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In the build up to the UK Venue Show, 1st – 2nd February 2012, the show’s organisers have conducted interviews with senior operators at key London exhibiting venues about the outlook for the event and meeting sector during 2012.
Feedback revealed heightened competition for business next year with venues prepared to fight their own corner in a year which is set to put the UK in the global spotlight.
Robin Parker, general manager at Church House Conference Centre said, "There are potentially many opportunities for 2012, but the fact that some buyers are leaving it so late would suggest that they are going to be looking for value, and will not accept inflated rates."
Kevin Leaver, head of events at Millbrook Events observed, "Conferences and events are being moved into the early part of the year, away from June & July and those that would have taken place in London during the summer months are looking for alternative venues due to lack of availability and accommodation and accessibility concerns caused by the 2012 Games."
Lisa Hatswell, general manager at Unique Venues of London said, "Each year UVL carries out a survey of all its members. The latest survey has shown that the number of events is increasing, alongside an increase in direct bookings. We know that many of our venues have been booked for various Country Houses, by official Olympic Games sponsors, and as individual hospitality or entertaining spaces for other business."
Wendy Greenhalgh, director of sales and marketing at One Great George Street commented, "There are many great last minute, unexpected and ‘one off’ opportunities to play host to product launches, hospitality events and high profile meetings, events and press conferences in the first half of the year until the full extent of transport disruption can be seen and felt."
"The challenge will be quoting the right price to get the business, coping with transport disruption, recovering and activity to gain business in the post-Olympic Games period."
UK Venue Show, exhibition director Tanya Cohen commented, "The first half of the year will revolve around the Olympics, particularly in London but also across the country. Moreover, the Farnborough International Air Show and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations will propel a further increase in business."
"The challenge for the venues will be to get the balance right between price and offering and when the Games are over to work closely with new and existing clients to get them through the new year. The show is designed to be the business platform to meet all those important contacts."
"The tight focus of the event will give exhibitors the first opportunity in the exhibition industry calendar to meet key decision makers which will give the venues the first stab at securing business for the year ahead."
The UK Venue Show will kick off 2012's season for the event market and will run in tandem with its respected sister exhibition the Event Production Show. Key buyers signed up to be at the show include Morgan Stanley, Network Rail, Zibrant, Ticketmaster, Met Police, Oxfam, Rouge Events, AEG Live, RPM Ltd, Jack Morton Worldwide, BBC Sport, L'Oreal UK – their collective buying power and their decision making ability assure that all exhibitors are set to gain during the two day event.