Preview: Trade Show - RSVP North

This year's event takes place from 23-24 April at Manchester Central.


RSVP North will be returning to Manchester Central (formerly G-Mex) from 23-24 April for its much-anticipated second outing. Having grown in size from last year, the show will feature 40% more floor space and more than 200 exhibitors, as well as interactive, prize-winning workshops for guests to get involved in.

Visitors will be able to change a wheel on a real F1 car against the clock in the Daytona Karting F1 Challenge; create their own cocktails with expert mixologists in the Fluid Bars Cocktail Challenge; receive tuition from a master sushi chef in the Sisushi Masterclass; and make something to be proud of in the Potters Wheel Workshop.

A powder-room service will also be in operation, courtesy of Pamper Me, complete with various creams and lotions as well as emergency make-up and nail repairs.

After a hard day's networking, visitors will have a choice of bars in which to relax. Lovely Bubbly has teamed up with the Oyster Boys to provide an Oyster and Champagne Bar, Sapporo Tappenyaki will be running a sushi and sake lounge, and the Harvey Nichols Bar will be back serving up its signature cocktails.

And if that's not enough, the popular Centre Stage will also be back, with a full schedule of free RSVP Event Talks and live performances to ensure that no visitor is left short of inspiration.


- Heathcotes Outside

As one of the North West's largest caterers, Heathcotes Outside has served its modern British cuisine to corporate clients including Boodles, KPMG and BAE Systems, and boasts strong relations with many of the region's best venues - most recently securing a contract with ACC Liverpool. Visitors will be able to sample tasters and discuss menu options with the company's event managers.

Stand No: 540

- Urbis

Thanks to its dramatic glass structure, Urbis has become one of Manchester's most famous landmarks and, in turn, one of its most impressive event spaces. The venue is home to a number of purpose-built rooms, catering for events of up to 120 guests, and will be showcasing these spaces along with its new top-floor bar and restaurant The Modern.

Stand No: 234

- Ear To The Ground

With big-name brands such as MTV, Warner Bros and Orange on its books, Ear to the Ground is no amateur set-up. The Manchester-based event agency co-produced the launch of the European Capital of Culture in Liverpool, and will be talking to visitors at the show about how it can turn their ideas into events.

Stand No: 216

- Hard Day's Night Hotel

Fans of the Fab Four will be pleased to know that this new boutique hotel is exhibiting in the Imaginative Venues section. Opened in February, the Grade II-listed building is in the Beatles Quarter of Liverpool city centre, adjacent to the Cavern Club. It features 110 guest rooms, Lennon and McCartney penthouse suites, two restaurants, two bars and two conference rooms.

Stand No: 240



11am - 11.45am

The ultimate insight into planning the perfect event. Speaker: Fiona Sidwell, MD, Exclusive Events.

12.30pm - 1.15pm

Should you invite CSR to the party? The ultimate guide to reducing the carbon footprint of your next event.

2pm - 2.45pm

Food for thought: Creative catering and theming ideas.

3.30pm - 4.15pm

High-profile celebrity parties: An Access All Areas pass to go behind the scenes and discover how to be part of the action.

Speaker: Ben Judge, MD, Rock Events.


11am - 11.45am

The ultimate insight into planning the perfect event.

Speaker: Evy Blaskey, MD, Your Events.

12.30pm - 1.15pm

Wake-up call: Conferences that sizzle, not slouch.

Panel: Geoff Kershaw, MD, The Challenge Factor; Darren Proctor, DJ, Key 103

1.30pm - 2.15pm

Head-to-head interview: Ear To The Ground's Steve Smith reveals how his expertise and knowledge of running events has taken him to the top.

3pm - 3.45pm

Hidden gems: Discover venues you never knew offered event space, from warehouses to historic buildings.


- What did you learn from last year's show?

Everyone commented on how friendly and enjoyable the show was, so for 2008 we wanted to build on this and make it an even more memorable occasion for our attendees. The thinking behind it is that if the event is a fun one, visitors are far more likely to stay longer and then recommend the show to their colleagues.

- How will this be reflected in this year's event?

For 2008 we have concentrated on a series of interactive features, such as the Daytona Karting F1 Challenge and the Potters Wheel Workshop, for our guests to get involved in and which will enhance their visiting experience. There will be lots of prizes to be won for the best efforts, including a meal for two people at Sisushi in Leeds, and a mobile cocktail bar stocked with drinks for the office. We have also developed new sessions for our Event Talks, covering topics such as corporate social responsibility and celebrity parties, and will be showcasing some exciting acts on the Centre Stage.

- How many visitors are you expecting this year?

We are hoping to attract between 2,250 and 2,500 northern-based event organisers over the two days of the show. If we deliver the same high calibre of visitors that we did last year, the event is sure to be a resounding success.

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