Square Meal's Venues & Events Live 2013 show welcomed over 7,000 event organisers through the doors of Old Billingsgate in the City last week, the organiser said.Although the figures represent a slight dip on the 7,430 audited figure for 2012 show Director Graham Hill said he was “delighted to welcome many new exhibitors” among the 200 on show.
“I’m also delighted that we provided quantity as well as quality in audience terms, especially having suffered heavy rain for only the second time in the event’s nine-year history,” he added. “Moreover, we also applied more stringent terms and conditions through registration process this year, which led to us turning away well-over 100 people who failed to meet the criteria.”
Paul Sung, Leon Evans and Andy Hannigan represented the Venues.org.uk team at this year’s show and were impressed by the quality of exhibitors and visitors alike. Paul Sung commented: “We were there to catch up with our partners who were exhibiting at the show. Every exhibitor that we spoke to had very positive feedback and all 5 floors and the halls were very busy. Queues were visible for the popular seminars and tasting sessions throughout the two days.”
Warren Campbell, GM at 15 Hatfields, said: “As a regular exhibitor I’ve noticed that the calibre of delegates this year is much higher. With Square Meal it’s the clients that you want to attract, it’s the clients that have got the budget to spend.”
Paul Luxford, Head of Marketing and Events at Namco Funscape, added: “A great atmosphere and footfall over both days (with great quality attendees) and an outstanding exhibitor party, all made for the most enjoyable Square Meal exhibition yet.”
The seminar programme saw full houses throughout both days with popular seminars including ‘Hot New Venues’, ‘Top New Restaurants’, ‘Christmas Parties - An Organiser’s Guide’ and a talk on how to ‘Unleash the Power of Social Media’.
There were also sessions on ‘Adventures in Chocolate’ by Green & Black’s Founder Jo Fairley and a keynote talk by Fay Sharpe, MD of events agency Zibrant.
A new element saw the London Eye Barracuda ferry in 200 visitors from the Southbank to Tower Pier on VIP Gourmet Breakfast Cruises.
Organisers reported there had been 9,000 tweets to the show hashtag.