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Good luck National Venue Show

May 05, 2006 | Blog

This month’s big news is undoubtedly the sale by Waypoint Exhibitions of its National Venue Show to CMPi, the firm that counts International Confex among its portfolio of exhibitions.

I think this is a great sale. Firstly it is, hopefully, an excellent return on the investment of time and money that the Waypoint team have put into building the NVS over the last five or six years. They have created a fine event and thoroughly deserve to reap some of the rewards.

Secondly, it is a good move on the part of CMPi. If they are as serious as they say they are about the events industry then the addition of the NVS will give them an excellent north and south pair of exhibitions which, if run correctly, should serve the industry well.

It is here that I must admit to keeping my fingers crossed behind my back as I write these words. The reason for this is entirely selfish but I think that anyone who knows the NVS will identify with what I’m saying and, who knows, maybe even agree.

The point is that I have always liked the National Venue Show. It has always been a fitting start to the year, if one treats the year in the school rather than calendar sense, and the annual gathering in Birmingham has become a few days that I always look forward to. Regular "exhibitors": and visitors will know that there is always a hectic round of parties and various other events to go to on top of the actual reason we are all there, that of doing business.

Much of the reason for this is the work put in by Waypoint. They have created a supremely friendly show that always attracts a group of people who, like me, look forward to the mix of business and networking that the three days provide. Unlike Confex, it is small enough for one to get round the aisles having spent plenty of time talking with each exhibitor. Having said that, and here’s a tip from a seasoned old hack, I have found that the best place to be is sitting on the chairs outside the hall, there you can see everyone coming in and coming out again.

I hope, therefore, that Duncan Reid and his team at CMPi realise the value of what they have bought. Of course, I don’t mean the financial value. I mean the priceless value of goodwill that Phil, Steve, Georgie, Sula and Tanya have built up over the years.

The Confex team will certainly want to change things, indeed, there are probably glaringly obvious things that need changing. However, let’s hope that the changes they make will be sympathetic to the event and that they won’t alienate the audience and turn a fun time into just another exhibition.

There is no reason why they should do this so I close in wishing them the very best of luck. I’m looking forward to September.

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