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International Confex is known throughout the events, conference and incentive industry as the place for event professionals to meet, exchange ideas and educate themselves on the latest products, services and industry trends. The show seeks to inspire and stimulate visitors and help them create great events. With more than 1,000 exhibitors on 400 stands from over 70 countries, the show is Europe’s leading forum for event organisers.
This year’s show is all about new ideas, inspiration and education. International Confex’ organisers, CMPi, have tipped it to be the biggest and best yet, following substantial investment and a number of new initiatives designed to improve the visitor experience, increase visitor numbers and grow the show. The initiatives include visitor and exhibitor research, a completely new conference format, increased visitor movement and closer links with industry associations.
The results of qualitative visitor and exhibitor research undertaken during the summer have also been announced and many of the planned initiatives are as a direct result of those sessions. International Confex’ event director, Duncan Reid, commented that “Visitors were keen to stress their desire to be treated like professionals and insisted that gimmicks or travel bribes were unlikely to influence their desire to attend. Instead they stated that new ideas, stimulation, networking and education are far more important.”
Reid also said that: “CMPi’s substantial investment in the show has given us the opportunity to take a step back, talk to our exhibitors and visitors and then move forward in a direction that suits all to ensure International Confex continues to be Europe’s best show, delivering the highest quality exhibitors and visitors. Although the research confirmed that Confex is a good show, our aim now is to improve on that and make it a great show.”
The conference is now free for all delegates but sessions are proving to be very popular so be quick to decide which will benefit you. Full details of the conference are available on www.international-confex.com. There are daily keynote sessions from Sir Rocco Forte, Doug Richard from TV’s Dragon’s Den, and Stuart Smith from Gleneagles, which are just the thing to leave you inspired and motivated. The sessions all take place in the theatres at the back of the hall.
The Advice Centre, located in the Corporate Hospitality & Entertainments (red) sector, offers you access to a highly focused and experienced team of experts who will provide free and impartial advice about your conference and event requirements.
The centre, which has been created by Embrace Marketing, incorporates an education centre, library, and exclusive online links to help you improve the way you do your job and increase your professional qualifications.
In association with ESP Recruitment and Xchangeteam, The Advice Centre will also be offering CV healthchecks to new and experienced event organisers.
The Advice Centre has a large range of education and professional development programmes for you to review and discuss with academics and lecturers. You can evaluate your training requirements with experienced organisers and companies that run training courses in all areas relating to events management. The Education Centre also includes a number of guides, university prospectus and courses.
Another new feature is the Future UK Developments area: This is your opportunity to see the future of the meeting and conference industry by viewing the new developments that are being built around the UK.
Visit the Fun Zone to try out some of the more exciting activities on offer, including a football simulator from Goal Striker, an F1 simulator from Williams F1 Conference Centre/Jemlar; and Crafty Arty’s ‘Big Art’
project. And don’t miss the Beauty & Relaxation Zone for a relaxing massage.
Back on the show floor, Confex is divided into four sectors to make visitor navigation easier. Each sector is dedicated to a difference aspect of the events industry: The Corporate Hospitality & Entertainment sector (colour coded in Red), Overseas Venues, Destinations & Incentive Travel sector (Yellow) Exhibition & Conference Support Services sector (Green) and the UK Venues, Destinations & Incentive Travel sector (Blue).
All sectors of the industry are covered by Confex in its four main sectors, but that isn’t all. There will also be smaller pavilions and lounges located throughout the show which will be dedicated to various aspects of the industry. You will find an ICCA Pavilion, MIA Pavilion, BACD Pavilion and Eventia Pavilion as well as a Birmingham Area, and London Area hosting over 100 exhibitors alone.
It isn’t just the show’s organisers offering something new in February; a staggering number of new exhibitors have signed up for 2006 including Lord’s Meetings and Events, The Vintage Golf Company, Melt Chocolate Fountain, Broadway House and The Edge Adventure. Also exhibiting for the first time are Explore Northamptonshire, Norwich & Norfolk Conference Bureau and Tottenham Hotspur FC.
With so many new, inspirational and innovative features, and so much to learn you can’t afford not to visit International Confex.