Preview: Trade show - RSVP 08

A preview of this year's show, taking place at the Business Design Centre from 2-3 April.

Exhibition surges on with inspirational new features

This year's RSVP show promises to be the best yet. The exhibition, now in its seventh year, will introduce a raft of features to visitors at the Business Design Centre from 2-3 April.

One of the most exciting additions is The Green Room, in association with EcoEvent. The area, made from sustainable materials, will showcase eco-friendly suppliers, including organic caterer Passion Organic and carbon-negative car-hire company Carmic Cars.

Another new feature will be RSVP Virgins - an area for companies that have never exhibited at RSVP and are new to the industry. They will include event florist Inspirational Flowers, gift box specialist Happy Box and burlesque cabaret act Time to Tease.

The Hot Venues section will provide a one-stop-shop for organisers seeking great locations. So far the line-up includes The Casino at the Empire, Stoke Place and the Ricoh Arena.

Following the success of last year's Creative Solutions Zone, this year visitors will be given the opportunity to have their technical and creative problems solved in The Ideas Factory.

The RSVP Mask Event Talks - in association with Hawthorn Theatrical - will be returning with leading industry figures lined up to impart their knowledge.

Visitors will be able to relax and network in the 70s-themed RSVP bar, sponsored by the CC Club, and there will even be a chance for people to enjoy a drink with Event 's editorial and ad teams at stand G20.



10.30am - 11.30am

ISES presents A Mighty Masterclass

12.30pm - 1.30pm

Economic slow-down: What impact could this have on events? This interactive session is suitable for those who plan and budget for events. It will assess what effect our current economic climate might have on budgets, and how organisers can make their money go further.

2.30pm - 3.30pm

Event sponsorship: The answer to all your corporate hospitality and brand awareness needs. Make the most of your company's presence on site.

4.30pm - 5.30pm

Motivational case study: Breathing new life into experienced hands. Invitation only.


Conference morning

The ultimate insight: A step-by-step guide to planning your perfect event

9am - 10am

Reception and welcome breakfast

10am - 11.30am

Brainstorm to brief: From blue-sky thought to formulating a concise strategy.

- The brief: Setting your objectives, budget and initial ideas.

- Be creative: Devising the format, short-listing venues, caterers, suppliers, and finishing touches.

- Venue hire: How to negotiate, arrange site visits; which facilities will you need?; hidden costs and additional extras.

- Supplier hire: What do you need and where do you find them?

11.30am - 12pm

Coffee break

12pm - 1.30pm

From page to stage: Implementing the written plans.

- Leap into action: Site visits, food-tasting, invitation design and databases, production and supplier meetings, entertainment and how to plan an event schedule.

- Off-site and on-site: Visualise the venue space, the role of the event caller, adding that sparkle, rehearsing time, contingency plans and going live.

- Post-event evaluation: Calculating return on investment, client relation, meeting objectives.

2.30pm - 3.15pm

Should corporate social responsibility be invited to the party? Too much emphasis on eco-friendly planning can see costs rise. This talk will address current environmental issues and look at what can be done to reduce your carbon footprint. It is a must for organisers who want to stay ahead of the game.

3.45pm - 4.30pm

From the 'no' factor to the 'wow' factor: Constant rejuvenation. Innovative ways to create a lasting impression and turn guests into brand advocates. Ideal for brand and marketing managers.


The Urdang

Better known for its dance classes than delegate facilities, new venue The Urdang will be showcasing its unique event space at the show. London-based event management company Organza Events manages the Victorian venue, housed within the old Finsbury Town Hall, and will be talking to visitors about how the space can be used for events, as well as promoting some money-saving offers.

- Stand No B13

Happy Box London

Gifting guru Happy Box London will be showing off its hand-packed gift-box collection in the RSVP Virgins section. Filled with goodies from boutique suppliers, the boxes are an alternative to champagne and flowers. Anyone who registers at the stand and subsequently purchases a Happy Box worth at least £60 from the website will receive a free gift.

- Stand No M17

Passion Organic

Ethical catering company Passion Organic will provide you with some food for thought. Exhibiting in the new Green Room section, the company sources its basic ingredients locally from smaller artisan suppliers - using Fair Trade products if possible. Visitors to the stand will get a sneak preview of its new spring/summer canape menu.

- Stand No N3

Royal Courts of Justice

It's almost criminal that the Royal Courts of Justice hasn't had a presence at RSVP before. Seasoned Events is in charge of corporate gatherings at the venue and will be launching its exclusive Christmas Party Design for 2008 at the show.

- Stand No B6


- Why did you decide to introduce The Green Room to this year's RSVP show?

Corporate social responsibility is high on everyone's agenda and we wanted a feature at RSVP 08 that highlighted and promoted eco-friendly event companies. While we encourage all of our exhibitors to be green, The Green Room focuses on companies that offer environmentally friendly services. This area will have an ideas wall and an Ask the Experts area, and will showcase sustainable wooden stands.

- What is the secret to keeping the show at the top of its game?

RSVP is the only show dedicated exclusively to the special event and party industry and we pride ourselves on adding wow factor. We conduct extensive visitor research to ensure the exhibition attracts top corporate buyers, which in turn ensures top-quality exhibitors. We are also very passionate about educating our visitors, with the Mask Event Talks featuring key industry speakers.

- How, if at all, has the buy-out affected the show?

The RSVP brand was acquired by Australian-based Exhibitions and Trade Fairs (ETF) in November last year. RSVP is an internationally renowned brand and ETF will concentrate on developing it globally beyond Sydney, Melbourne, London and Manchester. Single Market Events will continue to run the London show on behalf of ETF, and for myself and the team it is very much business as usual.

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