global meeting place

Presenter: Laraine Kaminsky

14.30 How to remember what's his name?

Presenter: Marguerite Ham, executive coach

14.30 Conference management - The basic skills

Presenter: Tony Carey, CMM

14.30 Turning vision into reality

Presenter: Carole McKellar, MA CMM MCIPD

THURSDAY 30 JUNE

09.30 Cross-cultural competence in the global meeting place

Presenter: Laraine Kaminsky

09.30 Conference management - the basic skills

Presenter: Tony Carey, CMM

09.30 How to remember what's his name?

Presenter: Marguerite Ham, executive coach

11.30 The music of client relationships

Presenter: Robert Van Arlen, motivational speaker

11.30 Turning vision into reality

Presenter: Carole McKellar, MA CMM MCIPD

11.30 How to hit the numbers - coaching your sales team to higher

profits and performance

Presenter: Laura Benjamin

14.30 Knowing me, knowing you - making the most of personality

differences

Presenter: Ann Holmes, BA CMM

14.30 Strategies of master negotiators

Presenter: Dr Brad McRae

14.30 Critical email techniques in a global marketplace

Presenter: Sue Hershkowitz-Coore, CSP, author of Power Sales Writing.


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